Should You Use Salt to Remove Snow and Ice?

The United States is has finally fallen into winter’s frosty grip. While many are jumping for joy with the arrival of winter precipitation, others are dreading shoveling snow off their driveways and decks. We get how annoying it can be to shovel snow every morning. We understand that sometimes you just want to use salt and get it over with. But before you go out and buy salt by the pound, be mindful of the effects it can have on your deck.

Using rock salt to deice your deck will create problems that range from board damage to serious fastener failures. Rock salt is sodium chloride, which acts as a sponge removing moisture from everything it touches. Once the ice melts, the salt molecules remain in the water and continue to draw moisture from your deck boards. Your boards will crack, allowing ice crystals to get inside and form bigger cracks.

A more serious side effect of salt is the weakening of deck fasteners. Sodium chloride is a highly corrosive chemical to metals. If your joist fasteners corrode, they will fail and cause your deck’s substructure to collapse. This may be no more than a hassle if your deck is a few inches off the ground, but if it’s 10 feet in the air, fatalities can occur.

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The best advice is to look for a salt-free deicer that’s pet friendly. These use chemicals that won’t damage plants, your pet’s paws, or your deck. It’s always important to pay attention to what you use on your deck. Although the easy way out is tempting, it’s definitely not the correct way.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below or call one of our experts at 1-877-232-3915

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