One of the biggest advantages of composite decking over decking made from other materials, such as timber, is that it requires a lot less maintenance.
For many, this is the clincher in terms of choosing which decking they buy, not just because you do not need to spend as much time maintaining composite decking, but that it also costs a lot less to maintain. Given that decking will likely last many years, over time, the savings made due to fewer maintenance costs, will be considerable.
Now, whilst composite decking may need less time and money spent on it with regards to maintenance, that does not mean it is completely maintenance free. In other words, you do need to clean it and maintain it, so here are some of the basics that you can do in order to ensure your composite decking looks great, and for longer.
The amount of time you will need to carry out the cleaning of composite decking is minimal, and in most cases, it should amount to no more than a few hours every year. In fact, many decking owners set aside a day during a weekend in the summer, and that is it.
Note we said summer as this is the best time of the year to carry out cleaning on composite decking because it means your decking should be at its driest, and any water you use as part of the cleaning process should evaporate in no time.
First, you should remove all the furniture which you have on your decking, including tables, chairs, barbecue grills and plant pots. Not only will this make it easier to clean the decking, but safer, as you will be amazed how many accidents happen with people tripping over and bumping into decking furniture as they try to clean around them.
Cleaning starts with you sweeping the decking, although you can use a vacuum cleaner if you wish. If there is a lot of debris such as leaves and twigs, you might want to use a leaf blower before sweeping or vacuuming. Pay special attention to the gaps between the decking panels as these tend to trap small particles which then block these gaps.
Next, you should get rid of any excess dirt and dust by hosing down your entire decking area. The next step is to wash down the decking using warm, soapy water. Note under no circumstances should you use strong detergents and that applies especially to any type of bleach, which can damage composite decking due to the fact that it is corrosive.
To clean between the gaps we mentioned, or to get rid of any dirt which has hardened on to the surface of your decking, you should use a brush with soft bristles, but do so with care.
Depending on how large your composite decking area is, you might find it easier to wash it one area at a time, rather than trying to do the whole thing at once. The reason is that if the heat from the sun dries out a section of the decking where you have used soapy water, the suds will dry before you have had a chance to rinse them off, and this can leave marks.
Instead, after you have washed each section, hose it down with cold water so that any soap suds are washed away. Continue until you have cleaned and rinsed each section.