The battle of snowfalls, frigid temperatures and ice storms continue throughout Brantford and surrounding areas and it’s more important than ever to prepare your composite deck before the storm hits to prevent damage and maintain the integrity of your outdoor space. Assuming your deck is structurally sound, it should be able to handle the weight of about three feet of snow but you need to know the best practices for snow and ice removal, keeping in mind that safety is our first and foremost priority.

The basics of snow and ice removal

If there is only a light dusting of snow, one of the easiest ways to clear your deck is actually with a leaf blower. Never use metal shovels or sharp-edge tools when removing snow or ice from your composite or PVC deck. Even the most resilient boards could be scratched or gouged. Plastic shovels or plastic/nylon bristled deck brooms should be used to easily remove snow from the deck and will limit the risk of scratches to your deck’s surface.

When clearing snow, always shovel in a path parallel to the deck boards, not perpendicular. Removing snow crossways greatly increases the potential that you will catch the edge of composite board and cause damage.

Discover the safest option for melting ice

When deciding the best means for making your deck less slippery, choose calcium chloride-based “ice melt” or rock salt to remove snow and ice from your composite decking. Ice melt is the ideal choice, since sand is naturally abrasive and could easily damage the surface of the deck boards. Look for phrases such as “safe for concrete”, “safe for flagstone”, and “will not kill grass” in the ice melt product description.

If you have children or pets that frequent your deck throughout the winter, ensure your chosen product is safe for them as well. Avoid any ice melting products with added colorant to avoid staining your composite or PVC deck.

Cleaning up ice melt debris

When the threat of inclement weather has passed, use a broom to sweep up any existing granular pieces and discard the ice melt. This will prevent people and pets from unintentionally tracking in the ice melt that could damage your indoor flooring.

If there is any remaining buildup of ice melt, it can be removed with water and a light scrubbing using a non-metal deck brush. Once warmer weather hits we suggest rinsing your deck with a garden hose to get rid of any stubborn, leftover debris.

Keep your deck in tip top shape year after year. If you do ever experience damage to your deck or if you want more tips on how to maintain your composite deck during the winter months call the experts at Frontier Decking and Fencing.