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What Damage Can Snow do to a Deck?

Now that winter is here, we’re going to get hit with heavy snowfall sometime soon. Maryland weather is unpredictable–our actual snowfall could be minimal, or we could have a blizzard next week. Knowing that your home is fully protected and safeguarded from snow damage is an important part of being a homeowner. So, it only makes sense to worry about whether or not snow can damage your deck. Is this really something with which you need to concern yourself? And, how can you take precautionary measures, just in case? Read on to find out.

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Can Snow Damage Your Deck?

Long story short, no, it can’t. At least, a well-built deck should easily withstand Maryland’s average yearly snowfall. If your deck is in good condition, and isn’t rotting or structurally unsound, ice and snow won’t do any damage. Your deck should also be treated to protect it against moisture. Snow and ice won’t hurt the paint or sealant. In general, you can pretty much ignore the winter’s weather altogether when it comes to your deck.

What CAN Damage a Deck?

Ironically, shoveling is what can cause the most damage, because it will scratch at the paint and sealant. You don’t need to shovel your entire deck so that it is free of snow. In fact, you don’t have to worry about snow removal at all unless the accumulation rises past 3.5 feet (and, let’s be honest, when was the last time we got four feet of snow?). Building codes determine that you should always have two exit points from your home; if possible, while it is snowing, you can periodically brush away snow with a broom to clear a 3’ wide pathway.

Falling ice and snow, however, is a concern. If your gutters have seen better days, or your roof is at an unfortunate angle, it’s possible that ice and snow could fall to your deck. This can end up damaging your deck, and can even cause it to collapse.

Quick Tips

So, what can you do this winter to keep your deck free of snow? The easiest solution is to invest in a snowblower, as you can simply force the snow into your yard. You can shovel some of the snow to make this job easier, so long as you don’t scrape the shovel along the surface of the deck. Never, ever try to chop away ice with a shovel or scraper. Instead, try melting ice with a deicer or salt. It sounds dangerous, but there are salts and ice removers that are specially made to remove ice from wooden decks safely. Doing research to find the perfect kind of salt can go a long way during the winter.

Is your deck ready to handle the brutal winter? If not, perhaps it’s time for a replacement. The experts at Custom Deck Builders are experienced in creating safe, sturdy decks for years to come. If you’re searching for a Maryland deck builder that can give you the deck of your dreams, contact us today to get started!


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