Wood is one of the top choices when it comes to decking. Unfortunately, wooden decking is notoriously known for being high-maintenance. While relatively cheap, the upkeep cost and maintenance effort are remarkably high. Because of this, many turn to low-maintenance alternatives such as composite decking. But the question is, does composite decking need maintenance?
Why You Should Maintain Composite Decks
When people hear composite decking, the first thing that comes to people’s mind is its durability, longevity, and ease of upkeep. However, many are wondering whether they need to maintain their composite decks or not.
While it’s true that composites are low-maintenance, it doesn’t mean that they are invincible. No matter what type of decking, whether its wood, plastic, or composites, it will also get dirty and will need cleaning. Yes, you will need to maintain composite decking like any other decks.
Why is this important to know? Many homeowners blindly build a new deck or tear down their old one thinking that composites won’t need any maintenance. Because of the unrealistic expectations, potential neglect with regards to caring for the deck is possible, thinking that they’re indestructible.
In turn, this will cause more problems in the future. While composites are resistant to issues such as mould growth and warping, it can happen if composite decks are neglected. When the composites begin to deteriorate in quality due to no maintenance, many unknowing homeowners will feel that they got scammed.
Another reason to maintain your deck is because of the warranty. Many companies won’t accept any returns or service repairs if you neglect your deck. You will need to follow any care instructions supplied to you by the manufacturers if you want a long-lasting deck.
And lastly, building a composite deck is not exactly cheap. You’ll need to spend somewhere between £1200 to £2000 for a medium-sized composite decking depending on the quality. It will be a big waste of money if you don’t care for it properly.
How to Maintain a Composite Deck
The good news is, being low-maintenance means you don’t have to put a lot of effort into cleaning and maintaining your composite deck. As long as you do it regularly, and whenever possible, you’ll be able to extend the life of your deck and keep it at its best quality.
So how can you maintain a composite deck? For starters, you’ll want your composite deck to be dry at all times. Despite being resistant to moisture, composite decks can become slippery when wet. Some types of composite decking boards, such as uncapped composites, are also prone to moisture damage than capped ones.
Unlike wood, there’s no chance of moulds due to the moisture content of the boards. However, when you have piles of dirt, grass, and pollen lying around on your deck, they can become breeding grounds for fungi. To combat this, you’ll want to sweep your decking with a broom.
While most composites are scratch-resistant, it’s better to use soft, non-abrasive cleaning tools to avoid any potential damage. If a quick sweep can’t do the trick, you may need to wash it down with water.
Of course, aside from simple sweep and rinse, you’ll have to do a thorough washing. Many composite decking experts recommend scheduling a deep clean once every six months. For this, you will need a soft-bristled brush, a garden hose or pressure water at minimal settings, and a cleaning solution of your choice.
You can either use a homemade concoction or a commercial product. Either way, you’ll want to rinse your deck, scrub it with your choice of cleaning solution, and rinse it with water.
During the winter, you’ll also have to remove any ice, snow, or water pooling on your deck. However, be careful not to use any sharp objects, such as shovels and rakes. You’ll also want to avoid abrasive means of removing snow, as it can scratch your deck.
While composites are low-maintenance, you still want to put some effort into maintaining it. Fortunately, it’s not as hard as you think. If you have instructions given to you, it’s best to follow them as well.
Composite decking requires maintenance like other household items. You have to give your decking a regular cleaning to make it look good and last long.