What is the Most Durable Decking Material?
One of the main problems of having a decking area is colour fading. There are many reasons why your deck can fade. Wooden decking is particularly prone to this problem. Other materials, like composites and PVC, are resistant to fading.
However, any material will fade eventually, including composite decking. Composites may resist fading, but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen. In most situations, the good news is that you can restore a faded deck. On top of that, there are many ways to return composites to their original colour.
Why do Composites Fade?
Before we get into the details of how to restore composites to their original colour, we must first understand why they fade. Not only will this help you find a suitable solution, but it will also help you avoid problems in the future. So here are the top reasons why your composite decking fades.
Exposure UV Rays
One of the main reasons decking, whether wood or composites, fade is due to the continued exposure to heat and sun. The good thing is, when composites fade, they only turn into a lighter shade. Whereas for wood, continued exposure to the sun (UV rays) can turn them grey.
The general rule of thumb is that the lower the quality of the decking material, the more susceptible it is to fading. So if you happen to use low-quality ones and they fade, the reason behind it can be the boards themselves. Early generations of composite decking materials are also more prone to fading than recent ones. Choose a good quality brand that often uses higher quality raw materials during the production process.
Another probable reason why your deck fades is due to lack of maintenance. Other than fading, other problems are associated with not cleaning and taking care of your decking. Some of these include mould, mildew, splitting and wrapping. There are also times when your deck will look faded if you don’t clean it.
Abrasive Materials and Substances
When cleaning your deck, you will need to watch out for what you use to clean it. For instance, chlorine bleach as a cleaner can damage your decking. Not only will it make the colour fade, but it also can destroy the outer coating of capped or shielded composite decking. Using hard brushes and power washers (with too much pressure) can also fade the colour.
Restoring Faded Composite Decking
So now that you know the reasons why composites can fade, you can try to avoid them. However, when your deck is already faded, how can you restore it to its former colour? Here are some of the things that you can do.
Restore Composite Decking Colour
1 Contact the manufacturer or supplier
Before you do anything with your deck, it’s best to contact your manufacturer first. They can give you some excellent tips to restore your faded deck. They may also have instructions specific to the material that you used. Lastly, most companies offer a warranty. Check with your supplier first if they can replace it for you
2 If the first option is not available, there are other ways to do so
The first thing you want to do is to clean your deck. You can use a non-abrasive method of washing your decking to remove some of the dirt and algae, which will brighten up your decking. Some examples of no-abrasive cleaning method are hot soapy water with a soft brush or using a home mix of vinegar and baking soda to help remove tougher dirt marks, algae or even mildew.
3 Composite Restorer
Several speciality products on the market claim to restore your decking to its new condition. Research online to discover what is best suited to your type of composite decking. Please note: Capped or shielded (2nd generation) composite decking is not suitable for use with restorers, paints or sealants. As you can see from the image above compo restorer can work very well was most uncapped composite boards, during our testing most took to compo restore really well, but please note a few didn’t so use a small area to test first or give us a call to discuss.
4 Use oil-based wood stain
Depending on the material that you used (please note stains, sealant or painting will only take to uncapped boards), it may be possible to use an oil-based wood stain. Make sure to grab the right one. As usual, you need to apply it to your deck after a thorough clean. Before using it, however, you may want to test it out on a small inconspicuous area first to make sure it won’t damage your decking before general use on the entire decking area.
5 Repaint the deck
One of the options that you could take is repainting the decking. While most types of composite decking are not marketed as re-paintable or stainable, it does not mean you can’t do it (please note capped boards wont take to paint, stains or sealants). You can paint your deck back to its original colour with the proper preparation. However, this should really be your last resort.