During winter of heavy snow, you might be asking yourself, ‘What’s the best way to care for your composite decking?’ You can use the following to safely remove the snow from your composite decking:
- leaf blower
- snow broom
Which solution is likely to depend on the amount of snowfall. Like the rest of your property, it’s essential to maintain your composite decking, especially when snow begins to fall thick and fast. Here’s everything you need to know about removing snow from your composite decking.
The Best Time to Remove Snow from Composite Decking
Removing snow from your deck is essential to make sure it stays in good condition. Everybody’s deck is different, so it can be tricky to know when the best time is to sweep away any snowfall. Presuming your composite decking is structurally sound and relatively new, the chances are it can withstand up to three feet worth of snow. While your composite decking can hold up against quite a lot of snow, it’s important that you remove any snow well before it gets nearly three-feet deep.
For example, if you’re standing on your deck when cleaning it, you’ll add a significant amount of weight to the boards, which could cause your deck to cave in or collapse. Considering these factors, you’ll want to clear snow off your composite decking when the snow is less than half a foot deep. This way, you can avoid damage caused by leaving the snow to accumulate for long periods and make sure your deck doesn’t collapse under the weight of heavy snowfall.
Ways to Remove Snow from Composite Decking
There are a handful of different methods you can use to safely remove snow from your composite decking. Which method is right is likely to depend on the equipment you already own and the amount of snowfall.
A leaf blower is a common household tool and a handy way to remove light, fluffy snow from your composite decking. Using a leaf blower is ideal, as you won’t risk damaging your decking while removing light coverings of snow, like some other options.
A leaf blower is undoubtedly a better choice than a snowblower, as a snowblower’s sharp blades could easily scratch up your decking. However, a leaf blower is ineffective on dense layers of snow, so if there’s a substantial build-up, you’re better off using a different method.
A plastic shovel is an excellent way to get rid of dense layers of snow, with minimal fuss. Obviously, a plastic shovel is weaker than a metal one, so try to shovel smaller amounts; otherwise, it may snap under the snow’s weight. You shouldn’t use a metal shovel on your composite decking as you risk striking the ground and denting or chipping your composite decking, which could put you out of pocket.
A snow broom is another superb method of removing snow from your deck. Snow brooms feature plastic bristles, which ensure you can sweep away light coverings of snow, without the risk of scratching up your floor. As you’d imagine, snow brooms are not ideal for getting rid of dense snow, so you’re best looking at other options if you’ve got a foot of snow to clear.
A rake can come in quite useful if you’re short on tools and are looking for a way to break up large, dense clumps of snow and ice. Similar to a shovel, you’ll want to avoid using this close to floor, as it will damage your decking if you accidentally strike it. While great for breaking up clumps, a rake is not ideal for sweeping away snow and is best in conjunction with another tool.
A clever way of avoiding snow from settling altogether is with heat mats. If you plan ahead and place snow mats down on your deck before a blizzard hits, they’ll melt away any snowfall, leaving your composite decking snow-free. Most heat mats melt snow at a rate of two inches per hour, meaning they can deal with most snowstorms with little effort.
Calcium Chloride Solution
Calcium chloride rock salt is a great way of melting snow and stopping it from settling. Calcium chloride solutions are much safer than using sand and traditional rock salt, as these will leave marks across your deck, spoiling the finish. Regardless, we recommend you wash way any calcium chloride after use, just to be on the safe side.
Benefits of Removing Snow from Composite Decking
There are plenty of potential benefits to clearing snow off your composite decking. While composite decks are reasonably sturdy, any intense blizzard that dumps a lot of snow on your property poses a threat to your deck. As mentioned, if a few feet of snow is allowed to build-up on any deck, it could damage its structural integrity and even cause it to collapse or cave in.
Depending on whether you have a waterproof deck or not, snow could also cause some unseen damage. Any wooden decking which sits under snow for an extended period will soak up a lot of moisture, which will cause mildew to grow, and rot to set in. This rot will destroy your wooden deck, and you’ll have to replace large sections of the flooring, which could cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.