Composite decking – a kind of lumber made from a combination of wood fibre, plastic and some type of binding agent – has many advantages over traditional wood decking due to its long life and resistance to stains, scratches and mould. It is also less likely than wood decking to delaminate or split, making it an attractive investment for people wanting to install a welcoming outdoor entertainment area in their home. Even with all its advantages, it’s imperative that you care for your composite decking to ensure that it stands the test of time. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Sweep. It’s a tiresome task for some, but a necessary habit to get into. Sweep about once a week (less if your outdoor areas aren’t too leafy) to get rid of leaves, dirt and other miscellaneous debris that may accumulate on the deck.
2. Scrub. Even more tiresome, but a less frequent activity, purchasing a composite-friendly decking cleaner and getting down to business every three or four months will see your deck looking as good as new. Before you grimace, it’s a much easier task than sanding back and refinishing, which other types of decks require you to do.
3. Take the pressure off. There will be times that you come across some stubborn grime that refuses to unstick, no matter how hard you try. While the temptation of the pressure cleaner may be strong, be careful with it – too much pressure can damage the surface of the composite decking boards. If you’re concerned, call a professional.
4. Mind the gaps. The whole reason there are gaps between the boards is so that water and dirt can fall through easily to the earth below. Be mindful that debris does not get caught in these gaps. To clear the gaps, run a blunt blade between the boards to scrape them clean. Do this about once a year, but be careful to avoid scratching the boards.
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