Wintertime Deck Care Tips for Combatting Snow and Ice

Snowy PatioWhen you decide to hire our deck builders in the Northern Virginia area, you are sure to get a beautiful deck perfect for spring, summer and fall use. However, cold, snowy winters can be hard on deck surfacing. Here are some scenarios with deck care tips to help protect and preserve your deck in and around the Fairfax, VA area.

My composite deck and composite decking material on my stairs are super slippery:

If you are suffering slippery surfaces due to ice or snow, you can use rock salt (also known as calcium chloride or magnesium chloride). However, to protect your deck’s color tone, you need to rinse it off as soon as it is safe for you to do so. For example, you won’t want to rinse it off if it’s going to freeze and get trapped beneath the very water you used to remove the elements. Some pets will also relieve themselves on the deck instead of going out into the yard, so be diligent to rinse off their waste to avoid staining.

Which shovel style is safe to use on composite decks?

Shoveling SnowOur Northern Virginia deck builders know that just eradicating slippery surfaces is not enough. We often see major snow and ice buildup on our decks after a storm rolls through. NEVER use a metal snow shovel on your Trex® composite decking surfaces. It doesn’t matter if it’s a brand new product or one from 10 years ago. Metal will scratch the protective coating on your deck and void your warranty. Trex® is one of the only composite deck material companies that offer a 25-year limited lifetime warranty, and you will want to preserve every inch of your deck to get the most return on investment. Our Northern Virginia deck builder team recommends using a plastic shovel to remove snowy or icy buildup on your decks. Take care to not dig it into the deck materials.

What is that popping or cracking sound on my deck?

During winter months, it is common to hear a popping sound as the cold weather causes the deck fasteners and decking boards to contract. You will often find some boards shifting slightly during these icier months, and during installation, we prepare for this by placing gaps in between boards.

Can I use heat tape or a heating pad on my deck to prevent ice?

We do not recommend you to use any heated elements on your deck as they can damage the protective shell covering of Trex® composite decking. Some homeowners place plywood on the deck to improve traction, but this can scratch your deck and prevent drainage. Plan to only use rock salt and rinse as quickly as possible to avoid staining.

How strong is the scratch resistance on my deck in Fairfax?

Your composite decking in Northern Virginia will withstand everyday wear and tear, but try not to drag objects over the deck planks as it’s not constructed to withstand especially rough treatment.

How slip resistant are Trex® decks in Fairfax?

transcend-decking-fire-pit-swatch-1Trex® guarantees and engineers their composite decks to be slip resistant and even ADA slip-compliant. You will find that our planks have deep grooves for great grip, which means you should be able to step on any of our dry surfaces without fear of slipping. When ice or snow is present, however, melt the ice with calcium chloride to create a safe walking environment. Rinse thoroughly when clear to avoid staining your deck.

What is the mold resistance like on your composite decking materials?

Trex® composite decking materials have three lines that are engineered to resist mold. We recommend choosing colors and styles from their Transcend®, Enhance® or Select® lines that each come with a 25-year warranty against mold development. Rinse your deck often and clear away foliage debris to avoid staining.

My post skirts have cracked. What can I do?

According to Trex® care guidelines, you can repair small cracks with construction grade caulk designed for exterior uses. You can also wrap half of a new skirt around each post using construction grade adhesive.

Distinctive Deck Designs are deck builders right in the heart of Northern Virginia. We have more than 25 years’ experience in landscape design throughout Fairfax and its nearby neighborhoods. You can count on our deck contractors to deliver beautiful, easy-to-maintain outdoor living spaces. If you have any questions about winter care for your deck or patio, please use our contact form to get quick assistance!