We have a new wood deck, and with snow in the forecast, we need to know the best way to remove snow without causing damage. Also, what type of ice melt should we use for it?


Great questions! We will break this down into two separate categories, and the answers apply to both wood and wood composite decks.

Removing Snow

You need to use the right shovel to avoid damaging the boards. Avoid metal or aluminum-tipped shovels which can gouge the wood. Use a wide front plastic or metal shovel with a rubber or nylon strip at the end of the blade. Here’s an example of a non-damaging shovel for decks.

Always shovel or push with the grain (parallel to the board), and when most of the snow is cleared, use a broom to sweep off the leftovers so there’ll be no puddling. And if it’s a light dusting of snow, just go with the broom, again sweeping in the direction of the grain.

Melting Ice

Knowing how important the material of a shovel is for protecting the surface of your deck, also never chip at ice on a wood or composite deck.

There is only one ice melt we recommend for a wood deck: calcium magnesium acetate. It has the lowest corrosion rate and is safe for plants and pets. And it will not corrode the metal decking materials.

No corrosion is important. All other types of ice melt are not only hard on wood but will corrode joist hangers, nails and screws.  If those metal items are compromised, the deck becomes unsafe.

Calcium magnesium acetate will melt snow and ice, last a long time with no run-off and builds up a layer which means you can use less during the course of the winter. Here’s an example of what to look for.

We’re here to help with any questions or concerns with your deck. Call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact us here. And for answers to other frequently asked home improvement questions, visit our Home Improvement Library.