Can You Power Wash Composite Decking?

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Maintenance
washing your composite decking

One of the easiest and fastest ways to clean outdoor spaces is using power washers. It works well with stone pavements and brick walls. It does the job quickly, but you also don’t need chemicals and other harmful cleaning substances. However, you may wonder, is it safe to use a power washer on your composite decking? And what other methods can you do to clean your decking?

Is Power Washing Safe for How?

Let’s face it; not everyone has the time to clean and maintain their garden decking. It may be one of the reasons we chose composites over other types of decking since composite decking materials require less maintenance.

However, it does not mean we should neglect cleaning our decking. For it to last longer, we need to maintain its cleanliness. If you don’t have a lot of spare time, you may want to resort to using a power washer. But the question is, can you use it on composites? Yes, you can use a power washer on composite decking. However, there are a couple of things that you need to remember.

Things to Remember When Power Washing Your Composite Decking

When cleaning your decks with a power washer, remember the following;

  • Use a wide nozzle when using a power washer. The lower pressure with a wide nozzle or fan will minimize the chance of damaging your deck.
  • Depending on your manufacturer, there will be a maximum PSI which your composite decking materials can handle. Exceeding these may damage the deck. For more information about this, contact your supplier.
  • Learn to use a power washer properly. If it’s your first time using a power washer, get all the information you need. It includes the PSI settings, the recommended distance, and the proper handling.
  • Go along the grains of the composite decking and do it plank by plank. It lessens the chance of grazing the composites. 
  • If you’re still unsure whether it’s safe or not, you can test the power washer on a hidden surface of your deck. Just in case it gets damaged, you won’t need to worry about it so much.

Depending on the brand, some composite decking materials are softer than wood. Due to this, using a power washer badly can cause the outer layer of the material to come off. Once this happens, your patio will be more susceptible to weather damage, moulds and chipping. 

So if you’re planning to use a power washer, make sure to follow all necessary precautions to avoid damage. If you’re not confident about it, it’s best to skip the power washer. 

power washing composite decking

How to Clean Your Composite Decking Without a Power Washer

If you don’t want to risk your composite decking, you can try the traditional way of cleaning a garden decking. It may not be as fast as a power washer, but it can save you the trouble of replacing broken and chipped composites; plus, it works, if not better, as much as power washers. Here are the steps.

  • Remove all furniture, fixtures, decorations, and accessories. Doing this will ensure that you’ll clean the entire deck area. Don’t try cleaning around them.
  • Sweep the decking to remove dirt and debris. Make sure to clean even the smallest gaps. For this, you can use a vacuum cleaner, a broom, or a leaf blower.
  • Rinse the composite decking with water to get it ready to be soaped. It also helps remove leftover dirt and debris.
  • In a bucket or a similar container, prepare the cleaning solution you prefer. It can be a simple mixture of mild dishwashing soap and water. Some use vinegar and baking soda. Do not use chlorine bleach or other invasive chemicals on your decking.
  • With a soft-bristle brush, gently scrub away all the dirt on your deck. Make sure to go along the grain. You can divide the area into smaller sections if you have a large patio. Don’t allow any cleaning solution to dry out on the surface of your decking.
  • Rinse your deck with water. You can manually pour water over it or use a garden hose.
  • Let it dry before returning all the furniture and decorations that you removed. While waiting, you can also clean them before returning them to the deck.
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