In the past 15 years there has been a substantial amount of composite decking products to hit the market. Some of the more popular are Trex, Azek, and TimberTech. Composite decking is a mixture of recycled plastic and wood fibers. They were designed initially to be maintenance free with no need for cleaning and or an application of a sealer/wood stain.
The industry has since changed from "maintenance free" to" "low maintenance" due to the many issues with mold and mildew. There have been class action lawsuits from this but the fact remains that there is no such thing as "maintenance free" when it comes to horizontal exterior surfaces. It does not matter what the substrate is, all will need periodic cleaning and or sealer.
The question is how should I maintain my Trex or Composite Deck so that it looks good continuously? Well it is an fairly easy process and should be done whenever the mold/mildew becomes noticeable. Failure to clean ASAP could result in the mold spores never coming clean!
We do not suggest bleach for cleaning composite wood. While it does help remove the mold and mildew, it can lighten the wood fibers of the wood in the decking, bleaching out the color. It is best to use a composite deck cleaner that contains sodium percarbonate as the main ingredient. Sodium Percarbonate is registered by the EPA as a mold and mildew remover. It is a very effective chemical and is essentially harmless when it comes in contact with humans and vegetation.
- Clean off decking and remove all furniture 20+ feet away from decking.
- Use either the Defy Wood Cleaner or the Restore-A-Deck products. Both contain sodium percarbonate and additional surfactants that aid the process of cleaning exterior wood and decking. Both are powdered concentrates.
- Mix cleaner in a bucket with water. Warm water if possible will work better. Follow the directions as to how much cleaner you should add per gallon of water.
- Apply the cleaner with a pump sprayer or scrub bush. We suggest doing sections of 100-200 square feet at a time.
- Using a scrub brush or pressure washer, lightly wash off cleaner, dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and algae. Repeat if needed.
- When done thoroughly rinse all decking, house and vegetation.
- Optional: Application of a clear water repellent will minimize the mold growth. It is a very easy step. We suggest the SuperSeal-M Water Repellent. It applies with pump sprayer and will not change the appearance at all once dried.
Keeping up with the cleaning of your composite deck is essential! It will keep the wood looking better and is healthier choice for people who have allergies.
If you have any questions please use the form below.