How to remove ice and snow off your composite deck?
Winter is upon us, and so is that white nuisance we call snow that falls from the sky. By now you may already have a pile stacking up on your deck, and it’s time to clear it off. What are the best ways to do so? You don’t want to damage your composite deck, so you want to make sure you take the right precautions. Here are some helpful tips to get you through the winter months, without causing damage to your new composite decking.
Shoveling My Composite Deck.
Before reaching for the shovel, if your deck only has a little snow that’s light and fluffy, you may be able to use a push broom to just broom off the snow. With a broom, you know you won’t risk any damage to your decking. Another zero-risk option that works extremely well is a leaf blower. With a light snow up to a couple inches, a leaf blower works great for removing snow at a fast rate.
When you have enough snow that a push broom or leaf blower won’t cut it, the first thing you’ll need to do (if you don’t already own one) is purchase a plastic snow shovel. One with no metal blade on the end that can scratch your decking. I prefer a plastic or poly grain scoop type shovel. They are easily found at your local big box stores, farm and feed stores, and online. They also, unlike many plastic snow shovels, don’t have the metal blade on the bottom.
When shoveling you want to make sure you shovel with the decking. This ensures you won’t accidently catch your shovel between one of the gaps between the decking. Depending on how much snow you have, you can either push the snow or scoop, just like you would on your driveway. Just remember, shovel lengthwise with your decking.
Using A Snowblower On My Composite Deck.
I personally do not necessarily recommend using a snow blower on your deck. You can do so, but do at your own risk. Here are some tips to prevent damage when using a snowblower to clear the snow off your composite decking. You only want to use a single stage blower on your deck. This is the blowers with the rubber paddles that spin at a high rate to collect and throw the snow. This type of snowblower is available in both electric or gas, and many homeowners already have one sitting in their garage.
To successfully use a snowblower on your composite deck, you want to take the same approach as you would with shoveling. Run the blower lengthwise down your deck. Be careful not to catch the plastic blade on the bottom of your snowblower on the edges of your decking.
The reason I don’t recommend using a snowblower on your deck isn’t due to the blower itself causing damage. I have seen deck boards damaged accidently from the snowblower paddles taking in a rock or other piece of debris and scratching the deck at a high rate of speed. This can potentially do quite a bit of damage to your composite deck boards very quickly.
What Ice Melt To Use On My Composite Decking?
Ice melt on your composite decking has some mixed feelings among decking contractors. I am a believer that I’d rather keep my family safe, and use ice melt when needed. If no one uses your deck in the winter months, I simply wouldn’t worry about it. Your deck will thaw on its own from the suns natural light as the temperatures increase. If you are someone who uses your deck as a way to access your backyard, maybe letting the dogs out, going to grill, or playing with your kids, by all means, use ice melt when your deck is unsafe. When using ice melt, make sure the ice melt is safe for your deck. Below are a few recommendations for deicing your deck.
You need to be careful what products you’re putting down on your composite deck. Before purchasing ice melt for your deck look for products that are pet, vegetation, and concrete safe. Decking manufactures also recommend using a calcium chloride-based ice melt without any coloring or dyes. Most manufacturers have products they recommend on their websites. Each manufacturers’ recommendations vary a little, so we recommend finding out exactly what your specific decking manufacturer suggests. Avoid using any sand or other products with any rocks or fillers on your composite decking to prevent damage.
After the season is over, rinse your decking with your garden hose to remove any excess ice melt and debris from the winter months.