Outdoor spaces are great for making your home feel larger while providing somewhere for your family and friends to gather. Finding the perfect decking material can sometimes be challenging in a country like the UK that has a cold and wet climate throughout the year. Composite decking is becoming a more popular choice for homeowners in the UK because not only does it look great, it’s also very durable and long-lasting. Taking good care of your composite decking throughout the winter is key to keeping your outdoor space looking and feeling great for many years to come.
What is Composite Decking?
Decks are traditionally made of wooden planks. However, wood is not always the best choice for decking since they are susceptible to warping, splitting, and rotting, especially when the weather is warmer. On the other hand, composite decking is an alternative that offers all the aesthetic properties of wood, but with the additional durability needed to make it more suitable for both wet and hot weather. Composite deck boards are made with a combination of wood and plastic to create panels that last for a longer time and are easy to look after. It is available in a range of wood-look colours or styles that give the appearance of modern concrete like graphite composite decking boards from Ecoscape UK. Ecoscape UK offer the largest selection of composite decking boards in the UK with a huge range of colours and styles available to suit everybody’s outdoor space.
Protecting Composite Decking from Ice and Snow
Although it has plastic added to make it stronger and more durable, composite decking should be cared for properly during the winter weather to ensure that it stays looking great for many years to come. If the weather is snowy or icy, it’s important to spend some time sweeping away any dirt, debris, or fallen leaves on your decking in advance. When it snows, making sure that the decking is clean will ensure that any stains caused by the wet debris on the deck are prevented.
Preparing for Storms
If a winter storm is on the way, making sure that your deck is prepared for it will help you avoid having to make repairs afterwards. Begin by trimming or clipping any branches that are hanging over the deck to prevent them from scratching against the deck boards or falling onto the deck and leaving marks and dents. Even if the branch itself does not fall onto the deck, it poses a risk of icicles in the winter weather which could fall and damage the boards. Once the space surrounding your deck has been cleared, make sure that any light items like plant pots and garden ornaments that could fall over or blow away during the storm are removed from the area and secured. If possible, move any deck or patio furniture away into a storage shed or garage, and thoroughly sweep the decking to remove all dirt and debris.
Clearing Snow Off the Deck
Once the storm has passed or the snowfall is over, you will usually be left with a layer of snow and ice on your deck and railings. Consider the potential damage that a shovel could cause to the decking when you reach the final layer. Bear in mind that the plastic component of composite decking is designed to protect it against moisture, so unlike wooden decking materials, you do not have to worry about any warping or rot from moisture exposure when it is snowing. If you must remove the snow from the deck, it’s best to use a soft broom rather than a shovel. You can also get specialised ice melt products to apply to the bottom layer of snow or ice and get rid of anything that you struggle to remove with the broom. Some de-icers will leave a white residue on the boards which can easily be washed away using a mild soap and water mixture.
Inspecting for Damage
Even if you take all the proper precautions, there is a possibility that some damage will occur to the decking during the winter weather. Once you have cleared the deck, take some time to quickly inspect the material and look out for any cracks, loose screw boards, or areas where the composite is peeling. If you do notice some damage to the decking, repairing it quickly will ensure that the damage is kept to a minimum if you suffer another storm or snowfall in the near future. Composite decking is often easy to repair and you can get various touch-up materials designed to help you easily fix any chips or scratches that might occur.
Composite wood is becoming a popular choice for decking thanks to its versatility and longevity. While it might not require as much maintenance as some other decking materials, looking after it throughout the winter will ensure that it stays in great shape for the summer ahead.
This is a collaborative post.