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Winter Deck Care

posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 in Blog

With the ice and snow accumulation over the last couple of weeks, many people reach out to us with questions regarding the necessity and the process to clean the snow/ice off their deck space. As far as necessity, if your ledger board was installed properly and everything is sealed up the way it should be, more than likely you will be fine. However, we do recommend as a best practice to keep the snow off your deck for a few reasons (none being that the product itself will incur any type of decay or rot due to snow or ice).

1. The patio door is an emergency exit and in cases of fire or needed escape, the area should be free of potential slip or other egress hazards.

2. Large snow accumulation around ledger boards (the board attached to the house that in some cases bears half the load of the deck) can cause issues. If your deck hasn’t been properly installed and flashed, when the snow melts it can cause rot and damage inside the house.

3. If snow builds up on your sliding door threshold, it can block weep holes and even have water seep into your subfloor potentially causing rot and discoloration.

4. While it may take a lot of snow (depending on the moisture content, this can be around 30 inches) to potentially start putting stress on your deck. If the deck was designed with minimum required loading (or even just done by a homeowner or inexperienced contractor without any engineering), large amounts of snow can cause stress to the substructure and in extreme cause collapse.

One of the advantages of having a composite deck or PVC deck over a wood deck is that you can use calcium chloride to remove ice. The fasteners we use are stainless steel and any steel framing members or metal railings are powder coated protecting the metal surfaces from damage from the “ice melt” application. In wood decks, the application can be harmful to the wood and to the fasteners used. In many cases, the “ice melt” will cause corrosion.

The products you can use to clean the snow and ice off your deck:
Trex, Zuri, Timbertech, and Azek decks:

  • Most products containing calcium chloride may be used to prevent ice without causing any damage to your surface. If using a shovel, please use a plastic shovel without any metal leading edges.
    • In the Spring, your deck may have a white haze on it from the residue of the sodium chloride. This can be removed with simple soap and water.

With lighter snows, we recommend the use of a simple shop broom or leaf blower to clean your deck off. If the sun is out, the thin layer of ice left on your decking should melt with the heat.

*For full product cleaning and care brochures, please contact us on our website and we will be more than happy to provide you with complete instructions.  

Demir Miljkovic



Better Builders

2767 86th Street

Urbandale, IA 50322

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