For a long time, traditional timber has been the conventional choice for constructing various buildings. However, traditional wood is difficult to clean and easily damaged. As technology has evolved, composite deck material has come to the forefront. This more durable and maintenance-free material is quickly becoming the preferred choice of homeowners and installers.
Composite decking is easier to clean than traditional wood, which requires more maintenance and care. Composite materials require minimal maintenance, and composite decking are moisture and rot-resistant, making it the best choice for outdoor decking. However, this does not mean that composite decks do not require any maintenance. You will need to clean them regularly to maintain their appearance and performance. Many homeowners ask, how often do I need to clean a composite deck? In this article, you’ll find the answer to that question and the do’s and don’ts of cleaning composite decking boards.
Why composite decking is easier to clean
Composite decking boards are designed to provide more homeowners with a quality option than traditional wood decks. They are made from a blend of wood fibers and recycled plastic. And the decking surface has a protective layer. Combining wood and plastic makes composite decking more durable and easier to clean than traditional wood. Although it requires regular maintenance to keep it looking good. But fortunately, the deck can be cleaned with common tools at home, and the composite deck cleaning brush and hose make it easy to clean.
Factors that affect the frequency of cleaning
Before we discuss how often to clean a composite deck, it is important to know the factors that affect how often you clean. These include, but are not limited to, the following factors:
- Climate: In wet or rainy climates, you may need to clean your composite decking more frequently to prevent mold and mildew or deck rot caused by standing water.
- Distance from plants: If your deck is near plants or trees, then the deck needs to be cleaned regularly. This is because some dirt, trees, and debris can build up on the deck.
- Foot traffic: In some areas with more foot traffic, the deck needs frequent cleaning to keep it clean. Otherwise, it may leave your deck with scratches that are difficult to repair.
Pets in the Home: If you have pets, you may need to clean the deck surface frequently due to the increased wear and tear.
You must reasonably evaluate these factors and choose the appropriate cleaning frequency for your situation.
Cleaning frequency of composite decking
Although there is no clear rule on how often composite deck boards should be cleaned. But some experts recommend cleaning the deck at least twice a year. This is an effective way to maintain the appearance and function of the deck. Generally speaking, the best time to clean composite decking is in the spring and fall. Which provides good protection from dust, debris, and contaminants.
- Routine Cleaning: In addition to bi-annual cleaning, you will need to come in for routine cleaning of your deck as needed. Regular inspection and cleaning will protect your deck from debris, dirt, and leaves. Keeping your composite decking free from mold and water problems can increase the durability and longevity of your deck.
- Deep Cleaning: If your deck is heavily soiled, you need to deep clean it. Deep cleaning requires the use of a composite deck cleaner and enhancer and a pressure washer to remove stubborn stains and grime from the deck surface. You don’t need to deep clean your deck as often, but it can be effective in keeping your deck looking and performing flawlessly.
Best way to clean composite deck
When to clean your deck
You should clean your deck twice a year on calm, sunny days. If you choose to work in direct sunlight, do it in sections. This will prevent the cleaner from drying out in the sun.
First, you need to cover the plants and decorations around the deck to avoid damage to the items when using the cleaner.
Then remove furniture, debris, and dirt from the deck. Remove all kinds of tables, chairs, carpets, and anything else. Please sweep the deck surface of leaves, fallen leaves, and debris. Be sure to pay attention to debris in the deck crevices, which are very prone to retaining some dirt or leaves. Use a hose to rinse your deck and clean up some of the loose dirt and debris.
Some easy-to-clean dirt can be easily cleaned with a composite deck cleaning brush and a hose. But for some stubborn stains, you need to use professional cleaners. Be sure to use some chemical-free cleaners, otherwise, you may cause serious damage to the deck. Spray the cleaner on the surface of the deck and use a deck brush to scrub quickly so that the cleaner can reach every corner of the deck, then use a hose to rinse off the remaining cleaner. It is important to note that no matter how you clean, you should always clean along the grain of the deck. This will avoid damage to the composite decking board surface and water build-up.
Using a pressure washer
High-pressure cleaners can remove some stubborn stains. And for some serious dirt and oil stains, the use of a high-pressure cleaner is very effective. But it is not very desirable, and if you use it improperly, you may damage your composite decking.
Using a pressure washer can quickly remove dirt from the deck surface. But be sure to keep the washer nozzle at least 6 inches away from the deck and keep the pressure of the washer under strict control, generally under 1,500 psi (pounds per square inch). Too much pressure can damage the surface of your deck, leaving marks that are difficult to repair.
For some serious dirt and oil stains, using a pressure washer is very effective.
In summary, there are many factors that may affect how often you clean. But in general, we recommend that you clean composite decking at least twice a year and that you do regular routine cleanings. Regular cleaning can effectively ensure the appearance and performance of composite deck boards, which can make the deck more durable and gain a longer life.