A composite deck can transform a lifeless outdoor area into a beautiful and cosy living space. However, it only takes a few black marks to make the deck look unattractive. For this reason, many use dark-coloured composite decking to make it less noticeable. Regardless, you will want to eliminate the problem as soon as possible. But the question is, how can you remove black marks in your deck?
Determine What the Black Marks Are
The first thing you will have to do is identify what the black marks are, along with what caused them to appear. Are they only blank stains from various objects? Or perhaps they are scuff marks from boots and shoes. They can also be deep scratches that may need attention and fixing.
Identifying what the marks are will help you find a more suitable solution. What works on stains will not work to fix scratches. Besides knowing what methods to use, knowing what the marks are can help you prevent them from appearing in the future.
Removing Black Marks
Now that you know what the cause and what the marks are, here are a few things that you can try to remove them.
- For Black Stains – For blank stains left by various objects, such as ink or dirt, you will want to try cleaning the deck first. To give composite decking a thorough clean, you can use a mild soapy water solution. With a scrub, gently brush the stained area. If the stain persists, you can try using stain-removing products for decks. However, it’s best to avoid using abrasive and harsh chemicals, such as chlorine bleach. Instead, use approved cleaning products such as hydrogen peroxide solutions. You will want to contact your decking board manufacturers for more information on what you can use.
- For Moulds and Mildew – Another common cause for black marks appearing on your deck is mould growth. While composite decks are more resistant to fungi, they can still grow if not properly maintained. If it happens, you can use either commercial mould and mildew removers or DIY cleaning solutions. If you want the latter, you can try using vinegar and baking soda. To use them, scrub the mouldy part with soapy water. After rinsing, pour vinegar on the affected area and sprinkle some baking soda. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then, scrub it with a brush. Repeat if necessary.
- For Scuff Marks – The black marks on your deck can also be scuff marks, caused by boots, pointy heels, and sharp shoes. They can be stains, or they can be minor scratches. If it’s the former, you can clean and scrub it away. But if they left scratches, don’t fret. There still are a few things that you can do. For minor ones, you can try using a wire brush to blend the scratches away. However, for boards with grained textures, you will want to do it as gently as possible. Too much brushing can be abrasive and remove the patterns or textures.
- For Deeper Cuts – If the black marks are deep cuts or scratches, don’t worry. Before doing any board replacement, there are still a handful of things that you can do. One of the most used tricks is using a heat gun to blend the cuts. While being the most effective, it can be risky when done improperly. You may want to do some practice before attempting it on your deck. Holding it too close to the surface for too long can leave permanent burn spots. But when done correctly, it can make your decking as good as new. Another option that you can try is to use deck repair kits. They are often composed of fillers, either wax or epoxy-based applied directly to the cuts and scratches. Lastly, you can try using wood stains that match the colour of your deck. Not only does it make the marks unnoticeable, but it also protects the exposed parts of the boards.
These are only a few solutions to common causes of black marks in composite decking. If you are still unsure, you may want to contact your boards’ manufacturers for technical assistance. They can point you in the right direction when it comes to fixing these problems.