Snow and Ice Removal on Composite Decks

Sun and snow on the deck by ggaippe

Whether you live in a northern state where snow and ice are common occurrences, or farther down south where even the hint of wintery mix sends folks in a bread-and-milk-buying frenzy, knowing how to properly remove snow and ice from a PVC or composite deck is important.

The best option for removing snow and ice on composite decking is a calcium chloride-based "ice melt" or rock salt. Look for the phrases "safe for concrete", "safe for flagstone" and "will not kill grass." If you have children or pets that frequent your deck in the winter, look for a product that is safe for them as well.

Things to avoid:

  • Ice melt with a colorant added: while convenient to see how much and where you've spread, the dyes can stain decking
  • Sand: while it offers traction on slippery surfaces, this can grind into the decking and damage its surface
  • Metal shovels and sharp-edge tools: these can damage even the most resilient decking

Soon after your snow and ice melts, and that danger of slipping and falling is over, take a broom and sweep up any extra granular pieces. This will help avoid spreading it to places you wouldn't want, such as tracking it into the house.

Build up of salt and calcium chloride from snow and ice removal is easily removed with enough water and perhaps a light scrub. When the weather gets warmer, use a garden hose or sprinkler and rinse off your deck. If you using a pressure washer, be sure to use at low pressures under 1,500 psi and at safe distances (12" above deck or more) to avoid damaging your deck.

Following these tips will help keep you safe, and your deck looking good, to enjoy it another season!

Visit Fiberon FAQs for answers to more frequently asked questions

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  • Jim Roethel

    Edie, Calcium chloride is about the worst product for deicing a deck. It is very corrosive to the metal that holds it together and extremely harmful to skin, eyes, fabric, wood etc. Will also encourage a faster freeze/thaw cycle that can contribute to damage and form black ice creating an even more dangerous situation. The onlt real safe product is Calcium Magnesium Acetate, proven by tons of research. Thanks.

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