How To Clean A Composite Deck: Care & Cleaning Guide

Royal Deck Expert Deck Builder > Decking ideas > How To Clean A Composite Deck: Care & Cleaning Guide

Many homeowners don’t think much about how to clean a composite deck. Deck maintenance is a household chore that’s often neglected, and decks deserve some love too.

Rain, sleet, snow, and the scorching hot sun are all part of the weather here in the Atlanta region, but these elements can really do a number on decks and patios. Ever go outside after a torrential downpour to find dead leaves, branches, and dirt from god knows where left behind on your deck’s surface? If you do nothing about it, it will dry leaving your deck a dull and dirty mess. And nobody’s got time for that!

That’s why the experts at Royal Deck are here to show you how to clean a composite deck the proper way, so you can get the most out of your deck’s surface. You may not even realize the difference between a dull deck and a shiny, clean deck that’s in pristine condition. But once you clean your composite deck with our trusted and true methods, you’ll never accept a dirty deck again.

When life gives you lemons, use them to clean your deck—or better yet, follow our guide for a sparkling finish! So let’s get into the nitty-gritty details of how to clean a composite deck the right way!

Understanding Composite Decks

Understanding your composite deck will help to know the best deck care tips for how to clean a composite deck. Composite decking combines style, durability, and ease of maintenance, making it a favorite among homeowners. Here’s a quick breakdown of what makes composite decking stand out:

  • Composition: It’s made from a blend of wood fibers and recycled plastics, giving it the natural look of wood without the high maintenance.
  • Durability: Composite decks are designed to withstand fading, staining, scratching, and mold, ensuring a long-lasting, vibrant appearance.
  • Low Maintenance: Unlike wood, composite decking doesn’t require sanding, staining, or sealing. A simple cleaning routine keeps it looking great.
  • Variety: Available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and finishes, composite decking can be tailored to fit any style and preference.
  • Eco-Friendly: By utilizing recycled materials, composite decking offers an environmentally responsible option for outdoor living spaces.

Essentially, composite decking provides the beauty of wood with fewer upkeep requirements, allowing you more time to enjoy your outdoor space– Plus, you’ll never get another wood splinter, and that in itself is a major win!  Whether for entertaining, relaxing, or simply enjoying the outdoors, a composite deck offers a durable and attractive foundation with minimal effort. Now, let’s move on to ensuring your deck is prepped and ready for cleaning!

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Preparing Your Composite Deck for Cleaning

Before you get your rubber gloves on and dive into the cleaning process, it’s crucial to prepare your deck properly to ensure a thorough clean without damaging its surface. Here’s how to prep your deck like a pro:

  • Clear the Deck: Begin by removing all furniture, grills, planters, and any other items from the deck. This not only makes it easier to clean every nook and cranny but also prevents any items from getting damaged during the cleaning process.
  • Sweep it Clean: Using a soft bristle broom, sweep away all loose debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt. Pay special attention to the gaps between the deck boards, as these areas can harbor moisture and lead to mold and mildew growth.
  • Check for Damage: Before proceeding with washing, inspect your deck for any signs of damage. Look for cracked boards, loose nails, or any areas that may need repair. Addressing these issues beforehand will ensure a smoother cleaning process and prevent any water from seeping into unwanted areas.
  • Choose the Right Day: Ideally, pick a cloudy day to clean your deck. If it’s too sunny, the cleaning solution may evaporate too quickly, reducing its effectiveness. Plus, you don’t need to get heat stroke because you decided to do some chores. A mild, overcast day will give you the best results, allowing the cleaner to penetrate deeply into the composite material without quick drying.

By following these preliminary steps for how to clean a composite deck, you’re setting the stage for a successful composite deck-cleaning session. Preparing your deck might seem like an extra step, but it’s a critical part of the process to achieve that sparkling clean finish you’re aiming for. And if you skip it, you will regret it. Trust us, we’ve learned all these tips the hard way!  Now that your deck is prepped and ready, let’s move on to the actual cleaning process.

Washing Your Composite Deck Tips

Alright, now that we’ve prepped the stage for your deck’s spa day, let’s get into the deck-washing process. Cleaning a composite deck is as easy as pie, or maybe even easier if you could be better at baking. Follow these steps for a deck so clean you could almost eat off it (but let’s stick to plates, shall we?)

Step 1: Choose Your Cleaner Wisely: Not all cleaners are deck-friendly. For general cleaning, a mild soap and water solution works wonders. For tougher stains, opt for a cleaner specifically designed for composite decking. Reading labels is not just for calorie counters; it can save your deck too.

Step 2: Gather Your Tools: Arm yourself with a soft-bristle brush or a broom and a bucket. Power washers can be the deck’s worst frenemy – great for saving time but risky if not used correctly. If you must use one, keep it on a low setting and maintain a safe distance to avoid unwanted deck acupuncture.

Step 3: Apply the Cleaner: Start by wetting the deck with water. Then, apply your chosen cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Think of it like sunscreen – a generous, even application ensures the best protection.

Step 4: Scrub-A-Dub-Dub: Gently scrub the deck’s surface with your soft-bristle brush to remove dirt and grime. Go with the grain to avoid throwing a mini dance party for the dirt particles. Scrubbing against the grain can be counterproductive, like trying to brush a cat’s fur the wrong way.

Step 5: Rinse Thoroughly: Wash away all the soap and dirt with water, making sure not to leave any soapy residue behind. A deck slippery with soap is like a banana peel in a cartoon – an accident waiting to happen.

Step 6: Let It Dry: Allow your deck to air dry completely. Patience is a virtue, especially when waiting for a deck to dry. It’s a good time to admire your handiwork or contemplate why we don’t wear capes anymore.

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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning A Composite Deck:

  • Using the Wrong Cleaner: Not all cleaners are created equal. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the composite material. When in doubt, soap and water are your best bet. Never, and we mean, NEVER use bleach to clean your composite deck, this can cause bleaching and change the color and texture of your composite boards.
  • Over-Scrubbing: You’re cleaning a deck, not trying to erase it from existence. Gentle scrubbing is sufficient – think of it as a massage, not a wrestling match.
  • Ignoring the Manufacturer’s Instructions: Those instructions were written for a reason. Ignoring them is like ignoring a treasure map – you’ll miss out on the gold (or in this case, a sparkly clean deck).

By following these steps and tips from the Royal Deck pros, you’ll ensure your composite deck remains a clean, inviting space for relaxation and entertainment. Just remember, a well-maintained composite deck is like a good friend – always there to support you, no need for constant attention, and doesn’t mind when you spill a little wine.

Deck Brightening and Removing Deck Stains

Once your deck is clean, you might notice it still looks a bit like it pulled an all-nighter. To get that fresh, “just had eight hours of sleep” look, it’s time to brighten it up and tackle those stubborn stains that have been lingering like unwanted party guests.

Spot the Spot: 

First things first, identify the type of stain you’re dealing with. Grease stains from last summer’s barbeque? Mold that decided your deck was a great place to settle down? Knowing your enemy is half the battle.

Grease and Oil Stains: 

For those pesky remnants of burgers past, a dedicated degreaser designed for composite decking is your best friend. Apply it as directed, let it sit for a while to break up the grease, then gently scrub it away. Remember, patience is key—like waiting for your favorite show to return for a new season.

Mold and Mildew:

If your deck has become a science experiment for mold and mildew, a cleaner containing mildewcide will be your knight in shining armor. Apply it to the affected areas, and give it some time to work its magic. Then, with a soft-bristle brush, gently scrub the area. It’s like exfoliating—out with the old, in with the new.

Brightening Up: 

Once the stains are addressed, use a deck brightener that’s safe for composite materials to give your deck that vibrant look. These products usually help restore the original color and luster without the harsh chemicals that can harm your deck or the environment. Think of it as a gentle face mask for your deck.

Rinse and Repeat if Necessary: 

Sometimes, a stain requires a second treatment, much like stubborn makeup that won’t come off with one wash. Rinse thoroughly and repeat the process if needed.

Read Labels: 

Always choose products specifically designed for composite decking to avoid damage. It’s like choosing the right fuel for your car; the wrong type can lead to trouble down the road.

Test in an Inconspicuous Area: 

Before going all in, test your chosen cleaner on a hidden section of your deck. It’s the equivalent of dipping your toes in the water before diving in.

Gentle Does It: 

Whether you’re dealing with grease, mold, or just dullness, always use a gentle touch with your brush. Scrubbing too hard can be as counterproductive as trying to get a cat to take a bath.

By following these steps, your deck won’t just be clean; it’ll be bright, inviting, and ready to host your next outdoor gathering. Remember, a bright and stain-free deck is like a good mood; it’s infectious and makes everything seem better.  Now, go enjoy your outdoor sanctuary, stains, and dullness banished to the land of “not on my deck.”

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Regular Maintenance Tips

Keeping your deck in tip-top shape is like brushing your teeth; it’s all about sticking to good habits. Here are the quick hits to keep your deck smiling:

  • Sweep It Off: Regular sweeping isn’t just for indoors. Keeping leaves, dirt, and debris off your deck prevents stains and mold from moving in uninvited.
  • Spill? Chill, Then Deal: Spills happen, but don’t let them linger. Clean up spills as soon as possible to avoid stains setting in, much like dealing with a coffee spill on your favorite shirt.
  • Seasonal Check-Up: Give your deck a once-over with the change of seasons. Look for any damage or wear and address it promptly, like swapping out your wardrobe to suit the weather.
  • Wash Wisely: A gentle wash with soap and water in the spring and fall keeps your deck looking fresh without the heavy lifting.

Short, sweet, and to the point, these composite deck maintenance tips are your deck’s best friends. Stick to them, and your deck will stick by you through many seasons to come.

When to Call the Professionals at Royal Deck?

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your deck demands a little extra TLC that only professionals can provide. Whether it’s stubborn stains that won’t budge or you’re just looking for a refresh without the hassle, calling in the experts can be your deck’s saving grace.

  • When to Call the Pros: If you notice persistent deck stains, discoloration, or damage that DIY methods can’t address, it’s time to call in the cavalry. Additionally, a professional deep clean once a year keeps your deck in pristine condition and extends its life.
  • Why Royal Deck? Here in Atlanta, Royal Deck is your go-to for all things deck maintenance. With years of experience and a keen eye for detail, we understand composite decks inside and out. We use state-of-the-art equipment and eco-friendly cleaners to bring back the sparkle without harming your deck or the environment.
  • Our Services Shine: Beyond just cleaning, Royal Deck offers a comprehensive suite of composite deck maintenance services. From inspection and repair to sealing and protection, we’re here to ensure your deck remains the envy of the neighborhood.

Choosing Royal Deck means opting for peace of mind, knowing your outdoor space is in the hands of dedicated professionals. We pride ourselves on our expertise in composite deck maintenance and care, ensuring every project we undertake meets our high standards of quality and customer satisfaction.

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Ready for a Dirty Deck Transformation? Contact Royal Deck Today!

Don’t let a dirty deck ruin your outdoor fun! Dirt, be gone! Contact Royal Deck for professional composite deck cleaning and maintenance services. Whether you’re battling stubborn stains or seeking an annual refresh, our team is ready to restore your deck’s beauty and functionality.

Visit our website or give us a call to learn more about how we can bring the best out of your deck. Royal Deck: Where expert care meets lasting quality.


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