Over time, a composite decking may not be as bright as it used to be. It can happen due to many reasons, such as fading, accumulation of dirt, and mould growth. If you think your decking lost its shine, do not worry. There are plenty of ways you can restore their colour and quality. Here are some of the things you can do.
Clean the Deck
Before trying anything, the first thing you may want to try is to clean your deck thoroughly. It will remove any dirt, debris, and stains that may make your deck look dark.
For wooden decks, you will need to spray the deck, scrub it with soap using a brush, and rinse it with water. You may use commercial cleaning products or home-made solutions to help get rid of stains. Depending on the toughness of your deck, you may use a pressure washer at low to medium power setting using a wide tip.
For composite decking and other synthetic materials, you will need to use a soft-bristled brush with water. Like wood decking, you can use commercial products or make your very own cleaning solution. You can find various products designed to brighten decks. However, many recommend not using a pressure washer on composites, as it can damage its outer capping.
Regardless if you’re working with PVC, composites, or wood, there are things you should avoid. For instance, chlorine bleach is an effective stain remover. But using it on decks can damage the colours, doing more harm than good. Instead of using chlorine-based cleaners, many recommend using peroxide-based bleaches, with liquid oxygen as its active ingredient.
Try Painting or Staining the Deck
One of the many problems of decking is fading. Prolonged exposure to UV rays from sunlight can cause most decking to lose its shine, especially for wooden decks. If you have a wooden deck, one way to restore its colour is to cover it with a new layer of paint.
However, for best results, it’s not enough to paint a wooden deck right away. You will need to prepare the deck so that paint will adhere to it. First thing you have to do is to clean the deck. Make sure to remove any deep-seated dirt and debris on the surface. Make sure to follow any cleaning instructions from the decking board manufacturers.
After cleaning the deck, many builders prefer to sand their wood. Doing so removes the outer surface of the deck, along with any uneven edges that it may have. Doing this helps the paint to stick to the wood better. Naturally, you will lose any textures of the decking boards if you plan to sand it.
As for PVC and composite decking, many recommend against using any types of paint. Only do so if there are no other options left. If you plan to go with it, you will need to sand the deck, removing the outer capping which protects the board. You also have to remember that once you paint it, it loses its low-maintenance property. You will have to repaint it once every few years. Furthermore, you may be able to find some compatible stain products for composites, but checking out the reviews of these products may help you decide whether to use them or not.
Fortunately, composite decks, especially the ones with anti-fade resistance, don’t fade as much as other types of decking. So painting or staining will be the least of your worries.
Consider a Replacement
There may be situations that there are no other options left than to replace your deck, more so if it already endured a decade or two. Whether your deck is old or not, you have two options; replace the decking boards or rebuild an entirely new deck.
If your deck’s frame and the foundation is still in excellent shape upon inspection, you can go ahead and replace the decking boards. But if you see any structural damage to the frame or the foundation has problems, it’s best to design and build a new deck.
For decks, you can choose to go with wood, PVC, or composites. Wood is the cheapest among the three. But it’s the least durable and susceptible to UV rays. PVC offers better durability than wood, but it can’t match the aesthetics of real wood. Lastly, composite decking has both the advantages of wood and PVC. It’s durable, UV-resistant, and looks wood-like. If you plan to build a new deck, you may want to go for the best choice.