If you’re wondering whether or not shoveling a deck will cause damage, you’re not alone. Just performing a quick Google search reveals that not only do many people ask this same question, but there’s various opinions on which answer is correct.
Depending on the type of decking material you have, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to shovel snow off your deck. If you own a wooden deck, be sure you’re using a water-resistant sealant to keep it protected against the outdoor elements like snow, ice, or rain. If you own a composite or maintenance free deck, these decking materials are designed to withstand rain and snow, so you won’t need to worry about the accumulation of snow residing there all winter. However, you’ll want to shovel snow off your deck for one of two reasons: (1) you need to create a safe passage way for travel and (2) the snow accumulation is higher than your deck railings.
If you do decide to shovel your deck during the winter, here are some tips on how to avoid damaging your deck in the process:
- Always use a plastic shovel, as metal shovels can scrape the wood and leave cracks for moisture to seep in and cause water damage.
- As mentioned in a previous post, remember to remove all deck furniture and rugs from your outdoor space, as this leaves your deck vulnerable to water spots and rusting.
- Resist the urge to break ice on your decking materials. You may think a quick smack of a shovel will break the ice, but the pressure can crack the boards as well.
- Remove any icicles hanging above your deck. Just has breaking ice on your deck’s surface can damage its materials, sharper icicles hanging above can also break and scrape your wooden deck if they were to fall.
- When shoveling, remember to move in a parallel direction of your boards. You don’t want to shovel across the deck’s surface, as this movement can cause the shovel to catch within the dips of the boards and create splinters or other damage. This also allows you to perform a swift series of movements in one direction without friction.
Winter will be here sooner than later, so remember these tips the next time you’re considering shoveling a deck. For more tips on maintaining your deck during winter or if you’re planning on building a deck next spring, contact UglyDeck.com today!