Keeping your composite decking clean is essential. Doing it correctly can extend its lifespan, improve durability, and prevent unsightly stains and discolouration. It also ensures safety and slip resistance by preventing the buildup of slippery moss and algae.
But what’s the best approach for making it look perfect? That’s what we discuss here. Below you will find a step-by-step guide on how to clean a composite timber deck for a professional finish.
1. Prepping the deck
The first step is to prepare the deck for cleaning. Ensure you remove any objects and furniture that might get in the way and impede access to all areas.
Also, sweep any loose debris. Remove excess leaves or dirt that could impede effective cleaning.
2. Choosing the right cleaning solution
Next, choose the most suitable cleaning solution. The best option for composite decking is regular washing-up liquid. It contains a mild detergent that’s not harsh enough to damage the deck’s surface while providing effective cleaning action. (It’s also affordable, which is a nice little extra benefit!)
3. Scrubbing away dirt and debris
Once you have the washing-up liquid, mix it into a bowl of lukewarm water and distribute it over the decking. Then, take a stiff brush and give it some elbow grease to loosen any stuck-on dirt and grime.
You should notice the cleaning solution turning a satisfying shade of dark brown if you haven’t cleaned your decking for a while. Brushing will lift most of the dirt from the decking, revealing its original colour underneath.
Don’t brush too hard, though. While composite decking is robust, you can still scratch it if you are too vigorous.
4. Rinsing for a sparkling finish
Once you finish brushing and think the dirt has come up, rinse the area to reveal the decking below. You should notice a sudden change in colour if it has been a long time since you cleaned the surface.
Keep rinsing until all the suds and dirt are gone. If it still looks dirty or patchy, start over by applying some more cleaning solution and scrubbing the decking with the brush. Repeat until you are satisfied with the results.
5. Deck maintenance tips
For best results when cleaning your composite decking, use the following tips:
- Clean the deck as soon as dirt appears. Don’t wait until it becomes ingrained. It will be harder to remove.
- Clean your decking at least once every 12 to 18 months. Leaving it any longer than that could damage it
- Let the decking dry before you walk on it. Although composite decking has a higher slip resistance, with any soap residue we don’t want you slipping and falling!
- Test cleaning solutions in a small area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the board. While composite decking materials are highly chemical resistant, some natural wood versions may not be.
- Use soft brush bristles. Don’t scrub your decking with a wire brush.
For further information please watch our video on maintaining Millboard decking.