Composite materials used for decking are basically a combination of plastic and wood. This is an eco-friendly source because most of the material comes from recycled products. However, even these decks need some maintenance.
First and foremost, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you lost your copy or can’t remember what should and should not be done, check the internet. Most maintenance manuals are available there. Or, you can call the manufacturer for a second copy.
Composite Decking Maintenance Tips
Regular Maintenance – At least two times per year clean your deck and more often if necessary. If you use a pressure washer, keep the pressure less than 2,500 PSI and at least a foot off the surface of the deck.
Snow and Ice – Do not use shovels or anything with a sharp edge when removing snow or ice. Nor should you use sand. Purchase and use calcium chloride rock salt or ice melt product. Be sure that it is free of any additives like colorants, which can stain.
Oil and Grease – Clean the area as soon as possible using soap and water. If that doesn’t work, use a cleaner like 409 or Fantastik. Test that product on an inconspicuous area first to be sure you won’t leave the area looking worse than when you started. Tar and asphalt can be removed using De-Solv-It Citrus. Again, follow the product instructions.
Drainage – Keep any gaps free of debris to be sure your deck drains properly. Using a broom or a scrub brush with simple soap and water should do the trick. Always work in the same direction as the grain. Promptly remove any standing water. Be sure all downspouts and gutter extensions direct rain and melted snow away from the deck.
Mold – If you have allowed water to stand or accumulate, you could be facing a mold problem. Check your local hardware store for commercial products that are recommended for mold and mildew removal. Read the product information for use around grass and plants (especially edibles). Inadequate ventilation (debris in the gaps) is another recipe for mold accumulation.
Rust Stains – As outdoor furniture ages, it sometimes leaves rust stains. To prevent this put vinyl or plastic tips on the legs. If you already have some rust marks, start with scrubbing with water. If there are stubborn spots, use a deck cleaner formulated to work with a composite substance.
Outdoor Rugs – Only use outdoor rugs made of polypropylene or those that are designated as colorfast. Rugs and mats with vinyl or latex bottoms can leave marks. If that does happen, the marks should clean up fairly easily.
Composite decking material is gaining in popularity. At Project Landscape we have used this product for our clients. If this alternative is something you would be interested in, we are happy to speak with you about its availability and our deck designs. If you already have composite decking and have questions, our service personnel are always ready to help you. Contact us through our website, by phone, or come in to see us.