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Composite Deck Maintenance Tips

composite deck maintenanceMany people choose composite decking material because it doesn’t require paint or sealer, it doesn’t produce splinters, and it is relatively easy to maintain. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t maintenance required. Here are five tips for keeping a good-looking composite deck:

1. Clean. One of the biggest threats to composite decking’s appearance is the growth of mold and mildew. These nasty annoyances can attack both the wood and the plastic in your composite deck, so keeping your deck free of them is a must.

2. Ventilate. Make sure the deck boards are spaced adequately apart from one another. Properly ventilating your composite deck will also help discourage mold growth.

3. Improve drainage. Standing water under your deck can cause big problems. Not only does it encourage mold growth, but it can attract unwanted pests such as mosquitoes, flies and gnats. Make sure there is a drainage system underneath your deck, and direct splash guards and downspouts to another area of your yard.

4. Be careful with tools. Though composite decking is tough, shovels, hard rakes and hoes will cause damage. Be careful when removing dirt or snow – you certainly don’t want an ugly scratch on your new deck.

5. Exercise grill caution. Finally, if you’re going to use your deck for grilling, make sure there is a guard mat underneath the grill. Not only can the grill cause scrapes and scratches, but hot coals and grease can potentially ruin a composite deck. Having a flame-resistant guard mat will help prevent burns and stains.

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2 Responses to “Composite Deck Maintenance Tips”

  1. Linda Jellison says:

    What do you recommend for cleaning composite decks? Just power washing, or are chemicals needed?

  2. NicoleK says:

    Hi Linda, thanks for your question! We primarily recommend regular sweeping and hosing. Use power washing only with extreme caution, as it can damage the surface of your deck and in some cases even void the warranty. For food stains and other spills, start by using warm, soapy water and a stiff-bristle brush. To combat mold and mildew growth, many homeowners find deck cleaners with sodium hypochlorite to be effective. For tannin stains left by leaves and other organic debris, you can try a deck cleaner with oxalic acid. If you sweep and hose your deck regularly, however, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

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