When it comes to backyard decking, some of the most trusted materials are composites. They are compositions of recycled plastic and wood. Composite decking is durable, being able to withstand most weather damage, lasting for more than 25 years. Not only that, but it also looks as beautiful as real wood. Another good thing is that it’s quite easy to install and setup, with the invention of various decking accessories.


However, there’s a misconception about composite decking. Since composites are part-plastic, and the fact that they’re not susceptible to most damages, many think that they don’t need to maintain it. True, they are more durable than wood decking, but they still need regular maintenance.


The question is, how can you maintain composite decking? To help you, here are some of the Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your patio.

 

The Do’s 

  • Always sweep your patio whenever it needs it, or before thoroughly washing it. As a general rule, do a thorough clean at least twice a year.

  • When cleaning your composite decking, make sure that you read and follow any specific instructions supplied by the manufacturers. 

  • When thoroughly washing your patio, rinse first the deck with warm water. It prepares the decking for cleaning. You should also remove any furniture, decorations, rugs and mats on your composite decking.

  • Dilute a dishwashing soap in a bucket of water. Use this mixture to clean your composite decking. Rinse it with water.

  • Use a soft-bristle nylon brush to remove dirt. Try to reach even the smallest gaps in-between the decking boards. It’s where moulds and fungi can build up.

  • If you happen to spill grease, oil, or food in your composite decking, make sure to clean it right away. The longer it takes for you to clean it, the more chances that the oils would soak into the composites, which will cause eventual damage to your patio.

  • Likewise, if you spilt water, or any other liquid, on your patio, make sure to dry it immediately. Prolonged exposure to moisture can damage your composite decking.

  • During the winter, use non-abrasive chemicals to remove the ice from your composite decking. Contact your supplier regarding what to use and what not to use.

  • If you notice a broken or rotting decking board, make sure to replace it immediately. Not doing so can infect the surrounding boards. It also presents a safety risk if left untreated.

The Don’ts

  • Do not let debris, like fallen leaves and pollen, accumulate in your deck. Although composite decking is resistant to fungi and moulds, they can still grow on fallen leaves and debris.

  • Do not use a power washer when cleaning your patio without consulting with the care instructions supplied by the manufacturers. Since not all composites are equal, some may be softer than others. 

  • Do not use harsh chemicals as cleaning solutions, such as chlorine bleach. These can damage your decking. 

  • Do not use metal brushes when scrubbing your floors. 

  • When thoroughly cleaning your composite decking with a mild soap and water solution, do not let the soap dry on the deck. Instead, rinse it immediately.

  • Do not use a shovel or any sharp tools to remove ice during wintertime. It can puncture and scrape off the coating of your composite decking, leaving it susceptible for further damage. 

  • Likewise, do not use abrasive ice removers. You can use calcium chloride-based ice removers instead. 

  • Do not use organic rugs and mats on your composite deck. These materials can trap moisture underneath. Also, avoid any rubber, latex, or vinyl mats as it can scratch the surface of the patio.

  • Do not drag pieces of furniture across the patio. If you need to transport furniture in or out of your deck, you’ll need to carry them instead.