Composite Decking Aftercare: Easy Tips To Keep That Deck Looking Its Best
Grease patches? Algae? Food stains? All you want is smart, clean composite decking to feel proud of, but sometimes those sneaky forces of nature have other ideas. Arm yourself against a myriad of threats with these easy tips for damage prevention, protection and treatment.
Caring For Uncapped Decking
You’ve saved yourself a couple of quid by opting for uncapped, but, perversely, this more vulnerable style of decking can ratchet up costs through maintenance if not cared for. Here are the hazards to watch out for:
Scratching—Uncapped decking is more susceptible to scratching than capped decking, so take care with furniture, pets, children, toys, ornaments, shoes or anything else that could abrade the surface. Smaller scratches can be sanded out or patched with epoxy filler. Rubber or felt feet can be added to avoid unnecessary scratching. However, for large cracks or deeper unsightly damage that cannot be as easily disguised, consider replacing the entire board. When in doubt, the team at Composite Prime is on hand to deal with any queries related to maintenance.
Moisture—Prevent moisture collecting on the decking, as it can cause staining and create an ideal environment for algal or fungal growth. If you don’t fancy cultivating a mushroom ring, watch out for moisture-inviting culprits like downpipes, plant pots, mulch planters, hot tubs and furniture. Keep the area dry by brushing off excess moisture after rainfall or cleaning, ensuring there is at least a six-inch ventilation gap under the deck and eliminating any gunk that builds up in and around the boards. If the spores do take up residence, apply an organic patio cleaner such as Algon or a sodium percarbonate oxygen activated bleach, scrub with a thick bristle brush then rinse.
Staining—Pesky stains like berries from bushes near the deck or spilt food and drinks can make the boards look messy and lacklustre. Acting fast after the spill, use an eco-friendly sodium percarbonate bleach in small amounts with hot water and rub the area lightly.
Remove Grease And Oil Stains
In the dynamic world of outdoor decking, a new hero arrives in a spray can. Abzorbit is an ingenious grease and oil stain remover from Composite Prime that makes light work of the patches that washing up liquid and detergent just won’t budge. Whether it’s fallen fat from the barbecue, spilt salad dressing, grease from nuts or snacks, or oil from the shed, just a few sprays of Abzorbit, a little time and a sweep with a dry brush will send stains packing. That decking will be good as new.
Abzorbit works on both uncapped composite and traditional timber decking. An essential partner for a workhorse outdoor deck. Find at trusted suppliers nationwide or on Amazon.
Caring For Capped Decking
For those concerned about the elements’ effect, capped decking is the way to go for low-maintenance decking, for which scratches and stains are less of a concern. However, even this sturdy composite isn’t immune to wear and tear if neglected, and the same rules apply: keep the deck dry and free of debris as far as possible. Clean your deck of dirt and spills with mild soap or deck cleaner with water, spraying the mixture onto the deck, scrubbing the surface with a soft brush and allowing it to fully dry.
Pressure washing is satisfying stuff: there’s even a whole Reddit forum dedicated to watching people transform their patios, decks, sheds and fences from algal green to clean and bright again. However, don’t forget that jet washing is also used to etch brick, meaning it can be very damaging to even capped composite decking if used wrongly. Here are some tips:
- Start spraying on the lowest setting. A spray that’s too powerful can etch, splinter and erode the deck, leaving it open to further damage from abrasion, sunlight and fungus.
- Test the pressure on an inconspicuous area first and increase the pressure incrementally, but do not go above 1,200psi.
- Use a fan tip to ensure even application of water.
- Start at the house and move methodically outwards.
- Don’t try to use water for grease patches—it won’t work. Choose Abzorbit grease and oil stain remover instead (see above).
- Sand away any splinters afterwards.
- Ensure the deck has enough light and ventilation to dry quickly afterwards, preventing algae and fungus growth.
- Use a professional service if you do not own your own washer: look for trusted companies with strong reviews and lots of industry experience.
As your doctor will have no doubt told you, prevention is the best cure when it comes to caring for your outdoor deck. Maintenance—from sweeping away rainwater, debris and leaves, being mindful of the objects that touch the deck—need take no more than a couple of minutes each week. Clean as you go and you’ll never need to worry about fungi or algae.
Buy only from reputable manufacturers who offer a warranty. All of Composite Prime’s HD Deck range comes with a 10-25 year warranty for peace of mind. Enquire today to find out more.