When it snows, should you shovel your deck? Well, that depends. If your deck is newly built and sturdy, it can withstand even the heaviest snowfall with no danger to its stability. So, you don’t need to shovel your deck. But might you want to? Certainly. Keep reading to learn why, and some tips for doing it safely.
For Light Snow
For light snow, consider using a push broom to just push the snow off of your deck. You could also use a leaf blower. Or, you can let the sun do the rest. You may want to clear your deck of light snow if it starts to thaw and then will refreeze overnight. If you don’t clear it, you’ll be stuck with an icy mess.
For More Than 3” of Snow
With heavier snow, you may want to shovel it off your deck and stairs to give your dog, your children, and you access to your deck and yard. With very heavy snow, you may just begin by shoveling a pathway to the yard. Then do a pathway to the grill or fire pit. You can shovel more as time allows.
Be sure to use a plastic shovel and not a metal one, as the metal edge could gouge or scar your deck. Shovel parallel with the planks to avoid catching the edge of a deck board and causing damage. And don’t ever use an ice chipper on your deck – not even a plastic one. They can cause permanent damage.
For Melting Ice
That so-called “wintry mix” or freezing rain can make your deck a slippery, dangerous mess. You can use a calcium-chloride ice melt product to scatter on your deck and the stairs. The stairs are especially important if you let your dog out onto the deck or let your kids play on the deck and in the backyard.
Look for a dye-free product marked safe for children/pets and safe for concrete. Avoid an abrasive product such as sand, because the gritty texture can damage your deck. When all the ice is melted, sweep up the remaining granules and dispose of them. This way, no one tracks them into your home.
Enjoy Your Deck in Winter
By clearing your deck of snow and ice, you make it easier for you and your family to enjoy your deck. By using a portable heater or fire pit or fire table, you can warm the area. Think about having some hot cocoa and enjoying the sunshine glinting on the snow, because it won’t be long before it’s gone!
Dream It. Build It. Live It.
We hope these tips have been helpful. If you’re thinking about upgrading your landscape design or adding a new deck, patio, or outdoor kitchen, we can help. Our design team will work closely with you to turn your dreams into reality.
We are now setting design consultation appointments for spring installation. Check out our Portfolio for examples of our work, and to get inspired. We work with homeowners throughout the Capital Region, including Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.