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The Dos And Don’t Of Clearing Your Wooden Deck Of Snow

Wood Deck Deicer

Having a wooden deck is both enjoyable and inconvenient. In the summer, you can enjoy the warmth of the snow on the deck. When winter arrives, improper maintenance can turn it into a costly investment. If your deck is not sealed, you must do so as soon as possible. The wood swells as the melting snow and ice seep into it. The sun then heats it, causing it to shrink. After a certain number of rounds, the wood will split, crack, and warp, making it dangerous.

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  • Use a pressure washer, rubber, or plastic shovel to remove the snow and ice with as little damage to the wood as possible.
  • Scrape the snow off sideways rather than lengthwise with a shovel. Going the length of the board rather than the width makes it easier to catch the shovel on a corner.
  • Clear the snow from your driveway to provide an exit path from your home. For safety, you should always have two separate exit paths from your home. Building codes demand two. If clearing the second exit path necessitates shoveling some of your deck, then go ahead and do so. However, you only need to clear a 3-foot-wide path than the entire deck by shoveling. Pay special attention to the stairwell.

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  • Use a wooden shovel instead of a metal one, and avoid using sand. Both of these have the potential to scratch the wood. Salt should be avoided. Due to its corrosive properties on the hardware, it can harm the deck. SafePaw is a non-toxic ice melt safe for pets that you can use. Any product that contains a colorant can stain your deck, so stay away from them.
  • To keep your deck from collapsing, don’t shovel it. Building codes require decks to support more snow than most roofs. The weight of snow is unlikely to cause a properly constructed deck to collapse.
  • To protect the wood on your deck, don’t shovel it. Water and snow aren’t nearly as damaging to wooden decks as some people believe. Many experts in the south recommend using water on hot days to cool wooden decks. 
  • Snow from a roof should not be dumped on your deck. Several feet of heavy, compact roof snow thrown on an already snow-covered deck should be avoided.

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Final Words

You will need a shovel if the snow is heavier than four inches. Use a shovel made of plastic or rubber with a plastic or rubber blade. Your deck can easily be scratched or gouged with a metal blade. If your deck flooring is cedar or redwood, be extra careful; these are softwoods that are easily damaged.

Even with a plastic shovel, never chop ice on your deck. You’ll almost certainly chop your deck as well. Instead, use chemicals to melt the ice. Instead of using muscle power, use chemical power. SafePaw lowers the freezing temperature of the water. The SafePaw is an ice melt safe for pets and the environment.

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