Whether you’ve already installed a composite deck or you’re deciding on the material for your new deck, it is important to be realistic about your expectations. While any list of the benefits of composite decking will tell you that the material is low maintenance, especially compared to wood decks, you have to remember that that doesn’t mean it is maintenance-free. Composite decking is a combination of wood and plastic materials. This means that it is still a porous material that needs care and attention on a fairly routine basis. Read on for some tips on how to best care for your composite deck.
Choose The Right Tools
A good cleaning routine starts with good tools. You need a sturdy broom for sweeping up all those sticks and leaves and a plastic shovel for safely removing snow. You also need a soft-bristled brush to use when you need to scrub and a garden hose. Finally, you need the right cleaner. Do not use deck cleaners with bleach in them on your composite deck. The bleach is corrosive and will eventually wear away at the material and cause big problems, including more mold and mildew growth and fading. Choose a non-toxic, oxygenated cleaner that can clean both the surface and within the porous composite material.
Sweep Up Regularly, Scrub As Needed
The most important part of composite deck maintenance is to regularly sweep up the debris so that it doesn’t trap moisture against the deck surface. You can sweep away the debris or rinse it away with a garden hose. When you do need to scrub, use the soft bristle brush and the right cleaner, and your work will be easier.
Clean The Gaps
The gaps between boards are often overlooked in the cleaning process. Once or twice a year, you will need to clean the accumulated dirt and debris from between the boards. If left uncleaned, that dirt can trap water and allow it to soak into the composite, leading to mold and mildew issues. Keeping the gaps clear allows air to pass through, keeping the boards dry (especially the undersides).
Don’t Pressure Wash
It can be tempting to turn to a pressure washer, especially if your decking already has mold or mildew issues. Composite decking can get damaged by the intense spray of a pressure washer. Once the surface gets etched, it is open to even more staining, mold, and mildew. Even on the lowest settings, you may end up doing more harm than good. In almost all cases, you only need to use a regular garden hose.
Call Mid-Atlantic Deck & Fence For Your New Deck in 2019!
Mid-Atlantic Deck & Fence has almost 30 years of experience in building beautiful custom fences, gazebos, screened-in porches, and decks throughout the state of Maryland. We have the expertise to design your dream fence or custom deck and have it installed in a headache-free process. Give us a call at 1-800-833-9310 or visit us online for a quote today! We offer many different styles of fencing and decking, in addition to custom options designed specifically to suit your preferences and tastes. To see examples of our work and get more tips on how to choose the right decking for your family, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Houzz, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn.