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Will there be damage if I don't shovel the snow off (due to snow thaw/freeze/thaw)? Is it safe to use a metal shovel on vinyl decking? Is it ok to allow the stuff to melt naturally if I don't plan to walk on it?

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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I would clean it off using a push broom. There would be little risk of scratching.

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Easy to say when you don't often get 6-10" of snow in single day :) –  Eric Petroelje Dec 17 '10 at 20:19
    
If you care about it, you can keep up with it. –  SchwartzE Dec 19 '10 at 21:21
    
A good push broom can remove 4-6" of light snow, but if you get heavy snow, it's hard to keep up, especially if the snow comes during work or sleep hours. –  TomG Aug 28 '11 at 0:59
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Why do you need to get the snow off of it? Unless the mass of snow is so large that it will cause the deck to collapse, leave it there.

Shoveling a vinyl deck can do more than just scratch the vinyl. You can crack the plastic. Cold vinyl will be significantly more brittle than it is under normal conditions. Enjoy the view. That snow will melt before long.

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for fear that ice can damage the decking. But I'm not sure if the freeze->thaw->freeze->thaw cycle is something I should be concerned about. –  Doug T. Dec 17 '10 at 17:51
    
Ice will not damage it, nor will freeze thaw cycles. But you can do damage by using a shovel on cold embrittled vinyl. I've seen vinyl crack when it gets cold. And as it ages, probably mainly from UV exposure, the tendency to crack gets worse. –  user558 Dec 17 '10 at 21:01
    
If you really want to remove the snow, use a plastic shovel. If you don't need to walk on it, take Woodchips advise and leave it alone. –  shirlock homes Dec 18 '10 at 17:04
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As a compromise, you might clear one shovel's (or broom's) width along the house to prevent water from seeping into the house as it thaws. –  TomG Aug 28 '11 at 0:58
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I think shoveling it off would cause more potential for damage (scratching - esp with a metal one) than just letting it thaw. The worst thing that could happen by letting it sit would be a little fading in color I think.

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I'll bet that color fading comes more from exposure to sunlight than from some snow. So leaving the snow there will probably reduce fading, not increase it. –  user558 Dec 17 '10 at 16:49
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