Our winters on Long Island don’t always come with a lot of snow, but we do face extended cold streaks. For this reason alone, Deck and Patio values durable construction products that also look good.
Techo-Bloc Construction Paver Materials
Techo-Bloc products are engineered in Canada where they require extra strength due to our neighboring country’s extreme weather changes. Their pavers handle very well the freeze/thaw that occurs in our own corner of the Northeast.
“The stones will remain adaptable, even, and stable for years, as long as they are installed properly,” says our own Dave Stockwell.
Techo-Bloc pavers are nearly three times stronger than poured concrete, And when it comes to snow, these pavers can be plowed and shoveled.
Actually, the edges and joints around the pavers assist in melting snow and ice, says the manufacturer. And that using de-icing salt (sodium chloride or calcium chloride) to remove snow and ice will not harm these paving stones.
This photo shows how natural Techo-Bloc pavers look. Instead of one-sized bricks placed throughout your entire patio or retaining wall or driveway, their kits provide “random” instead of straight lines for a handsome outcome.
“These products are available in pavers, slabs, walls, for facing outdoor features such as fire pits, edging, and include permeable materials,” says Dave.
Fiberon Capped Composite Decking
Fiberon offers capped composite decking boards, like the ones shown here. They are made of materials and a cap that resist moisture. Fiberon boards include a “cover” that provide added protection against the elements and everyday living.
Most wood decking materials face challenges in holding up to such weather. Even moisture-resistant woods require regular sealing and parts of the underside can’t help but trap moisture.
“While most reputable capped composite manufacturers produce superb products that are stain, insect, mold and splinter resistant,” says Dave Stockwell, “Fiberon’s special warranty can also be a factor. Not only do clients get the usual 25-year warranty on materials, with Fiberon they also get a five-year warranty on labor.”
That said, the most important aspect to ongoing outdoor winter enjoyment is to remove any existing snow.
“Whether you have a wood or capped-composite deck, we recommend not using metal shovels for this, but plastic ones. 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.”
The Director of Marketing Communications at Fiberon, Edie Kelly does not recommend using sand to remove ice and snow because that can mar a deck’s surface.
“If the snow is light, a broom is a good choice or, again, a plastic shovel, Kello recommends sweeping the used rock salt into the trash, then rinsing the deck off to remove any residue. 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.“
Fiberon also says it is important to shovel parallel to the boards and not horizontally.
Backyard Upgrades: As you learn the best ways to enjoy your deck and patio during winter, it’s a great time to ponder what changes you’d like to make for spring.
And it’s okay if you have no idea how to look through snow and plan for spring. The key is: design/build experts like Deck and patio do know. And we can help you see through winter to spring.