Caring for your composite deck this winter

Posted 22 January 2015 3:04 PM by Alyssa Bylsma

Rumor is that Old Man Winter, Mother Nature and a cranky Baby New Year have teamed up to wreak havoc on homes and decks this winter. If you have composite decking such as the new Deckorators® decking, you have a good line of defense against them. Still, you can boost that defense even more by giving your deck the right kind of care.  Here are a few tips to follow:

For snow and ice:

-  Use an ice melt product that’s less severe on surfaces. The best of these will be labeled as safe for children, animals, concrete and vegetation. Avoid ice melts with colorants that can stain the decking.

-  Avoid using sand, metal shovels and sharp edge tools on your deck because they can damage the surface.

When the weather warms and the snow and ice melt:

-   Wash the deck surface with soap and water to remove accumulated chemicals, dirt and debris. Use pressure washers with a fan-tipped nozzle only to gently wet and rinse the surface. Don’t blast the surface, which can drive dirt deeper into the composite material. 

-  For particular surface stains, try these recommendations (but test a small, inconspicuous area before applying):

  • Mold and mildew stains – try deck wash/cleaners that contain sodium per carbonate and detergent. These can be found at most home centers and hardware stores.
  • Rust stains (from metal furniture) – try a cleaner with oxalic acid.
  • Grease and oil stains – try a commercial cleaner that contain propylene glycol, sodium hydroxide, and/or various detergents. Spot removers and thinners can be used sparingly, but wash them off quickly with water.