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Deicing Wood Decks

Feb. 2009 - Article from the blog of Marcel LePerriere of Southeast Cedar Homes, in Sitka, Alaska, and photos of his beautiful home.
After we completed building our 1500 sq foot Alaskan yellow cedar and western red cedar deck I knew I’d have to do a bit or research to find a deicer that would not harm the deck, or the house. Here is what I found.
In cold climates deicing of wood decks is often a necessity if the deck is going to be used safely. Selecting the wrong deicer can significantly reduce the life of the wood and fasteners in the deck. The most readily available and lest expensive deicer sodium chloride (salt) should never be used because salt is by far the most corrosive of all the deicers. Salt will be absorbed into the grain of the wood and will slow precipitate back out every time the deck is wet greatly reducing the life of the metal fasteners. Salt also attracts and holds moisture.