Professional Tips for Enjoying Your Deck in Winter
‼️ Removing Snow – ‼️Keeping Warm on Your Deck – ‼️Trapping Your Heat – ‼️A Fun Deck Amenity (Hot Tub)
So far — knock on wood — in our part of the Northeast, we’ve been experiencing quite the mild spell as the official winter season approaches. But even if and when it gets much colder, you’ll be surprised how much you can use your deck, even after it snows.
To provide some professional tips on doing just that, we spoke a while back with Edie Kello, Director of Marketing Communications at one of the top capped-composite decking manufacturers: Fiberon Decking.
‼️ Removing Snow From Your Deck
It is key to remove any existing snow from your deck, says Kello. But he notes,
whether you have a wood or capped-composite deck, he recommends not using metal shovels for this, but plastic ones.
“And if you feel it necessary to use de-icing materials, rock salt is the best choice for any deck surface. Be sure to choose rock salt that is labeled ‘safe for flagstone or concrete and will not kill grass,’” he says.
He suggests not using sand to remove ice and snow. Sand can mar a deck’s surface.
“If the snow is light, a broom is a good choice or, again, a plastic shovel. Also, sweeping the used rock salt into the trash, then rinsing the deck off to remove any residue is a very good idea. This is especially important if you have pets.
“You can use a pressure washer if you like, but we recommend not going beyond 3,000 PSI (pounds per square inch). Also, keep the nozzle about 10” above the deck. This applies to both wood and composite decking.“
‼️ Keeping Warm on Your Deck
Having a deck heater (or patio heater) will allow you to enjoy your winter wonderland and the fresh crisp air longer.
“These heaters will throw heat down and around where you are sitting,” says Kello.
Not to mention you can make s’mores and keep hot cider and hot chocolate warm. Available in building supply stores, they come free standing, fit on a table top, and usually run on propane gas.
“However, fire pits and fireplaces are other very popular choices. If you are not using a natural gas heat source, we recommend putting a fiber-cement mat (made of a mix of wood pulp and cement) underneath a fire pit to catch any embers.
“It is also important to ensure heat doesn’t build up against the wood or composite decking, so keep any heat source up off the deck by at least a foot.”
‼️ Trapping Your Heat
Since heat rises, Kello says you probably want some sort of deck covering that will help trap the heat.
“It’s great if you can add a roof, but if you have a pergola, you can put a tarp or outdoor fabric over it, or add an awning. These options help keep harsh elements off the deck as well, so there’s less shoveling.
‼️ Now, for A Fun Deck Amenity!
If we go through the effort of keeping our decks clear of snow and add a source of warmth, that means we get to use our outdoor grills much longer into the winter season.
Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and a general Happy Holidays to everyone!