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Cleaning a Composite Deck.


The cleaning of a deck made from composite WPC decking boards is really simple - quite a common-sense thing, that one has to wonder if there are any ulterior motives from non-composite deck builders in this matter!

Quite basically, the sooner you get on to any spillage, the better chance you have of ending up with a perfect deck again.

 The same applies to timber decks - even more so because of their inability to repel most moistures - unless the deck is well oiled and cared for. 

Day to Day Cleaning of composite decking.

Wash it down after dry spells, to get rid of any dust build ups which could abrade the deck slightly. However, bear in mind that modern composite deckboards manufacture involves that the finished product will have a surface that is tolerant to normal usage and wear.

Routine cleaning - and certainly not day-to-day unless you are a messy person - will involve simple washing down with a good household detergent. Washing-up liquid is fine, or any other general detergent. Bleach is NOT fine, so ensure that your cleaner is bleach-free. If you must, then get a proprietary decking cleaning fluid. Wash off the deck with a soft broom or sponge floor mop. Simple as that.

Oil and Grease Stains

Try to prevent the build-up of grease marks around the BBQ. You can put down a waterproof/greaseproof material. Make sure that it is not a tripping hazard near the BBQ! A large sheet of vinyl laminate will do the trick well, and they come in colours that will either match or complement your composite decking colour. The other alternative, is simply to be extra careful with the BBQ - but mess happens!

So - in the even of a grease spillage, first don't worry, your composite deck should be able to cope with this. To remove the mark, again a household cleaning detergent and a reasonable stiff bristle broom should do the trick. Don't resort to the pressure jet for a simple operation like this!

The biggest problem I had, was to have to clean a deck where the owner had decided to spray paint a bit of wrought iron work. So, I never underestimate how careless some people can be. (Hope he does not read this!)

Pressure Washing a Composite deck.

Firstly - see the NOTE below. Modern composite decks should be able to withstand sensible use of a jet was pressure washer. DON'T use it at maximum pressure. DO try it out on a bit of spare decking. DO keep the nozzle as far away as possible from the surface of the deck board. Use a wide fan if you have an adjustable spray head.

Mordern Composite decks are much more able to withstand pressure washing than softwood or hardwood decks. The latter tend to get a bit 'fuzzy' after continued - or careless use. Then you have a real problem as the wood surface fibers lift and trap more day to day dust! This is not normally a problem with good composite deck boards.

Scratches and the like.

The surface of a composite deck is far less likely to suffer scratch marks than a softwood deck - or some hardwood decks! But, again, things happen - especially if you have kids or are an avid party-thrower!

Light scratch marks can be sanded out with a fine grade sandpaper. Yes, there will be a bit of discoloration, but it will all fade back to normal in a few weeks or so. Deeper scratches can be remedied - and I hate saying this - with the use of a soldering iron, lightly worked back and for. Again, any discoloration should be temporary.

Prevent 'accidents' by not using metal objects on the deck -timber or composite. Put some 'shoes' on the bottom of BBQ and metal furniture legs. Clean any snow or other debris with a plastic shovel. Watch out for those really fashionable high heels - especially in wood decks.

NOTE NOTE NOTE!

Try and save a bit of the decking material from the construction - even to the extent of buying an extra composite deck board. Then in the event you have to try any of the above, you can do a trial first! Always best to be absolutely sure!

Prevention is the Answer!

Just because your deck is meant to be walked on, it does not mean that it can be mistreated. Do whatever you can to prevent damage problems. Much as you would with anything else. That does not mean that you have to molly-coddle your composite deck. It should be a robust structure capable of withstanding the rigours of family use, so ENJOY, but just try to foresee any potential problems. A bit like life in general really!  

 

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