Protecting my deck this winter

I just moved into a house. The deck appears to be in good shape, except that the latest coat of oil based stain is peeling quite a bit. I'm guessing its from snow sitting on it in the winter, as I am located in the Chicago area. At this point, its too cold for me to strip and re-stain.
I'd like to protect the wood this winter. Would putting a tarp over it be reasonable? I read that this may not be a good idea, as it would cause rot from lack of ventilation. So what's worse - bare wood with snow sitting on it, or bare wood with a tarp covering the top of it? Obviously air would still be able to travel to some extent thru the bottom of the deck.
I guess a third option would be to just be vigilant about scooping snow from it, but I'm not sure how practical that would be.
Thanks!
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If it is PT wood, the snow won't bother it. The peeling is probably from being baked in the sun or poor prep. I'd just let it go until next spring.
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I agree, sounds like someone put a poor stain/ paint on, which causes peeling. It will be OK for this winter, the snow and rain will not damage it. Wait till next year.
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not a bad idea to clean snow from deck. snow can be very heavy , many decks collapse every year here in Maine each winter
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The tarp would be just about the worst thing you could do. Snow on the wood in cold weather is not going to soak into the wood much. I'd just wait till next year to worry about it.
Bob
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I use my leaf blower year round. Snow from decks & walk is removed easily providing it hasn't been trampled and packed down. Can do a whole deck in a few minutes.
Great for blowing off vehicles as well.

Wonder how wet it was when put on...the deck I mean.
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Your snow must be a lot lighter than our snow, I don't think a blower would make a dent in the wet 18" deep snowfalls we tend to get in NJ. A heavy duty pushbroom gets it right off the deck as long as the deck has a nice coat of stain/sealer on it, unless it falls wet then freezes overnight into a solid layer before you move it. In that case your in for a lot more work with a shovel, and risk scraping the boards if your not real careful. It's important to keep that deck clear though so we can use the barbeque, nothing beats a nice grilled steak in the middle of winter :-)
--

Mike S.

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I've done Jersey snow, NY snow, CT snow, VT snow, and more. Yea there is a difference for sure. Slush always comes to mind for the tri-state area.
Best snow I ever saw was in the 3 yrs I was in NC (almost SC). It snowed once for like 3 minutes. It melted in 3 min.
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Thanks to all who responded. This really helps ease my mind. I will plan on completely stripping and restaining it in the spring.
Thanks!
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