3 Quick and Easy Composite Deck Maintenance Tips
Designed and manufactured to mimic exotic woods such as teak, walnut, and cherry, DuraLife™ composite decking can maintain its color, texture and beauty for many years. Unlike traditional pressure treated decking, it doesn’t require time consuming, labor intensive painting or staining year after year. That said, any outdoor structure exposed to elements in nature will need some attention over time – if not to maintain its structural integrity, then to keep it looking its very best.
And, while it’s true that homeowners love the fact that DuraLife composite decks require much less maintenance than a traditional pressure treated (PT) wood deck, these 3 tips will keep your composite decking looking like new for decades.
1. Put Furniture Pads on The Bottom of Deck Furniture.
Just as the surface of a hardwood floor can show scratch marks inside your home over time, scratches from moving metal deck furniture across your new composite deck can be real drag. Simply install peel and stick outdoor furniture protectors on patio chair legs, tables and other deck accessories. Unlike indoor pads made from fabric, outdoor covers are made of either rubber or plastic in order to repel water.
If a scratch or scuff should occur, it’s appearance should diminish over time as its newly exposed surface weathers. For larger scratches or scuffs, a heat gun (available at most building products or hardware stores) may be used to carefully heat and blend the blemished portion of the polypropylene cap material into the adjacent deck surface area. It’s important to note that the tip of the heat gun should always be in constant motion and NEVER be placed closer than 2 inches from the deck surface, as it may permenantly damage the surface of the deck. Never place a heat gun directly on the deck surface after completing the repair.
2. Practice Routine Sweeping and Washing
From pollen, leaves and twigs, to bird droppings and insects, outdoor decks are always being bombarded with something from above. Composite decks are built tough and remain impervious to moisture problems much better than natural wood, but homeowners should still make a point to routinely sweep off the surface of their decks. By removing these items with a firm bristled broom or leaf blower, it reduces the chance of that item (a stick, pebble, acorn, etc.) being stepped on, potentially causing damage to either the deck or the person walking barefooted.
With the changing of the seasons, it’s also a good idea to clean composite decks with a solution of warm soapy water. This ‘freshening up’ will remove any buildup of dirt and pollen that could dull the appearance of composite over time. It’s important to keep in mind that everyday substances such as dirt, pollen and bird droppings rarely form a strong attachment to the composite deck surface. In most cases, soap and water and a little scrubbing is all that’s needed to lift most of the dirt and grime away. It is recommended that you keep your deck covered and protected during painting or construction work that may occur nearby. Paint spills or cementitious dust from stucco or similar applications are often very difficult to remove from a deck’s surface.
Homeowners should be extremely careful using pressure washers on their composite decks. The high pressure of the spraying water – never use more than 2,500 PSI, always use the fan/spray attachment and keep the tip at least 12” away from the decks surface. Again, a composite deck that is routinely swept and washed down a few times a year will rarely require the use of anything more than a regular garden hose to keep it clean.
3. Clear Ice and Snow the Right Way
DuraLife decking products are made specifically to withstand the harsh weather conditions of New England and the northern United States. Made in Maine, DuraLife’s unique polypropylene and hardwood composite decking product goes even further to outperform both wood and other composites. But, knowing the right way to keep your deck snow and ice free in the winter will ensure that your deck does not get damaged accidently.
For some homeowners, the primary entrance and exit to the house is accessed across their deck. If this is the case year-round it and it becomes necessary to clear the deck of ice and snow, always be sure to use a plastic shovel with a non-metal tip. It’s also important to note that some plastic shovels are equipped with a sharp metal edge that could easily nick or gouge the decking. Carefully inspect all shovels to insure they are plastic throughout.
Another good practice when clearing snow from a composite deck is to ‘follow the grain’ and move parallel with the direction of the boards rather than cutting across multiple deck boards. This will minimize the chances of catching an edge and damaging the deck. Calcium chloride or rock salt can also be used to melt ice buildup on most composite decks.
While not entirely maintenance free, composite decking is engineered to be much easier to maintain than any natural wood product, without ever rotting, splitting or warping. When you say ‘hello’ to a new composite deck, say can say ‘goodbye’ to scraping, sanding or painting your deck every year.
Get Free samples of DuraLife composite decking. Select up to 4 complimentary composite decking samples in any combination of collection, profile and color. Order your free samples now!
This article is made possible by DuraLife.DuraLife’s unique polypropylene and hardwood composite decking materials simply outperform all other wood and composite decking products.More solid and safe under foot, DuraLife decking is backed by a 25-year warranty. It is stain and fade resistant, mold and mildew resistant, and is available in the colors and deck railing options you want. Get Free Samples, try our Composite Deck & Railing Visualizer, or contact DuraLife now to learn more.