With a composite decking, you can transform any outdoor area into a beautiful living space for you and your family. While the most durable decking, it’s not necessarily invulnerable to damage. Among all the possible issues that homeowners may encounter, deck scratches are among the most common. Even a few of them can be very unsightly. If you have them on your deck, is there anything you can do about them? Are they possible to remove?
Removing Scratches from Composite Decking
- Use a Heat Gun – Using a heat gun is one of the most effective ways to eliminate the scratches on your deck. However, it also requires a lot of practice. Fail to do it properly, and you’ll have permanent burn marks on your decking. To do it, find the scratch marks and heat it using the heat gun. Be careful not to hold it too close or too long. You may test it the best distance on a hidden part of your deck. You can also use leftover decking boards as practice. Upon heating it, it may leave some areas darker. But don’t worry, it will be gone after a few weeks of natural fading.
- Try a Wire Brush – Another popular method that you can try is by using a wire brush. Find the scratch marks and brush it with a wire brush along the length of the decking boards or direction of the grain. Unlike using a heat gun, scrubbing the composite boards will make it lighter, as it exposes its unfaded layers. But as with the heating method, it will go away in a few weeks. For some, using both the heat gun and wire brush is more effective, as it blends the colours faster.
- Hide Scratches with Wood Stains – For darker, more wood-like shades of composite decks, you can try using wood stains. It’s useful when used on deeper scratches, as it also protects the exposed parts of the boards. Naturally, you will have to find a colour that will match the colours as close as possible. However, it doesn’t necessarily need to exactly be the same colour of the boards, as it will fade and blend over time. Some composite manufacturers have their very own lineups of stains for scratches.
- Decking Repair Kits – Another known method of removing signs of scratching on your composite decking is through the use of decking repair kits. You can buy them at most composite decking supply stores. They are fillers often made out of wax or epoxy, which you apply to the scratches on your deck like a putty. For some kits, you will have to find the matching shade for your decking, while others work on any composite surfaces of any colour.
- Ask the Manufacturers – What works for other composites may not necessarily work for everything. For instance, using a wire brush on a board with grain textures may remove the grain patterns. If you are uncertain which method to use, you will want to ask your decking boards’ manufacturers first. They may give you specific instructions on what to do when it comes to removing scratches on your composite deck. Each manufacturer may offer you several ways to remove them, and you have the freedom to choose what methods to use.
- Time for Replacement – If all else fails, the only thing that you can do is to ignore the scratches or remove the decking boards and replace them. If you do end up replacing the boards, you will want to ensure to get the most scratch-resistant as possible. Look for decking boards with superior capping. Taking warranty and guarantee coverages into consideration is also crucial. If possible, you may want to order samples first before you commit to buying them. In this way, you can test how scratch-resistant the decking boards are.