Your composite deck, an oasis of outdoor relaxation and entertainment, serves as an extension of your living space, inviting you to bask in the sun’s warmth or relish in a cosy evening with loved ones.
However, being outside, your deck is exposed to nature’s various elements and it will need a clean and a bit of maintenance here and there.
Today, we’re focusing on all things composite decking cleaning and maintenance. We’ll talk about composite deck maintenance, as well as explore the best cleaning methods to restore its beauty and increase the lifespan of your composite deck. But before we dive right into the maintenance and cleaning you should be doing, let’s first talk about what composite decking is and the underlying importance of regular maintenance.
What is composite decking?
Composite decking is a modern alternative to traditional wood decking materials. Offering a range of advantages in terms of durability, aesthetics, and maintenance, composite decking is composed of a combination of wood fibres and plastic polymers, typically recycled materials such as reclaimed wood or sawdust and recycled plastic.
The process of manufacturing composite decking involves mixing the wood fibres with the plastic polymers, and the mixture is heated, moulded, and extruded into boards or planks that mimic the appearance of natural wood.
The result is a durable and low-maintenance decking material that possesses the best qualities of both wood and plastic.
People choose composite decking over traditional timber decking for a variety of reasons. It is highly resistant to the elements, including moisture, UV rays, and temperature fluctuations and this resistance helps to prevent issues such as rotting, splintering, warping, and fading, which are commonly associated with traditional wooden decks.
While maintenance is essential and important, composite decking requires minimal maintenance compared to wood. Unlike wood decking, it does not require regular staining, sealing, or painting to maintain its appearance and structural integrity. Composite decking is designed to be highly durable, resistant to stains, and easy to clean, making it an appealing option for homeowners seeking a low-maintenance outdoor flooring solution.
Composite decking also has the very attractive advantage of being eco-friendly in nature. As it is made by utilising recycled materials, like wood fibres, composite decking helps to reduce waste and minimise the demand for virgin wood and plastic. It also does not contribute to deforestation, as it does not rely on harvesting new timber.
On top of all of this, composite decking is available in a wide range of colours, finishes and textures. So, no matter your style, you can achieve the desired aesthetic for your outdoor space. Whether you prefer a natural wood grain look or a more contemporary design, composite decking offers versatile options to suit various styles and preferences.
You can learn more about composite decking here.
Why is composite decking cleaning and maintenance important?
Unlike traditional wooden decks, composite decks are designed to resist the elements and remain resilient against moisture, fading, and mould. So, you’re probably thinking, do I even need to do anything to maintain my deck?
In short, yes you do. You may not need to do the same type of maintenance as you would with a traditional timber deck, however, neglecting regular maintenance of your composite deck can gradually diminish its durability and aesthetics.
Here are a few compelling reasons why maintenance of your composite deck should be a top priority:
Consistent maintenance ensures that your composite deck withstands the test of time. By adopting effective cleaning techniques and routine care, you can prevent irreversible damage, such as deep stains, cracks, or warping, which could lead to costly repairs or premature replacement.
Preserving Aesthetic Appeal
Composite decks often boast stunning colours and finishes that enhance the overall ambiance of your outdoor space. While many of these decks, like ours here at WoodEvo, have amazing treatments that help to protect them, exposure to dirt, grime, and weather elements can dull their vibrancy. Regular cleaning helps to restore the deck’s original beauty, ensuring it remains a captivating focal point of your home.
Preventing Mould and Mildew Growth
Like any other outdoor structures, composite decks are susceptible to moisture build-up, which can promote the growth of mould, mildew, and algae. Timely maintenance helps to eliminate these unwelcome invaders, protecting your deck from structural damage and potential health hazards.
A well-maintained composite deck ensures the safety of those who use it. Regular cleaning eliminates debris, slippery substances, and potential hazards, reducing the risk of slips, falls, and injuries. It also ensures that if there is an issue, you can spot it, especially before it becomes a major one.
Now that we know why deck maintenance is so important, let’s talk about just how easy the composite deck cleaning and maintenance can be.
Composite Deck Cleaning Guide
Our WoodEvo composite decking is famous for its low maintenance requirements. This is partly due to the tough layer of the capstock protectant used in the manufacturing process which will also ensure the colour will remain the same as the years pass by.
However, while our WoodEvo composite decking is low maintenance, all decks get dirty and need to be cleaned because of the dust in the air, debris from shoes, and any spills along the way.
Here are some easy, yet detailed steps to clean WoodEvo composite decking cleaning when required!
What you’ll need to clean your composite deck:
- Soap water or any timber floor wash liquid
- Bucket with water
- Long soft bristle brushes
- Short soft bristle brushes
- High pressure jet washer (maximum 2200 psi) or Hose pipe can connect to the water tap.
- Floor mop
How to clean your composite deck:
- Remove furniture and items off the deck to make room and to make sure you can reach every area.
- Remove the bulk of the dirt!
- Mix a bucket of warm water with washing liquid.
- Apply this directly onto the deck with the long soft bristled brush. For best results, brush the surface of the deck following the grain of the board to ensure dirt and debris is removed from the textured surface.
- If you encounter stubborn dirt (including more ‘sticky’ soil types) use the short bristled brush, again following the grain of the decking.
- Rinse the deck! Using high pressure washer or hose, rinse your deck. Apply the nozzle of the jet washer no closer than 250mm from the surface of the deck boards; do not set your jet to be more than 2200 psi.
- Keep spraying the water until all soap suds and dirt are removed.
- Mop the decking to get rid of the excess water, speeding up the drying process.
Cleaning products to avoid when cleaning your composite deck
When it comes to cleaning composite decking in Australia, it’s important to use the right products that are safe and effective without causing damage to the material.
Here are some cleaning products you should avoid using on composite decking:
- Chlorine Bleach: Chlorine bleach can cause discolouration and damage the protective outer layer of composite decking. It may also harm surrounding vegetation and pose a risk to the environment.
- Ammonia-based Cleaners: Ammonia-based cleaners can potentially degrade the surface of composite decking, leading to fading or discoloration. It’s best to avoid using these cleaners to maintain the integrity of the deck.
- Solvents or Paint Thinners: Strong solvents or paint thinners can cause damage to the composite material, leading to stains, fading, or surface degradation. These products should be avoided during the cleaning process.
- Abrasive Cleaners or Scrubbing Pads: Rough scrubbing pads or abrasive cleaners can scratch or dull the surface of composite decking, compromising its appearance. Avoid using harsh abrasive cleaners or scrubbing tools that can cause damage.
- Pressure Washers with High Pressure Settings: While pressure washers can be effective for cleaning composite decking, using a high-pressure setting can potentially damage the surface or force water into the material, leading to mould or mildew growth. Always use a pressure washer with a gentle setting and maintain a safe distance from the deck surface. Or just use your hose!
- Harsh Chemical Cleaners: Avoid using strong chemical cleaners or household cleaners that are not specifically designed for use on composite decking. These products can contain chemicals that may be too harsh for the composite material and cause damage or discoloration.
As you can see, composite decking allows you to avoid using strong or harsh cleaners making it an even more environmentally friendly option for your home.
Common stains and problems you could experience on your deck
While composite decking is designed to be highly resistant to stains and problems compared to traditional wood decking, it can still face certain issues.
Here are some common stains and problems you may encounter with composite decking:
Composite decking can get organic stains, such as those caused by leaves, dirt, pollen, or mildew. These stains can mar the appearance of the deck surface and should be promptly addressed to prevent further discolouration or growth of mould and mildew.
Food and Beverage Stains
Accidental spills of food, beverages, or oils can leave stains on the composite decking. Certain substances like red wine, mustard, or grease should be wiped up immediately!
Metal objects or furniture left on the composite deck can sometimes lead to rust stains. Rust particles can transfer onto the deck surface, leaving unsightly stains. Prompt removal of the rust and appropriate cleaning techniques can help prevent staining and restore the deck’s appearance.
Scratches or Scuff Marks
Although composite decking is highly durable, it can still develop scratches or scuff marks from heavy furniture, sharp objects, or abrasive materials. While minor scratches may blend in naturally over time, deeper scratches may require repair or replacement of the affected boards. If your eco decking composite deck has scratches that you’re concerned about, you can always get in touch with us to discuss how this can be repaired.
Mould and Mildew Growth
In humid or damp environments, composite decking can be prone to mould and mildew growth. If not addressed promptly, mould and mildew can cause discoloration, surface damage, and potentially compromise the structural integrity of the deck. Regular cleaning and proper maintenance can prevent or minimise mould and mildew growth.
Some final tips for maintaining your composite decking
Here are some final words of wisdom when if you’re wondering how you can best maintain your composite decking:
- Have a regular cleaning routine – keeping your deck free from debris, dust and dirt can help to keep it in tip top shape. Now, while it may vary depending on where you live and the season, we recommend giving your deck a weekly or fortnightly sweep to stay on top. When it comes to washing your deck, if you’re keeping on top of your sweeping, a monthly quick wash should be great maintenance for your deck.
- A simple routine is better – you really don’t need to overcomplicate your maintenance or cleaning routine when it comes to composite decking. Soap and water or timber floor wash and some surface cleaning brushes is all you really need.
- Take care of potential stains fast – while composite decking has been designed to be resistant to stains, it doesn’t hurt to be vigilant and if you experience spills of food or other materials, clean them up fast. Your composite deck and your wallet will thank you!
Need composite decking in Australia?
If you’re looking for high quality composite decking for your home, then get in touch with us here at WoodEvo. We provide customers all over Australia with our elite range of composite decking materials so that you can create the ideal outdoor space for you and your family.
That’s it! Now you can enjoy your clean WoodEvo deck! If you have any questions please contact us on 03 9052 4788 or email us at [email protected]. And if you want to see our composite decking in the real world, check out our Instagram.