Tag Archives: Winter Deck Maintenance

3 Easy Steps To Maintain Your Deck in Fall

Fall has arrived and winter is knocking at the door. A lot of times we shut the doors and focus on what are we going to do in order to stay warm and cozy and don’t even think about our outdoor spaces.

Believe it or not, this time is very crucial in the maintenance of your deck especially if you want it to continue looking beautiful for those warmer spring and summer months. It’s pivotal that you sweep off dead leaves and wash down your deck from time to time. Leaves that are left on the deck can wind up in between each deck board. This can then continue to accumulate and develop into a serious drainage problem when the snow begins to pile on or the rain starts to pour. How bad of a drainage problem? Water can begin to collect on the surface of the board, and with nowhere to go, can lead to the cupping and warping of your deck boards.
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Don’t Use Rock Salt on a Deck

winter deck maintenance

Removing snow off a deck should be done with care.

I’ve written about this before, but given the fact that winter’s in full force, it bears repeating:

Don’t use rock salt on a deck!

There is a line from a Percy Shelly poem that says “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” As eloquent as that sounds, you can apply it to winter deck maintenance.

If, after it snows, you use rock salt on your deck, you will end up with a splotchy looking, or cracked decking. These problems will become evident in the warmer months of Spring.

For people who live in areas like New York City, using rock salt is a necessary evil. People need to get to work, kids need to get to school, and roads need to be cleared. However, if you ask the people who drive through those city streets in the Spring and you’ll learn about the damage rock salt does to concrete (massive potholes anyone?).

Instead, take the time to shovel snow off your deck with care. If you are not physically able to remove the snow, you can try a pet-safe, urea-free, and salt-free product. There are brands out there that say they’re safe, but you want to be sure they won’t discolor, or do other damage to your deck.

Hopefully, you’ll find the information linked above useful. If you have any suggestions, tips and tricks you’d like to share about winter deck maintenance, write to us below.

Deck Maintenance: How to Shovel Snow off a Deck

It might seem like removing snow off of a deck is a simple task. Take your snow shovel and put your back into it, right!? Just one look at this picture should tell you right away that it’s not that simple.

deck maintenance, shoveling snow
Shoveling snow off your deck will increase its lifepan. Learn how to do it right!

In fact, you can’t just use any ole’ shovel. You also can’t take a shortcut and use rock salt on your deck…that’s a recipe for disaster, no matter what kind of decking you have! You also might not want to let this much snow just sit on top of your deck and melt on its own. This begs the question…

What’s the best way to shovel snow off of a deck?

Think of it this way, shoveling snow on a deck is a lot like the first rule of shaving, “Go WITH the grain, not AGAINST it!” Using a plastic, or rubber-tipped shovel with rounded corners, gently shovel the length of each deck board. If you shovel across, you will scratch, or dent the decking. While you might be able to live with a mistake like that in winter, come Spring and Summer you will regret not taking your time to be careful.

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Decking Maintenance – How to Winterize a Deck

Preparing A Hardwood Deck for the Winter

Fall is here and many people are starting to prepare their deck for the Winter months. What do you need to do to ensure your garden deck stays healthy?

How to Winterize a Hardwood Deck

Learn the best way to keep your deck healthy during winter.

Keep Gaps Clear of Debris

Leaving your deck dirty and covered with debris over the winter months is a recipe for disaster. If you allow the gap spacing between your deck boards to get plugged up with debris, you won’t just have a lot to clean up come springtime. You might also be looking at a warped deck due to excess moisture being trapped underneath your deck. Proper ventilation will also ensure that mold and decay don’t rear their ugly head. Keep your deck boards looking good by sweeping away dirt, leaves, pine needles or any branches.

Got mold? Use these tips to eliminate mold from your hardwood deck before winter.

Just ask any homeowner who owns a deck how hard it is to get rid mold watch their face get red with frustration. Mold (aka mildew, aka the bane of composite deck owners everywhere) needs to be dealt with as soon as you see it. Mold can grow and prosper during the months when your deck is being used the least. Mold feasts on moisture so snow and melting ice might as well be a t-bone steak with all the fixin’s to mold.

How to get rid of mold on hardwood decking: Continue reading

Ipe Decking Maintenance – How to Remove Ice & Snow from a Wood Deck

winter deck maintenance
Leaving potted plants on your deck could leave a mess for your to clean in the Spring.

I received a great question from Bob K. (thanks, Bob!) about how to remove ice and snow from an ipe deck.

This is a wonderful question not just because it’s winter, but because it’s just not a good idea to scrape ice off your deck using a snow shovel.

How do you remove ice off of ipe decking?

People have claimed to have success using a pet safe ice melt. These products claim to be eco-friendly and less corrosive/abrasive than rock salt.

Rock salt is never recommended for wood. In fact, applying rock salt onto wood is a great way to ruin it forever. Rock salt is not eco-friendly. It is also not recommended for areas where a pet may walk.

Why? Because the salt actually DRIES out the naturally moist paw padding that your dog or cat has. This drying out leads to your pet’s skin cracking and splitting. Cracking and splitting…Sound familiar?

Remember, wood absorbs and releases moisture and expands and contracts throughout the year. If you put a chemical product on a deck that corrodes and rapidly dries it out you are basically counteracting the natural processes that the wood undergoes and thereby making the wood more brittle and less stable.

Not only that but rock salt will stain your deck.

So, to keep your deck as stable and as good looking as possible, don’t use rock salt on your deck!

As with any product you’re looking into, you must do your research into ice melting products for wood decking. Hopefully, the information in this article will help you make a more informed decision.

How Much Snow Can Ipe Decking Handle?

Ipe Deck and Snow Load

This hot tub and Japanese style pagoda were made of Ipe because of its high strength capabilities.

With Winter right around the corner, many people are asking us about ipe decking’s capacity for snow load.

Since no two decks are the same, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much snow per square feet it would take to actually distress a deck to the point of breaking. BUT, what we can say for sure is that ipe decking has been ASTM-D143 tested. Ipe wood decking has a maximum bending strength of 22,560 psi (Pounds per square inch)!  your ipe deck might even be stronger  than the frame that supports it!

Or, to put it more simply: The result of these tests reveal that ipe decking is 3 times more durable than cedar decking.

If you already own an ipe deck, you’re probably not even sweating the upcoming winter. And, for good reason. With ipe wood’s high density, tight, interlocking grain, and natural oils, it dries fast and weathers well. Also, when you follow the recommended finishing schedule, (using a deck finish product like Ipe Oil™) you can also have peace of mind knowing that your deck surface will be able to repel water even better than it already does!

When you buy ipe decking from us, you will also get premium grade ipe from the Lapacho species. What does this mean for you? Well, it’s simple: Continue reading