How to Properly and Safely Clean Composite Decking
Simple and Easy Maintenance
Composite decking continues to be the fastest growing wood decking alternative building material on the market. Why? It boasts low maintenance and has a much longer lifespan than wood decking. Composite decking material is made from a combination of plastic and wood fibers. Wood fibers typically can consist of anything from wood chips to sawdust. The plastic component of composite decking can come from recycled plastic or new plastic materials.
Modern composite decking has become more refined with deck boards being produced are hardier, with natural surface patterning to look like real wood and a come in a variety of colors and sizes.
One of the best advantages to composite decks is the simple maintenance when compared to the required annual deck cleaning and deck maintenance of a wood deck. One of the best reasons to use composite decking is its beauty and decking options.
Wooden decks require a lot of maintenance. You’ll likely need to refinish your wood deck every year to keep it lasting. Wood decking requires thorough maintenance (sand, bleaching, stain, paint, etc.) annually to keep them in good shape. With any neglect in maintenance, you won’t get the much of a lifespan out of your deck.
Once you begin to enjoy your new composite deck, you will want to do some basic maintenance, and the good news is its simple! On the other hand, composite decks are extremely low-maintenance. You’ll never need to stain or seal to keep it looking great!
Luckily, cleaning composite decking is specifically designed to repel dirt and grime, making it easy for anyone.
How to Clean Composite Decking
With the modern composite materials that are great at resisting dirt and damage, you will still need to have the deck being cleaned from time-to-time to look their best.
Mold & Mildew
Depending on sun exposure, ventilation, and other factors mold and mildew will commonly infiltrate and ruin wooden decks. Fortunately, that same damage to wood from the mold and mildew can’t do the same damage to composite decks. Although they look unsightly on the surface, no worries, it’s no threat to your decking. The best way to clean mold and mildew off your deck is with dish soap and warm water using a soft bristle brush with a handle so you don’t have to bend over.
Debris & Materials
Because of the natural anti-microbial qualities, mold and mildew won’t be able to grow directly on the surface. However, when organic material, debris, wet leaves, dirt, etc., end up on your deck they create a breeding ground for microbes. Simply use a leaf blower or broom to remove debris and you will never have to cleaning mold. So, keep it swept and you won’t have to worry about cleaning the mold or mildew.
Dirt Between Grooves
Over time, the grooves on the composite deck boards can collect dirt and grime. To keep grooves clean, power washing once a year. Is recommended.
Food and Beverage Stains
Most food and drink stains can be wiped away with a dry paper towel. For more difficult stains, soap and warm water will handle most stains. Something such as red wine would leave as stain on wood decking, cleaning is that easy and effective on composite decks.
Snow & Ice
Clearing snow and ice off your composite deck sounds easy, but you still need to be careful. Never use a metal or metal-edged shovel as they can easily cause permanent cuts, chips or other damage. Instead, use a plastic shovel and you’ll not need to worry about causing damage.
For ice, calcium chloride ice melt is safe for composite decks and is our recommended solution. This compound is highly effective at melting ice without scratching the decking surface. Rock salt can also be used carefully, but not sand or salt (sodium chloride).
Although cleaning your composite decking is extremely easy, remember to take care of it and avoid using any harsh chemicals or cleaners that can cause damage to the deck boards. As an example, cleaning composite decking with bleach is not recommended and can leave permanently discolored spots. Taking care of your composite decks is easy, but just remember to avoid any heavy-duty chemicals.
If you like composite decking, you’re in the right place. Rocky Mountain Decks is one of Summit County’s premier deck builders, and composite decks are one of our specialties.