How To Keep Your Composite Deck Looking Good All Year Long
Composite decks are a fantastic option for homeowners looking for a durable, low-maintenance outdoor living space. They also look great, too, coming in a variety of textures and colors that can mimic the look of wood. Composite decks are highly regarded for their many benefits, including their low-maintenance needs. With just a bit of care, you can keep your composite deck looking great for years to come. Read on for our top tips and to learn more about our Armadillo composite deck product.
What is a composite deck?
Composite lumber, which hit the market in the 1990s, is a mixture of plastic and wood fibers. This dense, strong lumber became popular for decks because it looks like wood but boasts features like water resistance and easy maintenance. While the engineering of these products means that composite decks come with a slightly higher price tag, many homeowners find the benefits outweigh the costs. Crafted from wood scraps and recycled plastic, composite is often considered to be a sustainable option, especially due to its long life.
Benefits of composite decks:
- Easy to work with
- Unlikely to split, scratch, and stain
- Resistant to mold
- Long life
- Doesn’t need staining or sanding
How to clean a composite deck
Cleaning a composite deck is easy! Start by clearing the deck of furniture and décor. Then sweep off the deck to remove leaves, dirt, and debris. Sweep in the direction of the grain pattern to ensure you’re keeping materials out of the gaps. This encourages proper drainage. Next, spray the surface with water and prepare your soap mixture. It’s as simple as adding some gentle dish soap to a bucket of warm water. Now you’re ready to start scrubbing! Using a soft-bristled brush, clean away any built-up dirt. Again, clean along the length of the board to encourage drainage. Once you’re done, rinse off any remaining soap. That’s it! We recommend cleaning your composite deck once or twice a year, depending on your specific conditions (such as if it’s covered, proximity to trees, typical usage, etc.).
What about stains or other debris that isn’t removed in a typical cleaning? If needed, you can consider a careful power washing to remove stubborn stains. Make sure you’re at least 12 inches above the surface and use a low-pressure setting. High pressure on the boards can damage the PVC wrap. Power washing is especially effective for removing pollen, which can be a messy nuisance on any outdoor surface.
More maintenance tips
Here are some extra quick tips to make sure your deck looks great for a long time!
- Don’t use anything with a sharp edge to remove ice.
- Don’t use sand on your deck – use rock salt instead. An ice-melt product can be used as well, but make sure it doesn’t have any color added to it.
- Speed is important when it comes to spills. A paper towel, if used quickly enough, can soak up much of the liquid. If a spill has started to absorb into the deck, start by scrubbing with a hot, soapy solution. A baking soda and vinegar mix is typically effective, too, especially for oil or grease.
- Mold doesn’t often take hold on composite lumber but if you find a patch of it, using a commercial product made for composite decks will be safe and effective.
Composite decking at Rick’s
We’re proud to sell and install Armadillo composite decking. This fantastic product uses a proprietary mix of recycled wood pulp and post-consumer recycled plastics for a high-performance deck with the beauty of realistic grain patterns. Thanks to rich colorant and UV stabilizers, Armadillo is durable, eco-friendly, and gorgeous!
Wrapped with PVC, Armadillo has an incredibly hard exterior that shrugs off scuffs and stains while boasting superior resistance to fading. This exterior, also called a cap or “hardshell,” is permanently fused to its composite core. The unique composition of the outer layer provides better control over pigmentation, resulting in a denser, richer color, with greater variation and a more realistic look and feel. A Manufacturer’s Lifetime Limited Warranty is included with Armadillo composite decking.