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

how to remove snow from wooden deck

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. Safe Paw 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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Best Way To Remove Snow From A Wooden Deck

Here are a few ways:

1. Snow Shovel for Wood Deck: Invest in a snow shovel specifically designed for wood decks. These shovels usually have a plastic blade or a rubberized edge, reducing the risk of scratches and damage to your deck’s surface. Avoid using metal shovels, as they can gouge and scratch the wood.

2. Clear Snow Promptly: The key to protecting your wooden deck is to remove snow promptly. The longer snow sits on your deck, the more moisture it can trap against the wood, increasing the risk of damage. Clearing the snow as soon as possible minimizes this risk.

3. Use Safe Paw for Deck Snow Removal: Consider using an eco-friendly ice melt like Safe Paw. It’s non-toxic, chemical-free, and specifically designed to be safe for concrete, pets, and the planet. Unlike traditional salt-based ice melts, Safe Paw won’t harm your wooden deck. Simply sprinkle it lightly on the snow-covered deck to facilitate easier removal.

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Protect Your Wood Deck and Steps from Ice

1. Apply a Deck Sealant: Before the winter season begins, it’s a good idea to apply a deck sealant to protect the wood from moisture and ice. This sealant creates a barrier that prevents water and ice from penetrating the wood, reducing the risk of damage.

2. Use Non-Slip Mats: Place non-slip mats or rugs on your deck steps and high-traffic areas. These provide traction and help prevent slips and falls on icy surfaces.

3. Regularly Remove Snow: As mentioned earlier, prompt snow removal is crucial for deck protection. The less snow accumulates, the less opportunity there is for ice to form.

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. Safe Paw lowers the freezing temperature of the water. The Safe Paw is an ice melt safe for pets and the environment.

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A. Yes, salt-based ice melts can damage wood. The sodium in salt can penetrate the wood’s surface, causing it to dry out and become brittle. This can lead to cracks and splinters, compromising the integrity of your wooden deck.

A. It’s not recommended to use regular rock salt on wooden decks, as it can damage the wood.

A. No, Safe Paw is non-toxic and safe for pets, so you can enjoy a worry-free winter with your furry friends.

A. Yes, Safe Paw is safe for concrete, making it a versatile and reliable choice for all your winter needs.

A. Store Safe Paw in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture to maintain its effectiveness.

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