The Winter season can bombard your deck with high levels of moisture from rain, snow, and ice. When that happens, do you know the best way to remove snow and ice from your deck? By using improper methods, you can cause damage to the surface of your deck.
Getting ahead of the winter season
Homeowners want to make sure their decks are safe to use after heavy snow and ice storms. They want to be able to remove ice to safely walk on their decks and shovel the weight of snow to prevent cracks that can form from extended exposure to moisture. Snow and ice are also heavy on a deck and the weight of snow and ice could cause a deck to collapse if a deck has not been properly maintained.
To check the basic fitness of your deck, read the North American Deck and Railing Association's Deck Safety Checklist or have an inspection done prior to the winter season.
Best practices for removing snow and ice from your deck
Because snow and ice are safety hazards, it's essential that you remove snow and ice from heavy traffic areas on your deck even if you have used a high-quality waterproof sealant. So, what is the best way to do so without destroying the beauty of your deck?
- Don’t use a metal shovel. By using a metal shovel, you can scratch and dent your deck. Instead, use a plastic or rubber shovel. If you don’t have a plastic or rubber shovel when shoveling, leave a thin layer of snow on the deck that can be swept off later with a broom.
- Shovel parallel to your deck boards. Shoveling across deck boards increase the risk of catching the sides of deck boards and damaging the surface.
- Don’t break ice up on your deck. Banging on the ice can leave indentations on your deck.
- Research what ice melt product will work best for your deck. Make sure that the ice melt products that you buy are safe for wood decking. If you have fur babies that have to walk across the deck in the winter make sure you purchase a product safe for them. If you choose a salt-based product, be sure to rinse the excess away once the ice melts to prevent damage to fasteners and hardware.
- Don’t use sand as an alternative to prevent slipping as sand is abrasive and can cause scratches on your deck.
By following these best practices, you will extend the life of your deck for years to come.
If your deck is built with pressure treated wood impregnated with a high-quality water-resistant stabilizer, that will help protect it from the harsh winter weather. Ecolife treated wood provides a built-in water repellent that lasts for up to three years and reduces surface cracking and checking by up to 50% compared to ordinary treated wood. If you need to replace wood on your deck, use Ecolife for the added value it provides.
For more information on how to preserve the beauty of your wood deck, follow us on Facebook and check out our cleaning and maintenance tips at this link.
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Edie Kello, Director of Marketing