Cleaning Your Composite Deck
Composite decking brands, such as Trex and TimberTech, have gained tremendous popularity due to their durability, low maintenance requirements, and long lifespan. However, like any outdoor surface, you will have debris collect over time, requiring regular cleaning to keep them looking their best. In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to clean and maintain your composite deck.
To clean your composite deck effectively first, gather the following tools:
- Soft-bristle brush or broom
- Garden hose with a sprayer attachment
- Dawn dish soap or composite deck cleaner
- Clear the Deck: Before starting the cleaning process, remove any furniture, plants, or other items from your composite deck. This will allow you to access all areas of your deck and effectively clean it. Also, it prevents any damage the soap may cause to plants or other furniture materials.
- Sweep the Deck: Using a soft-bristle brush or broom, sweep the deck to remove loose debris, such as leaves, dirt, and twigs on the deck's surface. Pay close attention to the gaps between the boards, as they tend to accumulate debris over time. Sometimes there are just too many seeds, acorns, or leaves stuck between, and you can't take care of it with just your fingers. We suggest finding a hook to screw into a broom handle. Gently use the hook to scrape out the gunk. This homemade invention will eliminate having to bend over so much and easily be able to reach debris between boards.
- Pre-rinse the Surface: A garden hose equipped with a sprayer attachment, pre-rinse the composite deck thoroughly. If you don't have a spray attachment, you can always use a thumb over the mouth of the hose! This step will help remove surface dirt and debris and prepare the deck for the cleaning solution. If you can, try to use soft water rather than hard. If you use hard water you risk leaving some water residue.
- Apply the Cleaning Solution: When it comes to deck cleaning, we always lean towards old fashion Dawn dish soap and hot water. Timbertech manufactures its own cleaning solution, so naturally, they recommend using it for their decking lines. This solution works, but many believe Dawn dish soap is still the most effective and guaranteed way to not harm the surface of your deck. When applying chemical solutions, make sure to follow the directions to mix the correct amount of water and chemicals. If you decide to use Dawn, mix the soap with warm/hot water in a bucket. After you prep either cleaner, begin the application!
- Scrub and Rinse: Using a soft-bristle brush or broom, gently scrub the deck in a back-and-forth motion with the grain, paying special attention to stubborn stains or mold spots. Be careful not to use a brush with stiff bristles, as it may scratch the surface of the deck. Once you've thoroughly scrubbed the deck, rinse it with a garden hose or power washer to remove all traces of the cleaning solution. Make sure to rinse the deck completely to avoid leaving any soapy residue.
- Power Washing: If your hose isn't powerful enough or you have some really tough stains, grabbing a power washer is a great idea. You can use this machine for rinsing the soap off or cleaning the decking. If you want to clean the deck with a power washer then make sure to put the fan nozzle on and keep it 4+ inches away from the decking so you don't damage it. For an even better clean, add Dawn to the soap compartment. The simultaneous spray of soap and water creates a powerful clean. Finally, make sure your power washer is set to be under 3,100 PSI or the decking could be damaged.
- The Dry: After you rinse the soap off, you need to dry the deck. If you want to dry it with towels that's fine, but we recommend a sunny day! Check the weather, so you can plan for the direct sun to dry your deck after it's washed. This will naturally dry your deck without the back-bending labor of towel drying.
Cleaning and maintaining your Trex or TimberTech composite deck doesn't have to be a daunting task. By following these simple steps, you can keep your deck looking pristine and extend its lifespan. With regular cleaning and preventive maintenance, you can enjoy your beautiful composite deck for years to come.
About the Author
I founded Woodland Deck in 2000 to create decks and outdoor spaces to be enjoyed for generations. Here in beautiful Northeast Ohio, we’re lucky to experience four dramatically different seasons throughout the year, and I want you to be able to enjoy each one of them from the comfort of your own backyard. As a deck-building company, we are always looking for ways to better our products, services, and ourselves. We are passionate about life outside and believe that enjoying God’s creation is a rich gift to us.