Designing and building an outdoor space with composite decking allows homeowners to enjoy their lives more, and composite decking is becoming more popular with homeowners because of its durability and rich appearance. It also provides homeowners with an outdoor space that is low-maintenance and easy to clean. Although composite decks do not require tedious maintenance, you still need to clean them regularly to keep them looking good. In this article, we will go over tips for cleaning composite decking to ensure the longevity and beauty of your outdoor deck.
The way you clean a composite deck is different from the way you clean a traditional wood deck. If you use harsh chemical products to clean your composite decking, there is a high risk of irreversible damage. This is why you need to be introduced to tips for cleaning composite decking.
First, you need to remove any furniture, potted plants, or grills from the deck surface. Avoid clutter on the deck to interfere with your cleaning process. Use a soft-bristled brush to sweep the composite decking.
Remove loose leaves and debris from the surface of the deck, and don’t forget about the debris between the cracks of the deck. Debris between the decks can cause mold growth, which can lead to rotting problems on your outdoor deck.
Cleaning the deck
Have warm soapy water or composite deck cleaners that don’t contain any harsh chemicals on hand. and plan out your cleaning area before you clean, breaking it up into as small an area as possible to clean separately. This will prevent the cleaner from drying out and leaving marks on the deck surface.
Apply the cleaner evenly to the surface of the deck and then use a soft deck brush to clean it carefully. For some hard-to-remove dirt, try to repeat the cleaning several times until it is completely removed.
Rinse the deck surface
Use a garden hose or pressure washer to rinse the deck, making sure there is no residual cleaner on the surface. Residual cleaners can leave unsightly dirt on the deck. Also when using a pressure washer to rinse the deck, maintain proper water pressure and distance or you could cause serious damage to the composite material.
After you have finished rinsing, you need to wait for the deck to dry thoroughly before placing items such as furniture and potted plants.
If you have railings installed around your deck, use warm soapy water and a deck brush to clean them. Use a hose to rinse the railings and remove all dirt and debris.
Tips for cleaning composite decking
To prevent debris from building up on your composite deck and causing scratches and stains, it’s important to sweep the deck area regularly. You can easily use a broom or leaf blower to remove leaves, dirt, and organic debris. Regular sweeping of your deck as needed is vital to maintaining the longevity and aesthetics of your outdoor space.
When cleaning composite decking, it’s important to maintain a gentle rinse. Incorrect cleaning can damage the surface’s protective coating, causing damage and scratches. Try to avoid using a high-pressure washer, as it can damage the composite material and corrode the decking surface. If you are considering using a pressure washer, use the correct water pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The best way to clean is with a garden hose, warm soapy water, and a soft brush. Gently scrub the surface of the deck to remove dirt and stains. Then use the hose to restart completely to remove excess cleaner.
Consider using special cleaning solutions for composite material recommended by mild cleaners or manufacturers. Test the cleaner before using it to make sure it won’t cause damage and discoloration to the decking.
Dealing with mold and mildew
Although composite decking is very strong and durable, it can still develop mold in some cases.
Organic materials and damp areas are a comfortable environment for mold to grow, so keeping your deck clean is crucial to avoiding mold.
To tackle mold on composite decking, you can rinse it with a mixture of vinegar and water. Or purchase a composite decking cleaner specifically designed to remove mold. Apply the cleaner to the area where the mold is growing, let it sit for a few minutes, then gently scrub and rinse thoroughly.
To maintain the durability and longevity of your composite decking, prevention is far more important than cleaning. To prevent stains from appearing, promptly clean up any spills and stains on the decking surface. This includes organic materials such as food stains, grease, and fallen leaves.
The longer these substances remain on the deck surface the harder they will be to remove. As soon as you notice dirt, you should clean it with a mild detergent or soapy water.
Avoid using abrasive tools
Abrasive tools such as metal brushes and metal trowels should be avoided when cleaning composite deck boards. They can scratch and damage the surface of the deck, causing scratches that are difficult to repair. Instead, you need to opt for soft bristle brushes and sponge brushes for removal.
If you need to remove stubborn stains, use non-abrasive cloths and sponges to clean them repeatedly until they are completely removed.
Apart from regular cleaning, a careful inspection of your deck is also necessary. Regularly check your deck for any signs of damage, such as cracks, rot, and warping. If you find any problems, replace or repair them promptly to avoid more serious damage.
Build vegetation or bushes around the composite deck to prevent any debris buildup. If necessary, also use a sealer or stain for composite decking to enhance the deck’s resistance to staining and fading.
With proper cleaning and maintenance, your composite decking can maintain its beauty and performance for a long time to come. Regular cleaning and inspections will ensure that your decking is not severely damaged or warped.
Remember to use gentle cleaning techniques during the cleaning process and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive tools. By adhering to the above precautions as well as the instructions provided by the manufacturer, you can get a cleaner outdoor space.