How often do you need to clean a composite deck?
Composite decking is becoming one of the most popular materials due to its superior performance. Composite wood decking has excellent durability and low maintenance. However, keeping your deck clean and well-maintained is crucial to maintaining its appearance and longevity. In other words, you need to learn how to clean composite decks the right way.
In this article, we’ll explore in detail how often to clean composite decking and how to clean composite decks. This ensures the longevity and appearance of the deck, allowing homeowners to better enjoy their composite decks for years to come. Fortunately, composite decks are durable, low maintenance, and very easy to clean. All you need to clean it is soap and water.
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How often do you need to clean a composite deck?
Composite decking boards are designed to last for many years. So homeowners don’t need to clean and maintain it very often. However, to keep it looking good, we recommend sweeping the surface of the deck at least once a month. This will effectively prevent the buildup of leaves and organic matter that can cause mold growth. If any spills or grease appear on the surface of composite decks, they should be cleaned up immediately to prevent stubborn grime.
Experts usually recommend deep cleaning composite decking every six months. One or two cleanings per year may be sufficient depending on the area where the deck is installed and how often it is used. The best time to clean your outdoor deck is after a harsh winter and as we approach spring.
Why is regular cleaning important for composite decking material?
Over time, the surface of your deck may accumulate dirt, dust, and stains. While composite material has good properties, dirt won’t affect its longevity. But unsightly dirt can detract from a deck’s visual appeal, making it look dirty and messy, and regular cleaning is vital to restoring its original beauty.
Preventing mold growth
Conventional wood is very susceptible to mold and mildew, especially in damp and dark areas. Composite materials, however, are very resistant to mold and moisture. However, mold can still affect the aesthetics of your deck. Regular cleaning to prevent the growth of mold and mildew can be an effective way to maintain the appearance of composite decks.
Maintaining overall structural integrity
Neglected dirt and debris on the deck can lead to moisture retention, which may result in damage to the overall structure of the deck. While composite decking has decent resistance to moisture, the framing on the underside of the deck can become moldy and rot from moisture. Regular cleaning helps eliminate these potential hazards.
Factors affecting the frequency of deck cleaning
Climatic and environmental factors
If your deck is installed in an area of high humidity, rainy conditions, or near trees and vegetation, it may need to be cleaned more frequently. Decks in such environments may be affected by humid conditions. Damage to the composite material may still occur if it is exposed to moisture for an extended period.
Frequency of use
High-traffic decks, especially in outdoor entertainment areas, may accumulate more dirt. Therefore more frequent cleaning and maintenance will help maintain the integrity and longevity of decks in high-traffic areas.
Cleanliness of the surroundings
If the deck is installed in a dusty or construction area, then more frequent cleaning may be required to remove debris.
How to clean composite decking
Sweeping up debris
It’s important to regularly sweep the surface of your deck of leaves, branches, and other loose debris that may have accumulated. Not only will this restore your deck to its original appearance, but it will also protect it from damage. An effective way to sweep is to use a leaf blower or a soft bristle broom. Simple sweeping will prevent dirt buildup and ensure that your composite deck stays clean and beautiful.
Hose down the deck
Use a hose to rinse the surface of your composite deck and remove any loose dirt or debris. This is a simple and effective way of cleaning composite decking with ease. However, it is important to be aware of the water pressure; using too much water pressure may damage the surface of the deck. We recommend that you check the composite decking manufacturer’s instructions for use. Please use a moderate pressure setting to avoid any potential damage.
For a thorough cleaning of the composite wood decking surface, it is recommended to use a mild soap or professional composite deck cleaner. Professional composite decking cleaner is designed to effectively remove dirt and stains. The special ingredients and design allow it to not cause any damage to the surface finish of the decking. Remember to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. The chemicals may damage the protective layer of the composite material and damage its appearance and integrity.
For some dirt and stains that cannot be removed by rinsing, we recommend that you scrub. Gently scrub the affected area with a soft-bristled brush or cloth to ensure that all dirt and stains are removed.
To ensure thorough cleaning and to prevent the cleaner from drying too quickly, zone clean your deck. Rinse the cleaner off the deck surface promptly to prevent residue buildup.
If mold and mildew collect on the surface of composite decks, treat and clean them promptly. Mold can be effectively removed from the surface of the deck by using special cleaners that are designed to address these issues. These cleaners contain ingredients that are effective in eliminating mold while being safe to use on composite materials without causing damage. Carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions before use is important for proper application.
After completing the cleaning process, rinse the deck thoroughly with clean water. Thorough rinsing removes any remaining cleaner or residue and prevents residue buildup. This step ensures that no cleaner is left behind, which could lead to discoloration or damage over time.
After all cleaning has been completed, the deck must be allowed to dry completely. Allow to dry completely before placing furniture or accessories back on the surface. Moisture underneath furniture may create a favorable environment for mold growth. Ensuring that the deck is completely dry will prevent these problems from occurring and extend the life of composite decks.
Recommendations for cleaning composite decks
Experts recommend regular cleaning of composite decking boards at least twice a year. The ideal times for cleaning are spring and fall. Deep cleaning addresses general dirt and mold that may accumulate over time.
With regular deep cleaning, the appearance of composite decks can be effectively maintained to prevent damage.
Highly used areas
If the deck is installed in a high-traffic area, clean your composite deck boards more frequently. Paths that are used often accumulate more dirt and require more frequent cleaning. Regular cleaning based on usage will ensure that your composite wood deck stays clean and beautiful.
In addition to regular cleaning, seasonal cleaning is very important for composite decking. Before the cold winter months arrive, it is important to thoroughly clean your composite deck. removing any debris that could cause damage during the colder months will help extend the life of your composite material. Keeping your outdoor deck clean before winter also prevents the growth of mold and mildew in humid conditions.
Remove spills immediately
If you’re dining on a composite decking board, spills and food scraps are common. It’s important to remove spills from your deck immediately, though, to help prevent permanent discoloration of your deck. Prompt cleaning will effectively remove any potential stains and minimize any potential risks.
Check your composite decks regularly for any signs of damage, loose boards, and hidden signs of damage. With regular inspections, you can identify and address any issues promptly and prevent further damage to your deck. Taking the time to inspect your composite decking will ensure that it stays in good condition and can be used for years to come.
Common stains on composite decking
While mold can’t damage composite decking as much as traditional wood, it can look unsightly. On top of that, some mold may affect the health of the homeowner.
The best way to remove mold from the surface of composite decking is to use warm soapy water. Using a professional cleaner, it is very simple to remove it from the surface of composite decking.
Leaves, branches, and other debris can accumulate on the surface of composite decking, especially if there are trees around the deck. This debris generally won’t harm the composite material, but it can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. The best way to avoid this is to regularly sweep all debris from the surface of your composite deck.
Dirt between the recesses
Over time, many homeowners have noticed that composite decking is slippery. To give composite decking more friction and traction, most decks are designed with grooves. Over time, though, the grooves and spaces can sometimes accumulate dirt and grime. If you notice a lot of dirt on the surface of your deck, follow the cleaning instructions above for a thorough cleaning.
Spills and food
You can use paper towels to wipe away most food and drink stains, including hard-to-remove red wine stains. If you find that paper towels do not complete the cleaning, then use the warm soapy water cleaning method above. This is the main advantage of composite decking. Although the surface of the decking may leave stains, a simple cleaning is enough to accomplish the removal of the dirt.
To summarize, composite decking requires less maintenance and upkeep compared to traditional wood decking. But you still need regular cleaning to ensure its longevity and appearance. It is important to note that you need to learn the right way of cleaning to ensure that the cleaning does not damage the composite decking material.