How to Keep Your Composite Deck Looking Great
One of the reasons composite is popular is because it doesn’t stain. However, if food and drink spills aren’t wiped up immediately or grease and oil are allowed to sit, they can stain.
Fortunately, these stains can usually be removed with warm soapy water and a deck brush. Most experts recommend that composite be cleaned on a semi-annual basis. See our home page.
Although composite decking is often advertised as requiring very little maintenance, it does need regular sweeping to remove surface debris and dirt that can cause staining or mold. Keeping on top of this will help prevent minor problems from escalating into more serious issues, and it will also ensure that your deck looks its best.
Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away caked-on dirt and grime. If you have a very stubborn stain or mildew problem, you may need to scrub more vigorously but try not to overdo it. Using too much pressure or harsh cleaners can damage your composite deck material.
After scrubbing, rinse your deck with a hose or power wash to remove any dirty water residue. Now you are ready to apply your cleaning solution. Prepare a bucket of warm water and add a small amount of biodegradable dish soap, such as Dawn. This is non-toxic for people and pets, but it will still be effective at removing stubborn dirt from your composite decking.
Composite decks usually need little more than a good sweep and soapy water to stay clean. Most of the time, this is enough to remove mildew stains and food and oil spills. If you have a really stubborn stain, you can try a stain stripper. But always read the manufacturer’s instructions before you use any product on a composite surface. If you don’t follow the directions, you could damage or break down the fibers, which will void the warranty.
If your deck has a lot of tree sap or other sticky spots that you can’t remove with soap and water, you may need to use a solvent like Simple Green Oxy Solve. This concentrate is biodegradable, safe for the environment and your skin, yet strong enough to cut through thick grime and oils.
Staining and odors can happen fast, so you need to act quickly when they do. Using a broom, sweep up as much loose dirt and debris as possible. Pre-rinse the deck to help prevent plant and grass residue from being washed into the cleaning solution.
Composite decks need a thorough cleaning twice a year to keep them looking good. Mold and mildew build up from debris, dirt, and dampness. A simple soap and water or bicarbonate vinegar cleaner is all it takes to remove these unsightly stains. Oil and grease splatters should be washed away as soon as they happen to avoid permanent staining. Typically, warm soapy water and a scrub brush will do the trick.
Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners on your composite deck, as they may damage it. Especially if you have a composite deck that is near plants, bushes, or garden ornaments. To prevent damage, be sure to move anything that might get in the way of your cleaning process and cover plants with a plastic tarp. To make the process easier, sweep your deck and remove any furniture. Afterward, spread a thin coating of warm water over your composite deck to prep it for the soapy cleaning.
Although composite decks are not as porous as wood, they will still absorb stains and other liquids. Wipe away spills as soon as possible to avoid permanent stains.
A broom, garden hose, and warm soapy water should be enough for most maintenance cleaning of composite decks. Occasionally, a stronger cleaner may be necessary.
For example, if you have a deck that is exposed to the elements, a stain remover like Corte Clean might be needed to tackle more stubborn stains. Using a scrub brush with the solution will help to get into the small grooves of the composite boards and get rid of the tough dirt.
Other common stains on composite decks are caused by ice melt or rock salt, so it’s important to wipe them up as soon as you can, especially in cold weather. Also, when shoveling snow, be sure to use a plastic shovel instead of a metal one to prevent scratches. Next blog post.