Over time, many materials will fail when exposed to outdoor elements. The most well-known example is wood, which eventually rots when exposed to water and humidity. A Composite deck, however, is relatively maintenance-free compared to traditional wooden decks. There are some minor things that you can do in order to keep your composite deck looking great for years. If you adhere to these tips then you shouldn’t have any problems with your composite decking material for quite some time!
The first common mistake people make is using the wrong cleaners for their composite decking. Most people think that since composite decking looks like wood it should be cleaned like it’s wood – but the truth is that the two materials couldn’t be more different! Cleaners made for wooden decks are very harsh and abrasive, which means they will quickly damage composite decking. Instead of using these types of cleaners, try using a cleaner designed specifically for plastic or composites.
One other thing to note about cleaning is that you should never use bleach or ammonia when cleaning your decking. You may have seen this done in the past – usually by accident – but both of these chemicals will degrade the synthetic material over time resulting in serious damage (i.e., cracks).
Another important tip is to resist the temptation to apply any kind of sealant on top of your composite decking. While it might seem like sealing rids your composite decking of its “wood look” it can actually lead to flaking and even discoloration. Sealing isn’t needed and the only time you should consider using a sealant is when you’re having trouble removing mold or mildew from your decking.
One of the biggest contributors to damages is moisture build-up. A composite deck expands and contracts with changes in humidity levels, which means that it can expand in places where water accumulates (i.e., around nails or screws). This can cause imperfections over time and will eventually lead to problems like splitting and cracking; be sure to check for these kinds of things regularly so you can take care of them when they’re small!
Finally, the best way to take care of your composite decking is by simply staying on top of routine maintenance. Make sure that any damaged boards are replaced immediately and be sure to check for moisture build-up under your deck. If you have a roof or overhang above your deck, use the underneath space to store extra decking materials so you can replace them as they become damaged.
In conclusion, there’s no real reason to stress out about caring for your composite decking. Simply be diligent about maintenance and consider cleaning with a different product than what you use on wooden decks – and you should keep your deck looking great year after year! Contact our team for more deck care tips.