Composite Decking Material: Maintenance and Repair

What You'll Need
Composite deck cleaner or mild soap
Soft bristle deck brush
Hot water
Bucket Hose

A composite decking material is a modern option for homeowners who have previously had only one choice when building a deck, and that is wood. Although wooden decks are beautiful constructions, they require a lot of maintenance and regular sanding and refinishing. A composite material is made by several manufacturers as an alternative to wood. It offers a solution to the high maintenance problem. The decking material is made from byproducts of wood like wood chips and sawdust mixed with plastic.

You can choose your decking from the various styles and colors that are available on the market, but although composite materials do not require a lot of maintenance, they do need some upkeep. For a start, the deck should be scrubbed and swept free from dirt occasionally. The material can also be stained, and since you cannot sand or refinish it, removing stains should be done as soon as possible.

Step 1 - Sweeping the Deck

Sweep any loose debris that is on the surface of the deck using the broom. Any leaves or sticks that are stuck in between cracks on the board should also be taken off.

Step 2 - Mixing the Cleaners

Before using the composite deck cleaner, you will have to mix it first according the instructions of the manufacturer. You can alternatively combine hot water and mild soap in a container.

Step 3 - Scrubbing the Deck Surface

To clean the deck of tough dirt, scrub its surface using your deck brush. If you want to make your task easier, you can make use of a long handled brush. The tool will also prevent any strain from occurring in your back. The brush that you use should have soft bristles to avoid damaging the surface of the decking.

Step 4 - Spraying the Deck Surface

Using your garden hose, spray the deck surface to clean it free from cleaner or soap residues.

Step 5 - Repairing Mill Marks

To repair any mill marks that are on your deck surface, you can use a fingernail polish remover. This will lighten the mill marks or remove them completely. Get a cotton ball and wet it with the polish remover. Using a circular motion, rub it gently on the mill marks to remove them. If you want to avoid visible mill marks, you should install the material carefully.

Step 6 - Removing Rust Stains

To lighten or remove stains caused by rust, use a cleaning formula that has phosphoric or oxalic acid. Use it full strength and let it penetrate the stain for 10 to 15 minutes. If you want to avoid having rust stains, you should put away grills and any patio furniture when summer ends so that they will not rust and stain your decking material over the winter.

Step 7 - Removing Oil Stains

To remove stains caused by oil, use a soft bristled brush and a household degreaser to scrub the stains away. You will have to remove oil stains as soon as possible, as oil will seep through the material. Once it happens, it will be impossible to repair it.

Step 8 - Removing Fruit or Wine Stains

If the stains caused by red wine or berries are the problem, you can remove them using a solution of bleach and water. Mix ¼ cup of bleach with a cup of warm water. Using a circular motion, brush the stain away using a soft bristled brush. If the stains are caused by berries, they may be permanent, and no amount of repair or cleaning can remove them.