Millboard Decking
Millboard Decking

How To Care For Your Composite Decking

More and more homeowners are choosing composite decking over timber decking because of its durability and low-maintenance requirements. But composite decks aren’t completely maintenance-free!

Made from a mixture of recycled wood fibres and plastic, composite decking is an increasingly popular choice in decking. It is designed to be hard-wearing, long-lasting and non-splintering with minimal care and maintenance required.  

While composite decking does not need much effort and time in the way of maintenance, you should still take care of it to help the material look great and to last as long as it should.  

Our ‘Top Tips’ To Maintain The Beauty Of Your Composite Deck:

Keep Your Gaps Clear:

Composite decking boards grow and shrink (expand and contract) as the temperature fluctuates.

During installation, most manufacturers will recommend leaving a ~5mm ‘expansion gap’ at each end of the boards to allow for growth. If debris fills these gaps, the boards will have no room to expand. Resulting in the boards cupping or splitting.

So keep an eye on the ends of your decking boards. Clearing out any foreign objects with a blunt, thin tool. Like a spatula or putty knife.

Keep Fire Away: 

Most composite decking boards contain a high percentage of recycled plastic. So direct and indirect sources of heat; such as fire pits, barbeque grills and fireplaces, can damage your deck’s surface. If you do wish to cook or have a fire pit on your composite deck, be sure to put an insulating barrier between your deck and the heat source.

For example. a thick sheet of compressed fibre cement should be placed under a firepit to protect your deck from the radiant heat. Or a rubber matt under your BBQ to protect from hot oil drips or charcoal.

Prevent Deep Scratches:

.Composite decking is supposed to be relatively scratch resistant. In our experience, they all are – to a degree.

Some composite decking brands scratch more easily than others, it’s true. But, all can be damaged if you’re not careful.

So take reasonable steps to protect your investment and keep it looking its best.

Fix felt or rubber pads to the legs of your tables and chairs. If you have a lot of small stones in your yard, place a doormat at the entrance to your deck so that you don’t cart too many sharp stones onto the deck surface.

In summary: take the kinds of precautions you would to protect your indoor floors if you want your composite deck to remain in perfect condition – longer.

Clean Up Spills Immediately:

All grease, oil or food spills should be removed immediately. Also, spray off the area with soapy water and clean it using soft bristle brush as soon as possible. Though mould can’t grow on the composite, it survives on the food debris that you leave on the deck. So, keeping your deck’s surface clean prevents the growth of harmful fungi.

Don’t Use Sharp Tools To Clean:

Whether from your shoes or a flower pot, dirt and grime may build-up on your deck over time. While regular sweeping can get rid of the dirt, you can grab a gentle scrubbing brush, mild soap and water to remove certain stubborn debris. Never use sharp-edged tools to clean the surface of the deck as it can cause permanent damage.

Avoid Standing Water:

Composite decking has resistance to water and the rot associated with timber decking. However, you should still do whatever you can to avoid standing water. As mildew and mould require water, moisture and warm weather to grow, it is best to minimize water stagnating like a puddle on the decking. Redirecting downspout points away from your decking and ventilating the underside of your deck are some of the measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of mould and mildew build-up.

Sweep, Mop, or Wash Regularly:

Sweeping your deck once or twice a week is a super-simple way to protect your deck. By removing debris regularly, you can lower the amount of dirt, pebbles and organic matter that can be crushed into the grain of the deck, causing scratches and stains.

We recommend the occasional mop with dishwashing detergent. Or the use of a pressure washer if your deck needs a ‘deep-clean’. Just don’t place the nozzle too close to the boards and be sure to hose off all the detergent when you’re done!

A clean and well-cared on deck is sure to last longer and looking great for many years. If you have any questions about composite decking care and maintenance or need any decking advice, head on over to Leisure Decking. We are happy to assist you with any questions you may have!

Building a deck is a highly specialised form of carpentry. It takes years of learning and building to master. For us, it’s all about using the best quality materials and laying the right foundations. That means getting to know you, and spending the time getting the sub-floor absolutely right.

Decking is beautiful. But it’s what’s underneath; the groundwork, that matters most to us. As they say – “The beautiful rests on the foundations of the necessary.” Without a solid foundation, you will never achieve a flawless, lasting result that truly functions for you.

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