What Type of Shovel Should Be Used to Clear Snow Off of a Wooden Deck?

When temperatures start to drop as winter approaches, we start to think of snow. Snow means shoveling and plowing. One of those areas we need to remove snow and ice is the deck. There are several options for snow and ice removal available. If you have a wooden deck, you’ ‘ll especially need to know what type of shovel to use to clear snow from it.

Let’s go through which ones are best and why. 

What Type of Shovel Should Be Used to Clear Snow Off of a Wooden Deck?

A shovel made of plastic or rubber with a plastic or rubber blade is best. A metal blade can damage the wood, especially soft wood such as cedar or redwood. 

Try to shovel only as necessary to avoid scratching or damaging the wooden boards. Most decks can handle up to 3 feet of snow before the possibility of structural concerns. 

If there is a light snowfall, using a broom can be a better option since it is more gentle on the wood and any nails or screws, which can be damaged by shovels.

You will also need a deicer, especially for steps. Rock salt is the most common solution, but there are drawbacks, such as causing rust and corrosion of any bolts or screws. Salt also has a drying effect on wood. This is why certain ice melts that are salt-free and safe for pets and plants are recommended, as they do not damage the wood. 

Best Shovels to Clear Snow Off a Wooden Deck

Garant NPM18KD Nordic 18-Inch Poly Blade Snow Shovel

This plastic blade shovel from amazon is a perfect option for clearing snow off of a wooden deck. It will protect the wood from being scratched, and is lightweight. The deep blade allows more snow to be lifted. This will save you shoveling time. 

Bully Tools 92814 Combination Snow Shovel with Fiberglass D-Grip Handle, 22-Inch

This shovel has a poly scoop for durability. The fiberglass handle is designed to give you good grip, even when wearing gloves. The length of the handle makes it easier to push snow rather than having to shovel it, which takes less energy and is great for lighter snowfall. 

Ashman Plastic Snow Shovel with Durable Multi-Purpose Snow Plastic Shovel. (1 Pack)

The Ashman shovel is made with durable plastic. It has a shorter handle which is helpful for shorter adults or kids to help. It is great for shoveling small areas such as wooden stairs and decks. It fits well into a car trunk for emergencies when you get stuck in the snow. Many reviewers say that this shovel is great for clearing snow off of a wooden deck without damage. The shovel is all one piece, so you don’t have to worry about a handle falling off or coming loose. 

Where to Get a Shovel to Clear Off a Wooden Deck

You can buy a snow shovel for a wooden deck at hardware stores such as Lowe’s or Home Depot, or retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon.  According to Home Depot, there is a wide range of prices for snow shovels. They start at $10 and go up to $300. The lower priced snow shovels are made of plastic and have plastic edges. The most expensive snow shovels look more like hand-powered plows and are made of metal. 

How to Prepare Your Deck for the Winter

Don’t wait until the first snowfall to prepare your deck. The best time to prepare is the final weeks of fall or the first week of winter. Here’s what you should do:

Get rid of leaves, dirt, and other debris. 

Sweep away any dirt, leaves, pine needles, or other debris. If your deck boards are not bare and free of debris, the snow and ice have a better opportunity to trap moisture, which is bad for wood. Make sure you remove any debris from between the deck boards if needed, and move any planters or pots that have drainage holes that can trap moisture. 

Clean Your Deck 

After the debris is cleared and any furniture is moved, you will need to clean off your deck and get rid of any mildew. You can buy a mildew remover or make one yourself with water, dish soap, and oxygen bleach. Put the mixture in a spray bottle, and apply the cleaner to your deck. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, lightly scrub with a scrub brush and rinse off with water.

Inspect The Deck

Inspect your deck for any weak spots using an old-fashioned ice pick or flathead screwdriver to gently poke any wet areas of wood. If the wood is rotting, it will easily go through the wood. Check any railings and steps as well. Taking this extra precaution will save you time and money since you are preventing problems from happening. Once it starts snowing, these problems are easily hidden and can become dangerous.

Seal The Deck

Lastly, seal your deck every 2-3 years to protect it from rain, snow, and ice.

Make sure that you have your snow shovel, broom, and any snow and ice removers ready when needed.

Final Thoughts

Winter doesn’t have to mean unsafe decks and surfaces. If you prepare in advance with the right tools and use a proper shovel with a deicer to prepare your deck, you will have one less thing to worry about when the temperature drops below freezing. It will also save you money and time in the long run since your deck will remain in good shape for many years. 

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