Hi all, Martin with you, and it’s my first chance to wish you all a happy New Year, so happy 2017. All I can say about the start of this winter season is Brrrrrrrrrrrrr! And I’ve had enough snow and ice here in the Pacific Northwest to last for decades. I know it’s probably the last thing on your mind right now, but protecting your deck from the layers of snow and ice is a must. If you have a PVC deck from Inteplast Building Products like I do you don’t have the year-round maintenance and worry of a traditional wood deck (you know, water damage, mold, mildew, rotting, splitting, warping, and decay) but there are still some measures you should take to care for your deck, especially properly and safely removing snow and ice.
Just like any other surface material, snow can melt and freeze on an Inteplast PVC deck. And once it piles up beyond the point of being able to easily sweep it off, it’s time to grab a shovel. But not just any shovel. Make sure you use a plastic shovel with round, smooth edges. I can’t repeat this enough: Do not use metal shovels or tools with sharp edges, nuts, or screws because they can scratch or gouge your deck. These types of scratches aren’t typically covered under your product warranty.
When it comes to products to melt ice on your deck, it’s a good idea to stay away from rock salt that’s typically used to melt snow and ice on roads because the coarse texture—especially when crunched by foot traffic— can actually scratch your deck.
Products for melting ice that are safe for metal and concrete like Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA) are the safest to use on your Inteplast Building Products deck. It’s also the least harmful to children, pets, and vegetation. Eco-friendly But keep in mind, CMA only works at temperatures above 20°F, so basic calcium chloride de-icers may be necessary for below freezing temperatures.
The most important tip I have for you: Do not use hot water to melt the ice on your deck. Oh, it’ll melt the ice…until it refreezes and you have to start all over again!
As for some quick clean up and easy maintenance once spring arrives and the ice is gone, all you have to do to get rid of the left-over white residue is to spray off the deck with a hose and a warm soapy water solution with a soft bristle brush. It may be tempting to use a pressure washer, but Inteplast generally doesn’t recommend that method because improperly using a pressure washer could damage the deck surface and result in loss of warranty coverage. However, if you choose to use a pressure washer, make sure you don’t exceed a maximum washing pressure of 1400 PSI, and spray in the direction of the brush/grain pattern so you don’t damage the deck. For more information on Inteplast Building Products Deck maintenance, visit here.
That’s it for me this week. I wish you all happy deck de-icing! Catch you next time.
Martin (and Harley)