Composite Deck Care
The Facts About Composite Decking
Composite decking is an alternative to wood decking made primarily from recycled plastics and wood fibers. While not truly composite decking, some 100% plastic products are often included in the category. Composites are often positioned as having "lower maintenance" and higher durability than wood.
However, similar to any surface exposed to outdoor and environmental elements, composites can fade and are susceptible to mold, mildew etc. Therefore, composite decking will require standard cleaning and care to remove dirt and mildew stains and maintain its beauty over the years. Most manufacturers recommend you clean composite surfaces at least twice a year to prevent deep stains. In addition, some of them discuss staining or painting as a means to add color.
Our Products Can Be Used On Composites
Our deck cleaners perform well on composites. The Thompson's® WaterSeal® brand makes several ready-to-use cleaners designed to handle the spectrum of different cleaning needs. For example, Thompson's® WaterSeal® Deck Wash can be used to remove stains from dirt, mildew, algae and fungus on composites, as can Thompson's® WaterSeal® Oxy Foaming Action Exterior Multi-Surface Cleaner.
Our Thompson's® WaterSeal® Deck & House Oil and Latex Stains can be used to add color to composite surfaces. Before you begin your project, a small trial patch is recommended on an inconspicuous area before applying over the entire surface. Our stains are available in 50 semi-transparent and 67 solid shades.
How to Clean Your Composite Surface
Equipment Needed: Broom, Pump-Up Sprayer, Hose and Scrub Brush
Optional: Mop, Roller, Watering Can, Bucket, Mixing Stick, Pressure Washer
Before You Begin:
- Choose the cleaner product for your composite surface.
- A small trial patch is recommended before application over the entire surface.
- Remove all deck items and decorative furniture from your composite surface.
- Sweep and remove any loose dirt and debris from surface. If composite surface is extremely dry or in direct hot sunlight, lightly wet with water.
- Read product label instructions.
- Saturate the ground around plants and shrubs with fresh water prior to application. Then cover all plants and shrubs to protect them from overspray. Uncover promptly after use.
- Wear protective clothing, safety goggles and gloves.
- Plan the application: for horizontal surfaces, work backwards so that you do not walk on the surface being treated. For vertical surfaces, work from the bottom up. Treat small areas at a time.
- Exercise caution when working on wet surfaces, as they tend to be slippery.
- Add contents of cleaner to a plastic bucket or plastic pump-up sprayer. Do not use a metal container. (Read instructions carefully to see if formula needs to be mixed with water.)
- Apply Thompson's® WaterSeal® Deck Wash or Oxy Foaming Action Multi-Surface Cleaner with a brush, mop, roller, watering can or pump-up sprayer.
- Allow solution to sit on surface for period of time indicated on product label. Then scrub the surface with a stiff bristle brush to remove all residue that does not immediately come up. Tougher stains may require a second application.
- Thoroughly rinse the surface using a garden hose with maximum nozzle pressure or a pressure washer at 1200 psi with a wide spray pattern, removing all residue. After rinsing the surface, be sure to saturate the ground around plants and shrubs with fresh water.
- Clean tools with water.