Top 10 Composite Decking Care Tips
Composite decking is one of the most popular decking materials due to its durability, attractiveness, and relative inexpensiveness. Caring for your deck throughout the year is much more than just cleaning it with a power washer and cleaning solution (although you should do that yearly!); it’s a bunch of small, practical steps that add up over time.
Let’s look at the top 10 tips for caring for your composite deck!
1) Always Check The Power Washer Settings
We’re going to start with cleaning your deck. Yes it takes a while and most people don’t like to do it, but it’s very important to the life of your deck! Trust us, start here and then everything else will be easier.
A power washer is the easiest way to clean that layer of dirt and grime right off the top of your composite decking. Make sure that you check with the manufacturer to get their recommended settings, or you might damage your deck!
2) Use a Spray Deck Cleaner
Once you’ve power washed, you’re going to want to use a professional grade deck spray solution and let it sit for 24 hours before using the power washer one more time on the whole deck.
3) Be Careful With Snow Removal
You’re not going to want to use a sharp edged or metal shovel to remove snow from your deck in the winters. Instead, use something that has a rubber or nylon leading edge. Always shovel parallel to your decking boards, and never perpendicular to avoid snagging an edge.
When de-icing, use a calcium magnesium acetate to remove the ice. DO NOT use salt or calcium chloride on your wood or composite deck which can corrode the fasteners and hardware!
4) Protect Your Deck From Your Grill
If you grill on your deck, you’re going to want to add a splash mat underneath the grill to catch any and all splatter and drippings. Hot grease and oil can damage your deck board and sealer that might be on it, so get a nice big splash mat to roll that grill on to.
5) Keep Your Gaps Clear
Whenever possible, remove debris and organic material from the gaps between your deck boards. These gaps allow rainwater to drain easily, which helps mother nature keep your deck clean, especially when pollen levels get high.
If they’re really packed full of organic material and debris, use a pick tool to scrape loose any build up.
6) Sweep Regularly
This one is easy. Just keep a broom handy and sweep it once a week or so. Really, this is super simple and will go a long way towards protecting your deck. By removing debris regularly, you are lowering the amount of pebbles, dirt, and organic matter that can be ground into the grain of your wood underfoot that damages and stains the wood.
7) Clean Spills Immediately
If you spilled juice, grease, or anything food related on your carpet or floors would you let it sit there? No! Just like floors inside, treat your deck outside with love and respect! If something spills, be sure to clean it with soapy water and a soft bristle brush if it’s particularly hard to get out.
8) Get Furniture That Won’t Scrape When Moved
Whenever possible, get furniture with legs that won’t scrape up your wood. Rubber or plastic legs and feet are best, and try to avoid metal legs that don’t wrap around (or else the edges might catch in the gaps between boards and scrape the wood.
9) Keep the Bushes Back
Make sure nearby bushes and trees are trimmed back about a foot away from the deck. By leaving this space, you make it a little bit harder for mold and moss to grow.
10) Take Care of Mold Right Away
If you see any signs of mold on the top or bottom side of your deck, take care of it right away. Prolonged exposure can cause rot quicker than you might think. Use a manufacturer-approved outdoor cleaner to remove the mold and hopefully eliminate any spores that might be floating around.
A clean deck is a happy deck, so make sure that deck gets some regular TLC! If you follow the steps outlined above regularly then you’ll have a durable, great looking deck for years to come. If you have any questions, or need decking advice, head on over to our website at koopmanlumber.com/decking and let us know! Thanks for reading!