Composite decking is one of the best and most common types of decking on the market. One of the biggest advantages of composite decking is that it doesn’t require as much care and maintenance as wood decking. Whereas traditional wood decks require a lot of work to keep them clean and looking good.
Why Is Composite Decking Easy to Clean and Maintain?
Composite decking material is a perfect combination of recyclable plastic and wood fiber. It is manufactured with a heavy plastic content that prevents dust from entering. Therefore composite decking is very easy to clean, does not require much maintenance, and is available in a wide range of shapes and colors.
It is important to understand that capped composite decking is more resistant to water, mold, and stains than regular composite decking. This is because it is surrounded by a protective polymer shell. Other than that, composite decking and capped composite decking have roughly the same benefits.
If you really like the look of natural wood decking, you can use composite decking to get the same look without having to do any maintenance or upkeep work on it.
We know that all decks get dirty over time. It doesn’t matter if they are brand new or ten years old. Food spills, mold, beverage stains, and more can happen. It’s also important to remove snow and ice from your deck in the winter.
So what is the best way to clean composite decking and remove snow and ice? We will give you all the knowledge you need to clean composite decking and porches in a safe and effective way.
How Do I Clean Composite Decking?
Composite decking boards are durable, require little maintenance, and are easy to clean. You probably already have something you can use to clean them. You don’t even need to rent a power washer!
Here are some things you should have on hand before you start cleaning your Trex or COOWIN composite decking:
- A bottle of regular dishwashing liquid
- A medium Indian nylon broom or brush
- A bucket of warm water
To clean the composite decking or porch, just follow these six simple steps:
- Take away all furniture, decorations, and other items. By taking these items away, they won’t get broken or in the way while you’re cleaning.
- Sweep the floor with a broom and pick up any dropped items. Make sure you clean up all loose dirt and leaves before adding water.
- After sweeping, clean the deck with warm water. This will prepare the deck surface for soap.
- Warm water and detergent should be mixed together. Just like washing dishes in the sink, the consistency should be about the same.
- Place the brush head in the bucket and begin cleaning the deck. Use a lot of pressure when scrubbing the entire surface of the deck with the soapy water mixture to get into the grooves of the deck and remove stubborn dirt and grime
- When you are finished carefully washing the clean deck, rinse it off to remove any remaining soap and dirt left on it.
If you do this, your composite decking will be clean in no time! Once the deck is dry, you are ready to put all your furniture and deck supplies back in place.
What if I Encounter a Stain or Material That I Have Not Removed?
If the stain or material is very tough, it may require more work. If you are unable to remove the spot, ask the company that manufactures composite decking for a list of powerful cleaners they recommend.
The company that makes composite decking will have an up-to-date list of cleaners that are safe for composite decking. If you don’t follow this list, damage to your floor may not be covered under warranty. So be sure to follow the list.
Common Stains and Problems with Cleaning Composite Decking
Over time, you will most likely need to clean dirt, food and drink stains, and other things from your composite decking. Everything we use gets dirty over time.
Here are the best ways to clean the things you get dirty on your deck every day:
Mildew and Mold
Mold doesn’t damage composite decking like it does wood decking. but it does make composite decking boards look bad. On top of that, certain molds can be a health hazard.
The aforementioned soap and water method is the best way to remove mold from composite decking. With a little effort on the smooth parts of composite decking boards, mold should not be difficult to remove.
Leaves, twigs, and other things often end up on decks, especially if there are trees nearby. General trash such as leaves and twigs will not harm composite decking. But if the deck is wet, they can help mold grow, which isn’t good either.
If you want to avoid this, you should sweep your deck often and keep the trash away from the deck surface. That way, mold won’t be able to grow.
Dirt in Deck Recesses
Over time, dust and dirt can stick to the small grooves and spaces between boards and start to build up. If this happens, use the soap and water method mentioned earlier. It may be necessary to scrub hard on your hands and knees, and a brush can help to get the dirt out of the gaps.
If that doesn’t remove the dirt between the boards, you can use a power washer. When cleaning composite decking boards, make sure you do the following to stay safe:
- Use a fan tip
- Use no more than 1,500 PSI (or the optimum pressure specified by the manufacturer)
Stains From Food and Drink
If you can believe it, a dry paper towel will remove most food and drink stains from composite decking. Even those pesky red wine stains!
The paper towel should be able to remove any food or drink stains from composite decking boards. If that doesn’t work, use mild soapy water to clean those stains.
In this case, composite decking comes in handy. These stains may stay on the wood deck forever, but cleaning food and drink stains from composite decking is very easy!
Oil and Grease
Many people enjoy cooking and preparing food on their deck or porch. It doesn’t matter if they have a large outdoor kitchen or a small grill that they can move around. Sometimes, oil or grease can get on deck surfaces.
If your composite decking boards get grease on them, it’s not the end of the world. However, you should clean it up as soon as possible to prevent the oil stain from being permanent. To keep the stain warranty in effect, most composite decking manufacturers require that all food stains be cleaned up within seven days.
Use mild soapy water or even a damp rag soaked in soap to remove grease stains from composite decking. This will remove the grease quickly and will not leave a mark.
If certain plants grow near the decking, you may see a small layer of pollen on the composite decking. Although the pollen will not cause any long-term damage, you should still remove it immediately.
A power washer is the best way to remove all pollen from composite decking. See below for the best way to power wash your decking.
How Do I Power Wash My Composite Decking?
On Google, people often ask about cleaning composite decking, “Can I power wash my composite decking or porch?”
The answer is yes: “Yes, you can use power washing, but you need to be careful.”
When power washing composite decking boards, be sure to follow these four rules from the manufacturer and real-world experience:
- Your pressure washer should have a fan nozzle. A fan nozzle prevents the spray from being too strong and damaging the deck surface.
- Never exceed 1,500 PSI when using a pressure washer for composite decking. you don’t want to leave scuffs or scratches on your beautiful deck surface. Some manufacturers allow you to use more than 1,500 PSI, but you should always check their instructions first.
- Make sure there is safe clearance between the deck surface and the pressure washer. We recommend that you maintain a minimum distance of 6 inches from the surface. This distance is the best place to clean composite decking boards without harming them.
- Clean with the grain of each board. When power washing a deck, make sure the water spray follows the grain. If you spray water with the grain, you risk leaving scratches or marks on the surface of the deck when you spray against the grain or across several boards.
The Best Way to Remove Ice and Snow from Composite Decking
During the winter months, you may not use your deck as often. However, you may still want to cut paths through the deck to make it safer to walk on.
However, to remove snow and ice from composite decking, you must use tools and products that won’t damage the surface of your deck.
Here are some safe ways to remove snow from your deck or use ice-melting products.
Can I Shovel Snow off My Composite Decking?
You can shovel snow off your composite decking without harming the composite decking. But make sure you have the right shovel.
Shovels with metal cutting edges can scratch, cut, and cause other damage to your composite decking. Stay away from them to keep your deck safe.
Using a shovel with a plastic or rubber edge will prevent breakage. This allows for safe snow removal without damaging the surface of the composite decking or cutting the deck.
In light snow, you may not even need to use a shovel to clear composite decking. less than 1-2 inches of snow can be removed with a broom.
Can I Use a Snow Blower?
Some people have large decks or long walks in their yards. If you can easily walk to the ground and there is a lot of snow on the deck. You may want to use a hand-powered snow blower to remove the snow.
This is not a good idea! The metal edges of snow blowers can cut and damage composite decking boards, just like a shovel. You don’t want to damage your beautiful deck, as it is a valuable asset investment.
Can I Use Rock Salt or Ice Melt on My Composite Decking?
Snow removal is very easy with a plastic shovel or leaf blower. If there is a small layer of ice or sleet on the deck, it’s a different story. However, ice can be dangerous, so you should de-ice immediately so that no one slips and gets hurt.
Keep in mind that you should not use any metal parts or edges to break or de-ice. Sharp metal edges can scratch or otherwise injure composite decking.
You should use a de-icing solution to melt the ice. What ice melts will not damage composite decking?
Before using ice melts, you should read the manufacturer’s instructions as carefully as you would for a strong cleaner. This is especially important if you are using a different brand or chemical.
For the most part, calcium chloride ice melt is safe for composite decking and is recommended by most composite decking manufacturers. This chemical does a good job of melting ice without harming the surface of the composite decking. In addition, pets will not be harmed by accidental ingestion.
We do not think you should use rock salt or sand containing sodium chloride. These ice melters usually leave unsightly marks on composite decking boards that do not go away.
Can I Use Chemical Cleaners to Clean My Composite Decking?
If your composite decking boards are stained or need to be cleaned, using a chemical cleaner may seem like a good idea.
In fact, it is not a good idea to use harsh chemicals on the surface of your composite decking!
Keep in mind that cleaning composite decking is easier and more effective than cleaning a standard wood deck. The mild soapy water cleaning method will remove most dirt and stains.
However, if the soapy water cleaning method doesn’t remove the stains, don’t use harsh chemical cleaners. If you do, the situation may get worse.
Bleach and other harsh chemicals should not be used on any composite material surface! These chemicals can damage the composite decking material structure and fade the color, and they cannot be repaired. You need to know that your composite decking is a valuable investment!
If you need to use a chemical solution to remove spots or stains from your composite decking. Check the decking manufacturing company’s website for their recommended cleaning products.
Using an approved cleaning solution comes with two guarantees:
- You cannot harm your composite decking boards.
- Neither warranty promise will be voided.
Regular wood decks require more maintenance and are harder to clean than composite decking. However, users still need to know how to keep composite decking clean so that it is free of any excess material or stains.
Fortunately, cleaning composite decking is easy. All you need is soap and water or a basic pressure washer. Then you can enjoy all the conveniences that composite decking has to offer you.