Prep Your Deck for Winter With Tips from the Experts

winter deck prep

To keep your deck in top shape, prepare it for winter.

Inspect Your Deck

Working on your deck in the winter may seem strange; however, when the snow and ice are coming, strong boards and sturdy railings are extra important. Inspect for and repair any damage that you notice. Where should you look?

  • Mildew and mold often grow on decks beneath items such as furniture, potted plants, and grills. Check these areas thoroughly to determine if any boards need replacing.
  • Weak, springy, or cracked boards should also be replaced.
  • Missing nails or screws often are the culprit behind wobbly rails or springy boards. Check to see if new nails or screws are the easy fix or if the deck itself needs replacing.
  • Wobbly deck railings must be replaced immediately to ensure no one has a dangerous slip and fall.

Prepare Your Deck

Preparing your deck seasonally is important. Taking the right steps ahead of time can ensure your deck stays in a safe condition year-round. For winter time, there are a several things you should do to ready your deck, if you haven’t already done so: 

  1. Bring in or cover all outdoor furniture.
  2. Sweep away any accumulated debris.
  3. Wash the surface of your deck with a mild soap and warm water. Or depending on what your deck is made of, you can purchase a specialized cleaning solvent.
  4. For wood decks, gently sand the surface to prepare the deck for sealant.
  5. Apply a water-repellent sealant to the surface. Check out the manufacturer directions for your deck and any sealant BEFORE you apply.
  6. Consider applying some non-slip adhesive strips on frequently used stairs.

At Harmony Decking, we want to make sure your dream deck stays safe in winter. Be sure to follow our tips on winter deck prep, and read our tips about winter deck maintenance, too. Call in our expert team with all of your decking needs.

5 Favorite Deck Design Ideas: Explored by Harmony Decking

Decks are perfect for entertaining a crowd or relaxing solo. While some are simple and small, others are large and intricate. When we also consider deck decor of varying styles and tastes, the possibilities for your backyard deck are endless! If you’re considering adding a new deck or refurbishing your existing deck, explore five popular deck design ideas with the deck experts at Harmony Decking.

  • Platform Decks: This is the simplest deck of any on our list. It’s attached with a ledger to the ground level floor of your home. Since platform decks don’t require as many supportive materials or railings, they are one of the most budget-friendly decks you can choose. However, platform decks’ proximity to the ground necessitates extra waterproofing to protect the flooring from moisture damage.
  • Raised Decks: Raised decks are constructed for homes whose first floors are above ground level. These decks require railings for safety. They also may have exposed support beams, which can be hidden by lattice.
  • Two-Story Decks: Two-story decks complicate the building process but make up for complications in space and access to both the first and second floors of your home.
  • MultiLevel Decks: Multilevel decks are perfect for homeowners who want the appeal of a sprawling deck and a diverse lounging experience. These decks allow for freedom to enjoy the varying temperatures of your yard based on shade or direct sunlight.
  • Freestanding Decks: Freestanding decks are not attached to the home and allow for more flexibility in terms of where your deck is located. If your home isn’t conducive to attaching a deck to its main level or if multilevel decks don’t appeal to you, a freestanding deck is a great choice! A huge benefit is that you can take advantage of the best spot in your yard!

Don’t Delay. Call the Deck Experts at Harmony Decking Today!

Harmony Decking has expert craftsmen ready to help you design and build your dream deck. Call us for a free consultation to discuss these and more deck design ideas. We will help you turn your backyard dream into a designer deck reality!

Is Your Deck Falling Apart?

keep your deck from falling apartThe unseasonably warm weather this fall has allowed all of us some additional outdoor enjoyment. However, as prime time for actively using your deck comes to an end, we have a few more safety measures to advise you of before you close up shop on seasonal deck time.

Even if the surface of your deck looks fine, hidden dangers may lurk. The hardest areas to spot these dangers are in the area beneath the deck, along with corners and other areas inspected less frequently. In this blog, we will explain how to recognize hidden risks that could lead to your deck falling apart.


When decks are built, experienced contractors have to think about what is below your deck as much as what the deck is made of. Many decks are built off of the main level of the home, so builders have to allow for adequate opportunities for airflow. Otherwise, moisture and rotting debris become trapped. This leads to a rotting foundation. We use two simple methods to ensure proper airflow.

  1. One choice is skirting the space between the base of the deck and the ground with a lattice or boards. This allows air to move.
  2. When air circulation is severely limited, we use pressure-treated lumber with a higher pcf. PCF simply means it has a higher preservative percentage and can withstand harsher conditions.


Railings themselves are helpful in keeping everyone safely on deck. However, how they are installed can lead to an unexpected issue. The best method for installation of railings occurs when the railings are attached efficiently, without overusing nails. Too many nails can split the lumber, creating pockets in which moisture can collect.


When inspecting decks, many people overlook the importance of checking how the deck is adhered to the home. Decks that are installed improperly often miss out on the proper sizing and placement of the ledger. This is the piece of metal installed between the home and the deck. It’s used to keep moisture and natural debris from collecting. Many builders neglect to allow for a slight overhang of the ledger beyond the juncture it is protecting.

Call Harmony Decking for a Consultation Today!

Our team at Harmony Decking has a passion for building the perfect deck for each customer we work for. Beyond this, we also like to make sure that our customers know all about maintaining their deck to be as safe as possible. Contact Harmony Decking today to schedule a deck inspection today.

Fall in Love With Your Deck Again

Fall DeckA picture perfect deck surrounded by the greens, oranges, reds, and yellows of early fall is heavenly to imagine. But it doesn’t have to stay in your imagination. Read on to find our best tips on how to keep your deck at its best, and learn how to decide if it’s time for a replacement deck.

How to Tell if It’s Time to Replace Your Existing Deck

At one time or another, your deck will need replacing. Depending on the quality of construction and materials, your deck may last longer–or not as long. Wood decks tend to need replacement sooner than vinyl simply because they are at risk for insect and water damage. However, all decks eventually need replacing. If you haven’t had your deck professionally inspected in the past year, you should contact your local deck experts at Harmony Decking. We will come out to inspect your deck and advise you on your best course of treatment, or let you know if it’s time to replace.

Tips and Tricks for Fall Deck Maintenance and Decoration

For decks that don’t need replacing, we’ve got some great tips to keep your deck looking great this fall.

  1. Fall Decorations: Who doesn’t love decorative gourds and carved pumpkins? Their bright colors and unique designs are fun for everyone. However, be sure to have something to place under them. Placing gourds and pumpkins directly on the deck surface can lead to damage as the gourd will rot and leak moisture over time.
  2. Leaves: It must be an unwritten law of nature that leaves will find a way to land on every surface we don’t want them to. Whether or not you have trees directly in your yard, leaves are likely to find their way to your deck. When they do, sweep them off as soon as possible. Leaf piles collect moisture. And remember, moisture can be your deck’s worst enemy.
  3. Prep Your Deck: Vinyl Decks should be hosed down to avoid stains and gunk from summer leaving permanent marks. Wood decks should be sealed frequently to remain waterproof. If you can’t remember the last time you sealed yours, it’s been too long.

Leave Worry Behind!

It’s time to see why fall is a great time to build or rebuild your deck. Contact Harmony Decking, your local decking specialists, to help design the perfect deck to fit your needs.

“Deck the Fall” with Harmony Decking

fall deck Photo by catalystbuiltMost people feel the backyard loses its luster once summer months come to an end. But here in the Northeast, fall brings more temperate weather to build, maintain, and relax in. This time of year is still perfect to enjoy the sunny days or to take in the cooler nights on your deck .

Time for Some Maintenance?

After a long, hot summer of steady use, your current deck is probably ready for a fresh coat of paint or wood stain. With cooler temperatures around the corner, it’s a great time to do some basic prep and maintenance on your deck. But if your deck needs more than a little TLC to bring it back to life or if you’re thinking of building a new deck, Harmony Decking is up for the job.

Thinking About Building?

Check out these three reasons why fall is a foolproof time to turn your dream deck into reality.

  1. Readily available crews: Due to a lower demand in the fall, crews are more readily availability at this time of year. This means consumers get their pick of the crews available. Choose a team that is capable and whose customer service is beyond reproach. At Harmony Decking, our customers consistently find that our team offers star service. One such satisfied customer is Ken from Eagleville, “We have been very satisfied with the quality of work, and their commitment to customer satisfaction.”
  2. More predictable weather: Let’s face it: Summer is primetime to enjoy the outdoors for barbecues and pool parties. But with unexpected thunderstorms and heat waves, summer is not always the friendliest when it comes to enjoying the outdoors. In September and October, temperatures and weather patterns are typically ideal for enjoying the outdoors and building outdoor structures without delays caused by weather.
  3. Less Disruptive Construction: With summertime activities wound down and fall activities, festivals, and sports taking up the calendar, fall is a great time to build simply because most people DON’T utilize their own yards as much. That means that any building you choose to do won’t limit your use of the backyard in the summer. 

Call the Deck Experts!

At Harmony Decking, our goal is to help you live in harmony with your own outdoor living space. Combined, we have over 30 years of experience. Let us help you plan your fall deck now. Call Harmony Decking at 215-290-7727 today!

How to Enjoy Your Deck at Night

how to enjoy your deck at night

Your deck is perfect for spending summer days outside. But what about summer nights? Maybe you’re lacking enough outdoor lighting to keep reading your book after the sun goes down, or maybe you find yourself constantly swatting at mosquitos.

At Harmony Decking, we want to make sure that our customers can enjoy their outdoor living spaces to the fullest, even after sunset. Fortunately, you can make some easy modifications to your deck that will allow you to maximize its enjoyment potential on those warm summer evenings. Here are some simple tips for how to enjoy your deck at night.

  • Add deck lighting. Deck lighting can be both beautiful and practical, and there are so many options that compliment the design of your deck. Add accent lights, in-deck lights, riser lights, rail lights, and cap lights to create a warm glow that will make your deck safer to navigate and provide enough light to keep the party going.
  • Keep mosquitos away. Mosquitos and other flying insects can be a real nuisance at night, and also happen to be attracted to the lighting (and the people) on your deck. Wearing bug spray 24/7 isn’t ideal. Luckily, a light wind is a very effective natural repellant, so a simple fix is to install a fan or two. If you don’t like feeling the breeze, you can try decorating your deck with potted plants that are known to repel mosquitoes (such as marigolds, catnip, and lavender). Make sure to eliminate sources of standing water, such as birdbaths, so the mosquitoes will have fewer places to lay their eggs.
  • Make it warm and cozy. Even during the summer, nights can get a little chilly. Consider having some cozy blankets stored nearby for you and your guests–look for benches and other deck furniture that contain built-in storage space. You can also consider installing a heat lamp or propane patio heater. A patio heater is an attractive addition to your deck that can also kick out some serious warmth, allowing you to enjoy your deck at night and as the weather gets cooler.

Harmony Decking is Here to Help

Summer isn’t over yet–there’s still time to make improvements to your deck while the weather is warm! At Harmony Decking, we’re ready to help you choose deck design and lighting options that will help you enjoy your deck all day long and all year round. Contact us to talk about how our experienced and friendly professionals can get the job done right.

Summer Maintenance Tips for Your Deck

deck maintenance tips

Summer is a great time to get some work done on your deck. It’s also one of the best times of year to use the deck. But before you head outside, making sure you’re taking the time to maintain your investment. Here’s a short list of deck maintenance tips to keep it in great condition for years to come:

  • Inspect your deck. Pennsylvania is subject to some extreme weather. From heavy snow to hot and humid summer days, your deck will see it all. All that moisture and sun will deteriorate your deck over time, so it’s important to fix small problems before they become major. Inspect your deck for issues like dry rot, protruding nails or loose boards. It’s not a bad idea to grab a flashlight and check or these issues underneath your deck, too.
  • Clean it up. While sweeping your deck will keep it looking nice, a thorough cleaning from time to time will go a long way. Make sure to select a cleaning product appropriate for whatever material your deck is made of. Wood and composite cleaners will not only freshen up your deck; they’ll prevent moss and mold from growing and deteriorating your deck.
  • Sand, stain, and seal the wood. While this doesn’t need to happen every year, it’s a good idea to do a little more work from time to time. Some deck-sealing products have wax additives which will cause water to bead. These are great products, but work for a shorter period of time. Staining your deck will protect the wood even after that wax has worn off. We recommend doing both.

Sometimes you can stain and seal your deck without sanding it. But if you sand your deck, make sure to stain and seal it afterwards. If you don’t, you’ll be leaving it open to the elements.

Don’t Make Maintaining Your Deck a Chore

Your deck shouldn’t be a burden. It’s your space to enjoy time with your friends and family, to cook a delicious meal, and share a few cocktails.

While some people love the ritual of preparing their deck for summer, there are probably a few readers dreading the idea of cleaning and sealing their decks.

If you need some help maintaining your deck or have questions about building a new one, give us a call or send us an email. For more tips, see our blog post about choosing the type of deck right for you!

Harmony Decking


Which Type of Deck Should you Choose?

Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone and the season for entertaining outside is officially upon us! Are you someone who likes to host a big party? Do you envision BBQs and lawn games or quiet, candlelit outdoor dinners? No matter your style, there’s a deck for you, and as the official deck experts in Montgomery County, PA, we’ll help you find it!

Here are our favorite styles of decks to lounge, play and entertain:

Classic Deck.

A traditional or classic deck is perfect for relaxing with the family, chatting with friends in the summer or lounging with a good book. This style is hallmarked by wicker or teak wood and warm, comfortable cushions—usually striped, floral or traditional colors. There’s something nostalgic about this style; choose this classic look for ultimate comfort.

Contemporary Deck.

Feel like your backyard should make a statement? You’ll want this contemporary deck with all of its modern furniture, bright color combinations and interesting, geometric shapes. We love all of the options out there for materials and decor: plastic, aluminum, low-luster metals, etc. We also love to see how our clients combine them! Don’t forget that lighting can play a big part in giving your deck a contemporary feel, and so can adding trendy succulents or greenery!

Rustic Chic Deck.

A deck with a vintage country vibe is the perfect place to gather with friends for a 5-star home-cooked meal. Repurpose containers for potted plants and grab an eclectic mix of seating and you’re halfway to a beautifully rustic-looking deck. For the furniture, we recommend aged or refurbished woods or metals mixed with soft vintage colors and the occasional bright bold ones. Add whimsy wherever possible!

Nautical Deck.

This one is a no-brainer if you’re decorating a deck for your beach, lake or pool house! It’s also one of the easiest styles to pull off. Pale blues and yellows mixed with off-white will go swimmingly with beach-themed decor like rope, shells, driftwood, and corals. In fact, there’s so much possibility with this look, your biggest challenge will be not to overdo it! 

Deck Maintenance 101: the Spring Cleaning Edition

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home and garage.  It’s a great time to spruce up your deck, not only to get it ready for warm-weather festivities, but to ensure it’s in top condition and well maintained.  This month, we’ll discuss spring deck maintenance tips, as well as a few cool ideas to bring some new life to your outdoor space!

Spring Deck Maintenance Tips

  • Remove objects.  You should have cleared off any furniture, plant pots, grills, etc. before winter.  If you did, great!  If not, do so now.
  • Clear debris.  Once your deck is clear of all objects, it’s time to clean it well.  First, sweep away any debris like leaves and twigs.  These not only look messy, but can leave unsightly stains if left too long.  
  • Wash.  Now that you have a clear surface free of debris, it’s time to wash the surface.  If you have a pressure washer, use it.  If not, the hose and an outdoor broom should do the trick.  When using a pressure washer, be sure to keep the water stream moving so as not to accidentally gouge the wood.  Allow the deck to dry thoroughly overnight.
  • Fix loose nails or “nail pops.”  If you notice a loose board, use a hammer or cat’s paw to pry out the nail.  Then, use a screw that’s longer than the nail to reattach the board.  
  • Repair split wood.  If you have one or two boards that are split down the middle, you can consider repairing them yourself.  If there are multiple split boards, however, we suggest you call us to help with the repair.  
  • Stain and seal.  Even if you have pressure-treated wood, it’s still susceptible to UV damage from the sun, and decay after years of use. Best practice is to stain and seal your wood as needed to extend its life, and keep it looking beautiful for years to come.

Bring Spring Cheer to Your Clean Deck!

  • Add a splash of color.  Accent walls aren’t just for home interiors.  Consider painting part of your deck or a side wall a beautiful color.  
  • Functional furniture.  Do you enjoy spending time having meals or just hanging with friends and family on the deck?  Try adding some comfortable seating and a table.  You’ll transform your deck into a beautiful outdoor living space.
  • Plants.  Potted plants, hanging plants, even a raised box garden are fabulous ways to spruce up your garden for spring.  In addition to flowers, you can even grow some vegetables like tomatoes and peppers!

Harmony Decking

532 Cornell Drive, Warrington, PA 18976

Phone: 215-290-7727

Deck Types and Options For Your Dream Deck

ground floor deck no railing

You’ve decided to build a deck, and now you need to get ideas for how to design it. In theory, a deck can be almost any shape. You’ll want to consider factors like how you plan to use your deck, the terrain of your property, layout of your home, and your budget. In practice, these are the constraints within which you must work to create the deck of your dreams. We’ve compiled a list of standard deck layouts to get you started thinking.  

Deck Types and Options

Ground level decks – These are simple deck structures, usually placed on flat ground (though sometimes they can be put on a slope).  They often don’t require any railing, and make a great breakfast space, entryway, outdoor mudroom, or patio.

Raised decks – This is the most common type of deck, usually placed the first or on first or second level of the home.  In many cases, raised decks offer outdoor access to upper level rooms.  Raised decks always require a railing.

Multi-level decks – Multi-level decks allow you to work around landscape obstacles such as slopes, unsuitable terrain, etc.  You can also create separate spaces for different purposes.  For example, a multi-level deck off of a kitchen can have a grill and dining area, and a separate seating area below–perfect for entertaining!  You can even descend a hill in stages for different views.  Multi-level decks are more complex to design and construct.

Wraparound decks – These are a popular option.  They offer two or more entrances to the home, and shade and sun different times of day.  Wraparound decks are also great for entertaining both large and small gatherings on the same space.

Multiple decks – Creating more than one deck allows you to work around uneven terrain, and/or create a totally unique design. In many cases, a few small decks are often easier and less expensive to build than one large one.

Start Designing Your Dream Deck with Harmony Decking

Harmony Decking makes it easy to build a quality deck for your home.  We will help you through the entire process, and alleviate the stress that comes with making a home addition.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.  You’re only one phone call away from building the deck you’ve always dreamed!

Harmony Decking

532 Cornell Drive, Warrington, PA 18976

Phone: 215-290-7727