How to Clean and Seal Your Composite Decking

If you’re planning on purchasing composite decking boards from as with any type of decking, the boards will need cleaning. The good news is that cleaning your new boards is not difficult, you just need to know how to clean them. This article will show you how you can keep your composite decking clean so it looks good for many years to come.

If your deck was constructed before 2005, chances are you’ll know that they can become susceptible to mildew. While decking that has been manufactured after 2005 is less susceptible to mildew it’s best to make sure you look after it just in case.

Deck Cleaning Made Easy

A relatively easy way for you to clean your decking involves using a scrubbing brush and some water. Some people suggest that you should clean your decking using a pressure washer but this could prove disastrous. Pressure washers could ultimately ruin the decking boards as they will blast some of the surface away. What you’ll be left with is marks on your decking where you can clearly see where the water first came into contact with the decking. If you must use a pressure washer or even a hose, please make sure that it has less than 1,000 psi.

Scrubbing the decking by hand may not be much fun so you may want to use a broom instead. Using a broom means you won’t have to be bent over to do the cleaning but it also allows you to cover a lot of ground in a short space of time.

Make sure you clean your deck thoroughly, concentrating on those extra dirty spots.

Using a Cleaning Agent

While you may be tempted to clean your nice new composite decking with any cleaning product you come across, you could be making a big mistake. Some cleaning agents will damage the decking so you’ll need to be careful about what you use. Avoid using bleach as it can damage your decking and it won’t remove all of that mildew.

There are cleaning products out there that have been specifically designed to be used on composite decking. These are the only products you should use to clean your decking as they are safe to use and won’t ruin the surface of the boards.

Sealing the Deck

While composite decking does not need to be sealed as it’s manufactured to last a very long time it will not hurt to seal it. Use a specific composite decking sealant after you’ve cleaned the decking. If you don’t clean the decking beforehand you’ll be sealing all that mildew and dirt in and it may not look very nice.

Use a sealant once you have finished cleaning and the deck is dry. Please make sure you always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the sealant as stated. Once you have sealed your nice new decking you will not have to seal it again for at least another 2-3 years.

Using the Right Sealer

Using the right sealer on your decking will ultimately determine what your decking looks like and how pleased you are with it. When selecting a sealer you should:

Opt for a water-based sealer as they are very easy to use. If you use a solvent-based sealer they will make the colour of your decking look slightly different. A water-based sealer will not change the colour of the decking at all. You should also look for a water-based sealer that contains zinc as it’s ideal at helping to limit the growth of mould.

Follow the Instructions

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions as they will show you how to seal your decking correctly. Make sure you know how long the sealant will take to dry and how many coats will need to be applied. Following the instructions will ensure your decking looks good.

Maintain your Decking

Once you have cleaned and sealed your composite decking it’s up to you to look after it. While your decking will last for many years you do need to take care of it. If you spot any mildew returning you simply need to wash it off with a composite decking cleaner. Once you’ve washed the mildew away, allow the decking to dry before applying a coat of sealer.

You may also want to think about cleaning your decking with a bit of water every few months. Even if you’re careful with your decking it can still become dirty. Use a broom and some water and scrub the decking as if you were using your broom on your floors. You do not have to add too much pressure and your decking will look much cleaner in no time at all. Remember, you may not have to re-seal your decking for another 2-3 years, just keep it clean you enjoy spending time in your garden on your lovely new deck.