Many homeowners living in standalone homes tend to be interested in installing decking. These provide a space for you to relax and enjoy the outdoors without having to leave the comforts of home behind. However, one of the issues you might come across is that since it is in the open, the decking will be exposed to all manner of inclement weather including a lot of snow. Making sure that you account for this when doing the design for the decking is important, since it will affect how long lasting it will be.
In most cases, choosing composite decking is the best way of ensuring that you end up with a deck that will be easy to clean after it snows. The fact that this material is synthetic means that it’s hardier compared to the natural ones, and can withstand more rough treatment. However, if you are keen on making it last long, you would need to understand how to clean the snow off it once the winter is over. There are a few tips and tricks that are specific to composite decks including:
The use of calcium chloride
An ice melt is a product that has been designed to make snow thaw faster. This is a good thing, since it means that you will have very little of it to clear. To use such products, you only need to spread it over the area with the snow and then wait for it to work. If you happen to have a composite deck, using this type of product is recommended. However, you should aim to use products that are designed to be safe. They are usually described as being safe for flagstone, and that they will not kill grass.
If you intend to use calcium chloride to melt the ice, it’s important that you realize that it can be toxic when ingested. You should therefore keep the packaging away from children and pets. Once you use it on the decking, you should declare that area off limits until it’s been thoroughly cleaned.
Always clear the debris
Once you have used ice melt on the ice, you might need to sweep away all the debris you can find on the deck. This should preferably be done towards the end of winter when you are sure that the area will not snow over again. Getting rid of the debris should be a priority since it helps prevent people tracking it from the deck into the home, which might ruin your carpet. If the debris had come into contact with the ice melt, it would be wise to have it discarded safely since it can be toxic to the environment.
Rinsing the deck
When you are done clearing the debris, the next step would be to rinse it. Some of the tricks you can use include using a high pressure system to do so. There are some companies that can rent out the high pressure cleaners to you for this. Some will even have a hot water function, which will definitely come in handy in melting any residual ice and snow on the deck.
If the remaining debris is loose, you can just use your regular garden hose to rinse it down.
What you should avoid
Once you do the above, you will have successfully cleaned your composite deck. As you can see, it’s a very simple process, and you can get it done within a short time. However, there are a few pitfalls that you should be aware of so that you can avoid them. These include:
• Using ice melts with colorants: You should always avoid using ice melts that have dyes in them if you are going to clean a composite deck. This might permanently stain the deck, and may even damage the surface of the material as well.
• Don’t use metal shovels: If you want to clear the deck of any debris, using a broom would be the best option. If you really have to use a shovel, opt for one that is made out of a plastic, and which does not have sharp edges. Even then, you would need to be gentle when using it to avoid scratching the surface.
• Don’t use too much pressure when washing the deck: High pressures above 1,500 PSI might damage the deck, particularly if you are hosing down the deck from a very close distance. Always try to use a pressure lower than this, and try to keep some distance particularly if you are using higher pressures.
• Avoid using sand or any other abrasive when cleaning composite decks. The scratches they form on the deck are permanent.
In summary, if you live in a place where it snows during the winter and you need to install a decking, getting one made of composite material is the best choice. As you can see, it’s very easy to take care of!