What Maintenance is Required for Composite Decking?
When it comes to decking, many know composites as one of the lowest maintenance options. However, many mistakenly think that low-maintenance means no maintenance. The truth is, no matter how good composites are, they are not invincible nor indestructible. If you neglect your decking, it will fall apart quicker than you expected. So, what maintenance is required for plastic decking?
Basic Maintenance for Composite Decking
Composite decking requires maintenance. The good news is, it’s not as time-consuming, expensive, and tiresome as typical wooden decking. But how do you maintain a composite decking? Like any other decking, you’ll have to make sure that your composite decking stays clean. For starters, you will need to keep the decking dry at all times.
While composites are resistant to moisture, you’ll want to wipe your decking as soon as possible. Prolonged exposure to spilt liquids, such as oil, food, and grease, can potentially stain your decking. Not only will it maintain your decking’s cleanliness, but it will also prevent any accidents from slipping.
If you see debris, soil, leaves, pollen and dirt piling up on your decking, you can use a soft-bristled broom to remove them. You can also use water to wash them down if necessary. Alternatively, you can use a pressure washer. However, you’ll want to check first with the manufacturers of your decking boards, whether they can be pressure-washed.
If so, you’ll want to follow the directions on how to use a pressure washer on the decking. If you are unsure and still want to use it, make sure to set it at the lowest pressure rating and use a fan tip to avoid any nicks and scratches on your composite decking.
During winter, ice and snow can accumulate on your decking. Make sure to remove them as soon as possible. Never use sharp objects or metal shovels in removing them. Instead, use non-abrasive methods prescribed by the decking board manufacturers. In most cases, you can use calcium chloride or rock salt to melt the ice, making it easier to remove.
How to Clean Your Composite Decking Thoroughly
Aside from the regular sweeping and rinsing of water when necessary, you’ll also need to clean your decking thoroughly at least twice a year. Here are some of the general steps on how to do it.
- First, wash down the decking with warm water to remove any dirt and debris.
- Next, mix soap and warm water in a bucket. You can also use commercial cleaning products or other homemade cleaning solutions. But for most of the time, dishwashing soap and water work well enough. Never use harsh chemicals unless stated by the decking board manufacturers.
- Wet the decking with the soapy solution and lightly scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. When using a brush, go with the direction of the grains first, then scrub slightly diagonally to remove deep-seated dirt. Let the decking soak in soap, but make sure that the soap doesn’t dry out. For this reason, you’ll want to work in sections, instead of aiming to clean the decking in one go.
- For hard-to-remove stains, do not use bleach. Consult your manufacturers first. Alternatively, you can use a DIY solution using water, vinegar, and baking soda. Dilute the two parts of vinegar with one part of water. You can also add in some dishwashing soap, but it is not necessary. Then, soak the stain with vinegar for a few minutes, not letting it dry. Lastly, sprinkle some baking soda on the stain and wait for a few minutes.
- After the decking or removing the stains, rinse the decking with water. Make sure that the water that runs off is clear. You can use a power washer to rinse or scrub your decking, but as mentioned, make sure to check on your boards’ manufacturers first. Let it dry for a few hours.
Composite decking is one of the easiest decking to maintain. But you’ll have to care for it like any other decking. The good news is, you don’t have to spend as much money, time, or effort to do so. Clean the decking whenever possible, and do a thorough clean at least twice a year.
What maintenance is required for composite decking? Composite decking requires regular maintenance. But the way you maintain it is different from how you maintain timber. You have to clean the surface to remove dirt or mud.