Preparing your home for winter

Preparing your home for winter ensures that your deck, windows and retractable screen systems will look great come spring! Unfortunately, seasonal changes can do a great deal of damage to your deck. Before temperatures drop to freezing and snow rests upon your deck, there are a few ways you can protect your space. Here’s how:

Get it clean

You should begin by removing your patio furniture and plants to give the deck a thorough sweep. Any mold, mildew, dirt or other stains discovered in the process should be removed with formulated deck cleaner. You can spray on this bleach-free cleaner and work it into the wood with a gentle scrub brush. Of course, always pay special attention to the areas with the most grime!

Additionally, make sure you’ve put up your retractable screen systems so you can access the areas of the porch that fall beneath the screens. You may not have as much dirt if your deck is screened in, however you should still double check when cleaning. Moisture from potted plants may have seeped into the wood and furniture blocks sections from sun bleaching. A good cleaning will help prepare your deck for a more even finish.

Seal it up

Ice, snow and sleet are all moisture traps that can harm the look of your deck. They will penetrate unprotected surfaces- cracking, splinting and warping the wood. Thankfully, you can add a good protective finish or seal to keep water out! In order to combine staining with sealing, pick a premium stain that protects against moisture. These are available in a range of colors to ensure your deck gets the new look you want. To evenly distribute the stain, run a padded brush over the wood and give the deck time to dry. This will guarantee an amazing new look for the spring time!


Retractable screen systems expand the space you live in by adding outdoor rooms. However, because these screens are exposed to outdoor elements, they can get dirty. We suggest that you deep clean your screens at least a couple times a year. A clean screen is important to maintain proper airflow and visibility. To get started, fully open your screens and run a vacuum hose with a soft brush attachment over them. However, be sure to go slowly and be gentle with the mesh! If the vacuum doesn’t get the screen perfectly clean, you can use water. Spray down the screen with water and a mild detergent, then wipe it off with a sponge. Do not scrub the screen with a brush, especially if the brush has hard bristles!

Guides and slides

The screen tracks can quite often build up dust and debris. Run a brush inside the guide to loosen dirt, then vacuum it away. If the screen sticks when sliding, you should apply silicone spray to the cleaned tracks. Do not use lubricants, as these products can damage the screen. To be 100-percent sure the product you use is safe for your screen, contact your Phantom Screens representative and ask for a branded spray.


Windows should also be thoroughly cleaned at least twice a year. For the best results, you’ll need a few tools. With a cloth squeegee head, apply the cleaning solution. Dip the cloth in soapy water and coat the entire window. This will remove dirt and grime from the glass without running the risk of scratching it. Warm water and lots of suds help! Finally, remove the cloth head and drag the squeegee over the window. Wipe away any access water with a dry microfiber cloth. These cloths are key to preventing the formation of streaks!

By cleaning your deck, screens and windows before winter, you are ensuring an easy spring.