Composite decking is a great choice for those looking for a low-maintenance alternative to traditional wood decking. It requires minimal upkeep and is more durable than traditional wooden decks, making it an ideal option for outdoor living spaces. However, even with its low-maintenance qualities, composite decking still needs to be properly cleaned to maintain its longevity. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with tips on how to clean your composite decking so you can enjoy it for years to come!
Why Clean Your Composite Decking?
Whether you have recently installed your composite deck or if it has been around for a few years, regular cleaning is essential to keep your outdoor living space looking beautiful. Without proper care and maintenance, dust and debris can accumulate on the surface of the deck and cause it to lose its shine over time. Additionally, neglecting your composite deck can result in mold growth or other damage that will require costly repairs or replacements down the line. Therefore, regular cleaning will not only make your outdoor area look better but also help maintain its integrity and extend its life span as well.
Preparing To Clean Your Composite Decking
Before getting started with cleaning your composite deck there are a few steps you should take to prepare
- Gather the Supplies Necessary For The Job – You’ll need a broom or leaf blower to clear away loose dirt and debris; a plastic putty knife for scraping off any residue or stains; an appropriate detergent (preferably one that is specifically designed for use on composite materials); protective clothing/safety gear; garden hose/pressure washer; sponge mop; soft bristled brush attachment on extension pole; bucket.
- Inspect and Repair Damaged Areas Of The Deck – Before beginning any deep cleaning process it’s important to inspect your composite decking for any signs of damage such as cracking boards or loose screws etc., as these should be addressed before proceeding with the actual cleaning process. Any damaged areas should be repaired before continuing to the next step.
- Remove All Furniture, Plants And Other Objects From The Area To Be Cleaned – If possible try moving all furniture pieces along with plant pots away from the area that needs to be cleaned so they don’t get wet during the process. Additionally, remove any objects such as toys that may be left behind by children playing outside etc., as they could interfere with the actual cleaning task at hand when using power tools such as pressure washers etc.,
Sweeping And Removing Debris
- Use A Broom Or Leaf Blower To Clear Away Loose Dirt Leaves And Other Debris – Start by using either a broom or leaf blower (depending on which tool you have available) to sweep away all of the dirt leaves and other debris from the top surface of your composite deck. This will help get rid of any dust and dirt that has accumulated on the surface making it easier to clean in the next step.
- Scrape Off Any Residue Or Stains With A Plastic Putty Knife If Necessary – If there are any stubborn stains or spots that need to be removed then use a plastic putty knife to gently scrape them away. Be sure not to apply too much pressure as this could cause damage to the composite material itself.
Mixing A Detergent Solution
- Choose An Appropriate Detergent For Your Decking Material – When selecting a detergent for your composite deck make sure you choose one specifically designed for use on this type of material such as an oxygen bleach-based cleaner, as using regular household detergents can cause more damage than good over time when used repeatedly.
- Mix The Recommended Amount Of Detergent With Water In A Bucket According To Package Instructions – Once you have chosen an appropriate detergent for your composite deck, follow the instructions on the packaging to mix the right amount with water inside of a bucket before proceeding onto the next step.
Applying The Detergent Solution
Use A Soft Bristle Brush Attached To An Extension Pole To Apply The Detergent Mixture Over The Entire Surface Of Your Composite Decking – Once you’ve mixed up your detergent solution, attach a soft-bristled brush head onto an extension pole and use it to apply the mixture over every inch of your composite decking surface area (top side only). This will help loosen up any debris or dirt that has stuck itself onto the boards making it easier to scrub away in the next step.
Concentrate On Stubborn Stains Or Spots When Scrubbing With The Brush Attachment – After applying your detergent mixture over every part of your composite deck you can now begin concentrating on any specific stains or spots that need extra attention by using circular motions with your brush attachment until they are satisfactorily removed from sight. However, if there is still some residue left behind after scrubbing then consider using a sponge mop instead as its soft material may be able to pick up what remains without causing additional damage.
Rinsing Away Soap Suds
Utilize A Garden Hose Or Pressure Washer Set At Low Power Or Gentle Setting To Remove Soap Suds From Your Composite Deck – After scrubbing away all visible stains and dirt particles from your composite deck, it’s now time to rinse off all soap suds with either a garden hose set at low power setting or a pressure washer set at its gentle level.
- For Extra Cleanliness, Rinse Again With Plain Water After Rinsing Off Soap Suds – Once all soap suds have been removed from your composite decking it is recommended to give it one final rinse with plain water to fully remove any leftover residue that may still be present.
- Allow The Composite Deck To Dry Thoroughly Before Replacing Any Furniture Or Accessories – After rinsing off the area let your composite deck dry out completely before adding any furniture or other accessories back onto its surface as this will help prevent any damage being caused by moisture build-up.
- Consider Applying A Sealant Or Protective Coating After Drying To Help Preserve The Life Of The Material – As an additional measure of protection, consider applying a sealant or protective coating after the deck has dried to further protect it against elements such as sun damage and water exposure.
Tips For Longer-Term Maintenance
- Sweep Regularly To Prevent Excess Buildup Of Dirt And Debris – Sweeping your composite deck regularly (once per week) is recommended to prevent the buildup of dirt, leaves and other debris that could potentially cause staining or discoloration.
- Spot-Treat Stains Immediately To Avoid Permanent Damage – If you notice any stains on your composite deck make sure you treat them immediately using either a plastic putty knife (for removing stubborn marks) or scrub brush attachment for general cleaning purposes. This will help prevent permanent damage from being caused by allowing the stain to sit for too long without treatment.
- Periodically Wash With A Mild Detergent As Needed – In addition to sweeping and spot-treating, occasionally washing your composite deck with a mild detergent solution can also be beneficial in maintaining its overall appearance, particularly during peak summer months when more dirt and debris tend to accumulate due to increased outdoor activity.
- Keep Planters Away From The Edges Of The Composite Deck And Make Sure They Have Proper Drainage Holes – If you have planters placed around the edges of your composite deck make sure they are at least 6 inches away from the edge of each board as this will help prevent potential staining due to water runoff/drainage. Additionally, ensure all planters have adequate drainage holes so that excess moisture doesn’t pool up around each pot instead of draining away properly which can cause mold growth if left unchecked.
- Consider Investing In A High-Quality Cover For Outdoor Furniture To Further Protect It From Damage And Weather Exposure – As an added layer of protection for outdoor furniture pieces such as chairs, tables and lounge areas, investing in high-quality covers for each item can not only protect them from potential weather damage but also extend their life span significantly more than if they were left uncovered throughout all seasons.
- Be Mindful Of What You Are Placing On Top Of The Composite Deck As Some Items May Stain Easily – Finally, always keep in mind what items are placed onto your composite decking surface as some items may cause staining due to their material composition or size. For instance, potted plants and large outdoor furniture pieces should be placed on top of rubber mats to prevent any potential staining caused by their weight or moisture buildup from the potting soil.
- Reapply Protective Coating Annually (or As Needed) To Help Extend Its Life Span – In addition to sweeping and spot-treating stains regularly, it is also recommended that a protective coating such as a sealant be applied annually (or more frequently if needed) to further protect your composite decking from any potential damage.
How To Clean Composite Decking Conclusion
By following the steps outlined above you can keep your composite deck looking beautiful for years to come. Regularly sweep away dirt, leaves and other debris; scrape off any residue or stains with a plastic putty knife if necessary. Mix an appropriate detergent with water in a bucket according to package instructions. Apply the detergent mixture over the entire surface of your decking using a soft-bristled brush attachment on an extension pole. Concentrate on stubborn stains when scrubbing with the brush attachment. Utilize either a garden hose or pressure washer set at low power or a gentle setting to remove soap suds from your composite deck. Finish up by rinsing again with plain water after rinsing off soap suds and allowing it to dry thoroughly before replacing furniture/accessories. Consider investing in high-quality covers for outdoor furniture plus reapplying protective coating annually (or as needed). By following these simple steps you’ll ensure maximum longevity for your composite decking.