5 Cleaning Mistakes To Avoid When Maintaining Your Composite Deck

5 Cleaning Mistakes To Avoid When Maintaining Your Composite Deck

Cleaning is required for any external decking. Although composite decking may be “lower maintenance” than other forms of decking, it is far from “maintenance free.” In fact, certain blunders might actually increase the amount of regular maintenance necessary for maintaining your composite deck.

Maintaining Your Composite Deck

Here are a few pointers to help you avoid unnecessary labour and get the most out of your deck.

Read More: 10 Composite Decking Facts

APPLYING THE INAPPROPRIATE CLEANER

Choosing the best cleaning for your deck may literally make or ruin it. Although it appears to be substantial on the surface, composite decking is actually fairly porous. As a result, it requires an oxygenated cleaner that can penetrate deep into the material and clean both the interior and outside of the deck. When purchasing a cleaner, carefully read the label and NEVER use a “deck cleaning” containing chlorine bleach. Bleach is present if the active ingredients list Sodium Hypochlorite. Chlorine bleach is very caustic and will “devour” anything it comes into contact with. It will eventually discolour your deck, harm the surface (as well as your plants), and worsen any mould/mildew concerns that may arise. Choose a non-toxic, sodium percarbonate-based cleanser to avoid this costly blunder.

WASHING YOUR COMPOSITE DECKING UNDER PRESSURE

Pressure cleaning is generally not advised for composite decking. It may be a costly blunder if done wrong. Pressure washing too near to your deck or applying too much pressure might be disastrous. Because composite decking is softer than actual wood, it may be “etched” more readily. Once the material has been “opened up,” it can cause a variety of problems such as chipping, UV damage, and mould staining of the polymers inside the aperture. Mold may be exceedingly difficult to remove after it has coloured these polymers. In most circumstances, a garden hose should be enough for routine cleaning. If you must pressure wash, keep the pressure as low as possible and no closer than 8 inches from the surface.

GAPS ARE FORGOTTEN

A decking firm recently approached us for assistance on preventing mould growth beneath the deck. One of the most significant contributors to this problem is a simple step that most people forget during routine cleaning – the gaps! Dirt and debris may accumulate over time, absorbing moisture and creating an ideal breeding environment for mould and mildew. Depending on your environment, you should clean up the spaces between your deck boards at least once a year. This allows air to circulate between the boards, keeping the underside clean and dry.

APPLYING THE WRONG TOOLS

The same advice is applicable here. When cleaning composite decking, take additional precautions. Cleaning up dirt and trash on a regular basis is simple with a broom or a garden hose. Always use a soft bristle scrub brush for a deeper clean. Again, if you use the correct cleaner, you will need to scrape less. Instead of a metal shovel, use a plastic shovel for snow removal.

AFTER CLEANING, PROTECT THE DECK

One of the most critical and sometimes overlooked steps in regular deck care is protecting your deck against moisture incursion. I cannot underscore how critical this is for composite decking! Any decking material exposed to the elements is subject to mould/mildew growth, especially in humid areas. Pooling water on the surface or inside your deck can lead to mould/mildew development, deck decay, and warping. The good news is that mould may be avoided by applying a moisture barrier in a consistent and straightforward manner. Again, selecting the right solution is critical to properly protecting your deck against mould. Be wary of deck sealants that are “waterproof” or chemicals that “encapsulate” the deck. These chemicals can retain moisture within the deck, producing further problems in the long term.

Composite decking is not only a lovely addition to any house, but it also has several advantages over traditional wood decking. That being said, do your homework! It is critical to understand how to care for a composite deck, and adopting the necessary procedures will make all the difference.

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