According to the National Weather Service, Kansas City, Kansas, sees a total of about 18 inches of snow between October and April with neighboring towns of Olathe and Kirksville getting about two to four inches more per year on average. No matter where you reside in the Greater Kansas City area, it’s important to note that decks built to code and in good condition can hold 40 to 50 pounds per square foot of live load.
To put this into perspective, if a deck is 5 x 10, or 50 square feet, it should be able to handle between 2000 and 2500 pounds of snow if nothing else is on its surfaces such as patio furniture or a grill.
The Cold Hard Truth: When Snow Meets Kansas City Decking Materials
Fortunately, Kansas City decking materials are quite durable. When a deck is built to code and in good structural condition, there’s no need to worry about snow damaging it. This is especially true if your outdoor living space is constructed of composite wood or cedar because these materials resist moisture.
However, if your deck is made of natural wood and it isn’t painted or treated with a sealant, the moisture from snow and ice will cause the wood to swell, warp, and crack. When this happens, the hardware holding the decking boards can shift and pop out of place, which affects the structural integrity of the deck and leads to partial or complete failure.
Mind Your Gutters!
When a deck is damaged or collapses during the winter, it’s usually due to the impact of snow and ice falling from the roof and gutters. To prevent this from happening, make sure your gutters aren’t clogged with autumn leaves and other debris and replace old or faulty gutters before snow threatens. Once the flurries begin to fall, be proactive about brushing the snow from your gutters with a long broom, if possible. Continue doing this until the snow stops to prevent it from accumulating in your gutters and creating ice dams.
Three things homeowners can do to prevent snow from building up in gutters is, 1) have their roof maintained, insulated, and air-circulated, 2) install gutter guards, and 3) apply smart, self-regulating heat tape on gables and gutters.
Ways to Clear Snow and Ice from Your Deck
Shoveling is the absolute worst method for removing snow from decking boards.
Unless the depth of the snow is approaching three and a half feet, do not attempt to remove the snow from your deck with a shovel. The sharp edge of the snow shovel can damage Kansas City decking materials by causing gouges and scraping the paint and sealant from natural wood decking boards making them susceptible to moisture damage.
The best way to remove snow from your outdoor living space is to use a broom to brush the snow off the deck’s surface. However, don’t wait until the snow is six inches deep to begin doing this. It’s more productive if you start sweeping the snow away as soon as it starts accumulating, then continues repeating this activity every half hour to an hour, if possible, until it stops snowing.
If you don’t use your deck during inclement weather, there’s no need to remove the snow and ice because Kansas City decking materials can handle the weight so long as the accumulated amount is under three and a half feet. However, if your deck does get regular foot traffic or you enjoy grilling and chilling. clear a path on your deck, so walking across its surface is less treacherous. You can also purchase salts and ice removers from your local hardware store that are safe to use on composite and natural wood decks.
Winter Weather is No Match for Kansas City Decking Materials!
It doesn’t matter if your deck is made of composite, cedar, or natural wood, you have nothing to fear when snow and ice visit Kansas City.
All Weather Decks is proud to be the leader in quality deck construction. Our expert designers and builders never stray from the protocols set forth in the building codes, which is one of the main reasons why we are the most decorated deck contractor in the Greater Kansas City area. As respected industry professionals, we understand that adding an outdoor retreat is a big investment, so we do our very best to never fall short of exceeding customer expectations. At the end of the day, AWD is in the business of bringing dream decks to life. This means building to the highest standards using quality Kansas City decking materials that laugh in the face of Jack Frost.
Remember, the best way to protect your deck from snow and ice damage is to have your roof and gutters maintained before wintry weather hits.