How to Remove Scuff Marks from Composite Decking
Even a few scuff marks will make a beautiful and well-designed composite decking board look unsightly. Not only does it affect the appearance of the decking, but it can also lead to long-term problems. It can range from an easy-to-remove stain to a problematic deep scratch. So the question is, how can you remove these marks on your decking? And what are some ways to prevent them?
What Causes Scuff Marks?
There are many causes of scuff marks appearing on your composite decking. One of the most common reasons is using heavy furniture. When moved or dragged around the decking, they can leave unattractive marks. Walking on the composite decking while wearing heels, boots, and shoes can also graze the surface. Families with kids and pets are also likely to have this issue. If you are facing such problems, what are the things that you can do to remove them?
Removing Scuff Marks on Your Decking
There are various ways to remove scuff marks from your composite decking. Depending on the severity, you will have to use different methods. Here are a few of the most effective ways to remove them that homeowners do.
Clean the Decking
The first thing you will want to try is to clean the decking. Best-case scenario, these marks are only stains left by various objects dragged around your decking floor. However, you will want to remove them as soon as possible before they are set into the decking boards. For minor stains, gently scrubbing it with a soft-bristle brush and some soapy water will often do the job. If the stain persists, you could use stain-removing decking products. You could also try using vinegar and baking soda. However, avoid using abrasive chemicals, such as chlorine-based bleaches and cleaners. If you intend to use bleach, go with peroxide-based.
Try a Wire Brush
If the scuff marks are still there even after cleaning the decking, it means that whatever caused them also scratched your decking. If that’s the case, don’t fret. There are a few things that you can try before doing any drastic measures. For many homeowners, brushing them with a wire brush works to blend the scratches in with the other decking boards. However, you will need to do it carefully, especially if the boards have grain patterns and textures. Excessive wire brushing can remove them.
Use a Heating Method
If the scuff marks leave deeper cuts that wire brushes can’t remove, there are still some things that you can do. One of the oldest tricks in the book is using a heat gun. With the heat gun, melt the surface surrounding the scratches and blend them. Using this method may darken some spots on your decking, but it will be unnoticeable after a few weeks due to fading. While effective, using a heat gun requires precision and practice. Holding the heat gun too long or too close to your decking may leave permanent burns. Before trying it, you will want to test it on an unnoticeable part of your decking or a leftover decking board.
Decking Sealant & Stains
Not only does it remove scuff marks and scratches, but applying sealants and stains can also help prevent them. However, you will need to talk to your manufacturers about whether you can use them on their products or not. You also have to find the closest matching colours for your decking.
While all these methods work, you may want to talk to your board manufacturers first. They may tell you the best course of action when it comes to removing scuff marks. Depending on the composite decking, some methods may also do more bad than good.
How to Prevent Scuff Marks
The best way to fix scuff marks is to prevent your decking from having them in the first place. But the question is, how can you protect your composite decking from them?
One of the things that you can do is to use rugs, mats, and carpets. Place them in areas of your decking with heavy foot traffic. Choosing lightweight furniture will also decrease the chance of getting scuff marks. If you do have to use heavier ones, make sure to place furniture pads. Avoid using ones with metal footing. If you are replacing decking boards or building a new one, make sure to use scratch-resistant materials.