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How To Clean And Maintain Composite Decks

Whether being used for residential or commercial purposes, composite decks are designed to be easy to clean and maintain with minimal effort.

This environmentally friendly product provides an attractive yet durable surface, suitable for a range of applications. Although the decking requires little attention during its lifespan, it will require a small level of maintenance. Here’s what you need to know about cleaning and maintaining composite decks.

Composite Deck Cleaning | 4 Front

What Is Composite Decking?

Composite decking is made from high density polyethylene and recycled wood fibre, with its raw material composition of recycled woods and plastics making it environmentally friendly. A UV stabilizer has been added to the product to ensure the decking is fade free. This will also prevent mould and mildew from penetrating and degrading the boards over time.  Composite decking will generally last over 20 years in outdoor conditions with most products carrying a warranty of up to 10 years. At 4Front Building Products our Ever Shield boards have a 15-year guarantee and our Ever Deck boards have a 10-year guarantee, meaning your decking will be covered for years to come.

What Are the Advantages Over Timber?

One of the main advantages of composite decking is that it is better value for money over the long term. Although the initial cost of composite decking can be higher, the maintenance costs are significantly less than timber and so, composite decks can end up paying for itself in under 10 years.  Unlike timber, composite decking doesn’t require regular staining or painting. Additionally, as the decking is designed to be hard-wearing, the cleaning process requires less time and effort than timber decking. However as your decking is exposed to the elements every day, rain or shine, it is important that you regularly clean it to keep it looking great.

Cleaning Composite Decking in Three Easy Steps

The beauty of composite decking is that it requires little cleaning and if you are organised, you will be able to get this done in a couple of hours, especially during the summer months when the decking is dry.

Step 1 Prepare Your Decking

Before you begin cleaning, you should remove any furniture such as chairs, tables or plants as this will ensure you clean all areas and see any hidden debris or dirt. Also, if your decking is situated in direct sunlight, you should plan to work in small sections. This will prevent dirty water and suds from drying onto the surface before you can wash it away.

Step 2 Brush the Deck

You should regularly set aside a small amount of time to sweep away any debris and keep your deck clear of dirt. While sweeping by hand is an effective way to rid your decking of dirt, you could also use a vacuum, as the brush attachments will allow you to remove dirt and debris from between the decking boards.

Step 3 Remove Stubborn Dirt

After sweeping your decking, you may find that there is still some stubborn dirt or stains that won’t go away.  If this is the case, you should thoroughly hose your deck to loosen and remove any surface debris. Mix warm water and mild liquid detergent and, using a soft bristled brush, clean the deck with the cleaning solution and rinse with water. As well as removing stubborn dirt, this will also get rid of any mould or mildew and so, it is important to do this twice a year.

Can I Use A Pressure Washer?

Although using a pressure washer is no more effective than cleaning your decking by hand, it is a much faster method, particularly for those who have a larger deck. However, if you decide to pressure wash, it should be done with caution as it can strip the protective coating and damage the boards of your decking.  You should stay a minimum of 8 inches away from the deck surface at all times, spray in the direction of the wood grain, use a wide fan-tip nozzle and rinse away any soap thoroughly.

Composite Decking - Cleaning

Prolonging The Lifespan of Your Composite Deck

As well as regularly cleaning your composite deck, there are also a number of things you should do to maintain your deck, as this will allow you to prolong its lifespan and prevent unnecessary damage. These include:

  1. Keeping the Deck Surface Dry – It is important to keep the decking as dry and clean as possible, as this will prevent any mould from growing.
  2. Watching for Any Drainage Issues – There should be a minimum of 6 inches between the wooden planks and ground underneath for ventilation purposes. This will allow the water to drain off the deck without the composite planks sitting on soggy ground. If you notice water underneath, you may need to use a different grade of soil to improve drainage.
  3. Ensuring the Deck is Debris Free – It is highly likely that pollen, dirt, leaves and other debris will get lodged between the planks. These can be easily overlooked as it can’t be seen when glancing over the surface, so it is important to inspect the gaps and ensure they are free of debris.

Teranna Composite Decking can provide a convenient, durable and stylish solution for any residential or commercial decking design with one of its main benefits being that it is extremely low maintenance. The only things you will need to keep it in top condition are a soft bristled brush, some soapy water and an hour or two of your time – resulting in clean, long-lasting decking.

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