Composite Deck Maintenance- Cleaning & Sealing
Composite decks are not maintenance free. No matter which brand you have; Trex, Timber Tech, Fiberon, Weather Best, Rhino Deck, Choice Dek, Azek, Monarch, Moisture Shield, Veranda, Lattitudes & Millennium. The composite surface will get dirty & develop stains when exposed to Michigan’s climate changes.
Cleaning away dirt & stains is necessary maintenance at least twice yearly, in the spring & again in the fall to prevent accumulation of stains.
Cleaning effectively removes dirt, grime & organism growth. It gets rid the food source of stains at the same time so they don’t get worse. The food source is in the form of ground in dirt, pollen, oil & environmental pollutants that fall from the sky & attach to the porous composite deck surface. Lichen, algae or moss growth will cause a greenish discoloration. Mold generally looks like black or gray spots.
Fortunately, getting rid of these types of stains involves only one remediation method. To properly clean a composite deck it is necessary to use sodium percarbonate cleaner mixed with a detergent & a low pressure washing process. Sodium per carbonate is not harsh like bleach does not harm the composite deck surface. It targets difficult stains like mold at the root to kill & remove them. Scrubbing the stains & rinsing with a hose is not enough to get rid of stains no matter what type of cleaner is used. This is why it’s best to hire a professional that utilizes a low pressure washing approach, which removes stains below the porous surface.
Sealing composite decking is beneficial if you have material that was manufactured prior to 2010. Older composite deck material was not as resistant to stains & UV color fading as newer material. Application of an invisible water & stain barrier will prolong the stain free appearance of composite decks. To seal composite decks, apply Surface Saver Sealer, a siloxane sealer that forms a chemical bond below the surface locking out moisture & stains. Water penetration will no longer be a food source for lichen, algae, moss, mold & mildew once the sealer is applied. Nothing can entirely stop the return of these types of stains, so it’s best to plan to clean & reseal your deck periodically. Although composite decks are not maintenance free, you can reduce the frequency of cleaning by application of Surface Saver Sealer, which has proven to reduce recurrence of future stains.