As a deck owner, it is very imperative to look for ways of taking good care of your composite or wood decking material, the same way you would look after any expensive item that you have. When it comes to snow and ice, your deck is designed to withstand more weight as compared to your roof. Besides that, getting rid of any snow from the deck is considered as a great safety measure. These tips can help you prevent destruction to your organic or synthetic decking material when you are removing the ice.
Prepare Your Deck Before The Snow Begins
As a homeowner, there are several moves that you can make to ensure that you have a well-protected deck. One of these moves is to take a safeguarding step way before it starts to snow. The first measure you need to undertake is to clear away all the potted plants that are on your deck. Once you have done that, it would also be very important to use a water-resistant tarp for covering the furniture.
Use a soft brush and soapy, warm water to get rid of the mold, the leaves, and another kind of debris that can deteriorate the surface of your deck. To protect your deck further from too much moisture, use a high-quality seal that can also resist water.
Use The Correct Shovel
When removing ice or snow from the deck, a plastic shovel is the best tool to use. Metal shovels and a number other sharp tools can bring a lot of destruction. Cedar or redwood are some of the softwoods that are very assailable, but even the most durable composite decking products are not totally resistant to scratching.
You should go with the wood’s grain as you shovel the deck. It is also better to shovel parallel to the boards of the deck as opposed to doing it across. This way, you less likely to sustain scratches and other associated damages to the wood.
Use A Broom
Whenever possible, such as, and especially when snowfall is considerably light you should use a broom to clear snow from your deck. Your deck’s surface cannot be damaged or scraped by the soft bristles of a broom.
Do Not Use Salt
Some people have used salt for the purposes of cleaning a deck not knowing the damages that the action might bring. The first thing that salt can do to a wood is to dry it out. Its damage even extends further as it can affect other things like joist hangers, screws and nails that are used to join the wood. Salt can cause all these components to corrode. When this occurs, you will end up having a very unstable deck, which can lead to very dangerous scenarios.
Sand, Gravel, & Rocks
Gravel, rocks, and sand can also cause a great amount of damage to your deck. These materials are capable of grinding onto the composite or wood material and bringing serious destruction to the surface of the deck. Therefore, you should avoid them at all costs.
Steer Clear Of Dyes And Colorants
Many homeowners opt to use a form of ice melt rather than salt. While these are often safer options for pets and children, many products contain dyes or colorants. Be careful if you chose to use this product on your deck, as these dyes can stain composite or wood decking in some cases.
Leave A Layer
There are so many reasons why it is important to get rid of the snow from your deck. One of these reasons is to ensure that the weight which it is supporting is lowered. If that, by any chance, is your reason for shoveling, then it is equally important to leave a few inches behind. This will prevent you from scraping the wood. Although it is recommended to use plastic, and rubber blade shovel, you should always remember that any shovel, without considering its material, could scratch the wood.
By initiating these simple precautions, you can rest assured that your deck will be safe from damage during snowstorms and ready for use again in the spring.