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ice control for wooden decks

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by flakesmeangreen, Nov 24, 2001.

  1. flakesmeangreen

    flakesmeangreen Senior Member
    Messages: 217

    what's the safest ice control to use on wooden decks. i know rock salt isn't good for it but i don't know what is.
  2. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    We have been doing 350 condos units all with wooden steps for years.We tried sand/salt,but the sand made a mess(tracking in the units).So we went to straight salt.We also found out that the wooden steps would freeze before the roadways or our concrete walks.
    You could use treated salt(Iceban or Magic)or maybe try liquid applications,again Iceban,Magic,Clearlane,etc.

    Good luck and feel free to give us a call. :cool:
  3. G.Williams

    G.Williams Member
    Messages: 40

    we us calcium chloride, it really melts well, litle costly but works like a charm. Plus it will melt to like -20 below zero.
  4. Taconic

    Taconic PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 180

    The only problem with using calcium on wooden steps or decks is that it will take all the moisture our of the wood and can promote cracking on the deck because the wood shrinks and expands more than usual
    John Parker
    Taconic Maintenance Inc
  5. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less Senior Member
    Messages: 108

    New Decks

    I have a customer with a new wood deck, just built this summer, and has not stained or sealed it yet. It was built with regular PT lumber. My question/problem is that she wants me to use an ice melter on it, but I dont want to damage the deck. I have told her my fears and the reasons for them. I told her I will do it if she wants, but she has to realize the damage it can cause to the deck. What I want to ask you guys is, do you think Calcium Chloride on a new untreated deck will be ok, would Magnesium Chloride be better? Just wanted to get some opinions on how you guys would handle this situation. Would you think a stained/sealed deck would have better resistance to the damaging effects of the melter?

  6. h_riderca

    h_riderca Member
    Messages: 68

    I usually shovel the snow off the deck and then let nature do the rest. After I shovel the snow off my cedar deck the sun will melt what is left on the deck boards.
  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I put down Magic Salt before it snows. It'll melt snow as it falls and keep it from bonding to the deck. Then just peel off anything it doesn't melt. A few years ago, one application melted the first three snowfalls cause it only snowed an inch or two at a time.
  8. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less Senior Member
    Messages: 108

    Does this have any adverse effects on the deck? This customer is a year round customer who I also do lawn, hedges, and cleanups for. So I really want to be carefull about damaging her new deck.

    Secondly, where do I get Magic Salt, what is it?

    Also, anyone have an opinion on Magnesium Chloride vs Calcium for this?

  9. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

  10. Andy N.

    Andy N. Senior Member
    Messages: 236

    Just tell her the adverse affects of it, have her sign off on it and DO IT. If she wants it done that bad, just do it. CYA and all is good.
  11. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    wooden decks and salt

    Andy is right, have her sign a letter that says "I the customer understand that using Ice control products on my new untreated deck will most definitely ruin it, but I don't care because I like wasting money, and using sand is just too messy. Messy messy messy. purplebou " Than take here money with a smile and get into the decking business on the side :D
  12. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less Senior Member
    Messages: 108

    You suggest I word the letter just like that do you??? lol. I went to salt last week, and I noticed she applied her own salt to the deck, so I am just going to run with that, and she can ruin it herself. I would much rather sell her new deck boards having her think it was her fault, then sell her a deck repair thinking it was my fault :drinkup:

  13. butler L&S

    butler L&S Member
    Messages: 89

    I do a townhouse complex that has wooden steps and a deck leading to the front doors and I use calcium chloride. Over time the nails have started to pop up (major PITA when shoveling). Other than that the wood has held up well. Last year they started replacing and rebuilding many of these decks and I made sure they used screws.
    If The wood is treated regularly you should be ok using calcium chloride IMHO.
  14. stumper1620

    stumper1620 Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    just get a pressure washer to sell a deck wash in the spring, get the white salt lines out of the wood, pound the nails down or tighten the screws whatever it has holding it and go for it. won't hurt the wood, just stains it.
    wash wait a day and convince her to seal it.
  15. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    Look at me, I had a question, and before just posting something I used the search function. WOW, amazing! Magic Salt still the way to go, or has there been a new product introduced since '04 that would be more effective? According to their website the closest dealer to me is about 40 miles away, if there is another product anyone could recommend it would be awesome.

    They call it a "boardwalk" I'm thinking obviously not going to be able to use a 4wheeler with plow, but a small toro snowblower should be ok.

  16. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Come on.......whats wrong with a plastic snow shovel.

    Even an old man like me could knock that out in 10 minutes. :p
  17. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    I'm pretty sure most of our sidewalk guys have no idea what a shovel looks like.

    I'm not that worried about the clearing of it, its only a 150' stretch, more concerned about what to use to make it not slippery.
  18. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    The wood does look nice. No matter what you go with the concern would be how it affects the metal framing around the windows and railing (and the wood)..

    Maybe you can also sell them on a product that you can apply to the framing to protect it for any corrosion before winter sets in.
  19. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,723

    Thank YOU very mulch. ussmileyflag
  20. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Maybe Fluid Film?