4 Common Mistakes That Can Damage Your Composite Decking

Same as any exterior surface composite decking requires cleaning. Although composite decking can be “less maintenance” than other types of decking, this certainly doesn’t mean “No Maintenance ”.

In fact, some mistakes can actually increase the regular care required to maintain a composite deck. Here are a few tips to avoid the extra work and get the most out of your deck.

1. Using The Wrong Cleaner

Choosing the right cleaner can literally make or break your deck. Although the surface looks solid, composite decking is quite porous. Therefore, it needs an oxygenated cleaner that can reach deep into the material and clean inside the deck as well as the surface.

When purchasing a cleaner, always check the label and NEVER use a Chlorine Bleach-based “deck cleaner”. If the active ingredients read – Sodium Hypochlorite, it contains Bleach. Chlorine Bleach is extremely corrosive and will “eat” any material it’s applied to.

Eventually, it will discolour your deck, damage the surface (not to mention your plants) and exacerbate any mould/mildew issues that can occur.

Avoid this costly mistake and choose a non-toxic, sodium percarbonate-based cleaner. Please use Saicos WPC decking Cleaner to clean your deck.

2. Pressure Washing Your Composite Decking

Pressure washing is not usually recommended for composite decking. If done incorrectly, it can be a big mistake. Pressure washing too close or using too much pressure can be bad for your deck.

Composite decking material is softer than natural wood and therefore can be “etched” more easily. Once the material has been “opened up”, this can lead to a host of other issues including chipping, sun damage, and mould staining of the plastics inside the opening. Once mould has stained these plastics, it can be extremely hard to remove. In most cases, a garden hose should be sufficient for regular duty cleaning.

If you must pressure wash, just remember to keep it at the lowest pressure possible and no closer than 8″ from the surface.

3. Forgetting the Gaps

A decking company recently contacted us for advice on how to prevent mould from growing under the deck.

One of the biggest contributing factors to this problem is a simple step most people overlook during their regular cleaning – the gaps!

Dirt and debris can build up over time collecting moisture and providing the perfect breeding ground for mould and mildew.

Depending on your climate, the gaps between your deck boards should be cleared out at least once a year.

This will allow the air to pass between the boards helping to keep the underside nice and dry.

4. Using the Wrong Tools

The same advice applies here. Composite decking requires a little extra care when cleaning.

Regular cleaning of dirt and debris can easily be done with a broom or a garden hose.

For a deeper clean, always use a soft bristle scrub brush. Again, if you are using the right cleaner, less scrubbing will be required.

For snow removal, choose a plastic shovel instead of metal.