What Maintenance Does Composite Decking Require?

Composite decking is made from a combination of wood fibres and plastic or resin materials. It is a popular alternative to traditional wood decking due to its durability, low maintenance requirements and aesthetic appeal. The wood fibres provide strength and a natural appearance, while the plastic components protect against moisture, rot, and warping.

However, many architects and construction professionals receive questions about composite decking maintenance from clients. To help you respond to those enquiries, we created this quick guide to composite decking maintenance.

Does composite decking need maintenance?

Composite decking requires much less maintenance compared to traditional wood decking. It is a crucial point to leverage when discussing the benefits of composite decking with clients, as low-maintenance solutions are an attractive proposition.

If clients have questions about what type of maintenance composite decking requires, we recommend touching on the following points:

How Often Does Composite Decking Need Maintaining?

The frequency of maintenance for composite decking can depend on various factors, including the climate, level of foot traffic, and the specific conditions surrounding the deck. We recommend you aim to clean your composite decking at least twice a year, typically in the spring and autumn. However, if your deck is exposed to heavy use or particularly harsh conditions, more frequent cleaning may be necessary.

What to consider for composite decking maintenance

Regular cleaning

Composite decking should be cleaned regularly to remove dirt, debris and stains. We take an in-depth look at how to clean composite decking later in this article.

Preventative measures

To avoid a build-up of dirt and staining, we advise cleaning up any spills on the decking as promptly as possible. Avoid leaving items such as wet leaves and branches on the deck for extended periods, as they can encourage mould and mildew. Clients may also want to shift their furniture regularly to prevent the feet from staining the decking.

Periodic inspections

Regular quick inspections for any signs of damage or wear are always a good idea. Look for loose boards, damaged or deteriorating sections and any issues with the deck’s structural integrity. Address any problems promptly to prevent further damage.

Stain and fade resistance

Composite decking is stain and fade-resistant. However, over time, some fading may occur due to prolonged exposure to sunlight. While composite decking does not require staining or sealing like wood, some homeowners apply a UV-resistant coating to help maintain its appearance and prevent colour fading.

Avoid pressure-washing

While pressure washing is effective on some surfaces, we do not recommend it for composite decking. There is a chance the high pressure will damage the decking material. If power washing is necessary, use a low-pressure setting (below 3,100 psi) and ensure the washer nozzle is a reasonable distance from the decking.

If clients follow these maintenance practices, composite decking can maintain its appearance and durability for a remarkably long time. The fact it requires much less maintenance than wood decking is a significant benefit and an attractive proposition for both specifiers and end-users.

How to clean composite decking

When advising clients on the best way to clean composite decking, the following steps make for good guidelines.

  1. Remove debris

    Remove any loose debris, such as leaves, branches and dirt, from the decking surface. Use a broom, leaf blower or a gentle spray from a garden hose.
  2. Prepare the cleaning solution

    For simple clean, warm soapy water will do. However, for a deeper clean, a composite deck cleaner recommended by the manufacturer is an excellent option. Follow the instructions provided by the cleaner to ensure the correct dilution ratio.
  3. Apply cleaning solution

    Use a soft-bristle brush, a mop, or a sprayer to spread the cleaning agent evenly across the decking.
  4. Scrub

    Gently scrub the decking surface using a soft-bristle brush or a non-abrasive scrub pad. Avoid using wire brushes or abrasive cleaning tools, as they are more likely to damage the decking surface.
  5. Allow resting time

    Cleaning solutions often require some time to sit on the decking surface. This allows the solution to penetrate and break down any stubborn stains or grime. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for information on how long this rest period should be.
  6. Rinse thoroughly

    When the rest time is up, rinse the decking with clean water. A garden hose with a sprayer attachment is usually sufficient. Ensure you remove all the cleaning solution from the decking.
  7. Repeat

    If any stains or dirt persist, you may need to repeat the cleaning process or target those areas with additional cleaning solution and scrubbing. Refrain from being too abrasive, as this may make the damage worse.
  8. Dry

    Allow the decking to air-dry naturally. Avoid walking on the wet surface until it is completely dry.

Can composite decking rot?

No, composite decking such as our TerraSmart® Composite decking system will not rot, warp, or twist.

Good quality composite decking combines premium wood polymer composite (WPC) with sustainably farmed FSC wood fibres, recycled plastics, and bonding agents. This, combined with a polymer coating, makes it waterproof; and water is the primary cause of deck rot.

When discussing the benefits of composite decking with your clients, we recommend highlighting that it is an excellent choice and will be rot-resistant.

RYNO composite decking

At RYNO, our smart decking systems make excellent use of wood-polymer composite (WPC) decking boards to create high-performance terraces and balconies that look fantastic and stand the test of time.

Our composite boards are paired with our renowned substructure systems, resulting in highly versatile and durable decking solutions. Our wide range of additional decking components includes pedestals, cradles and corner profiles, ensuring you achieve the perfect finish.

To learn more about RYNO decking solutions check out the RYNO site or reach out to the RYNO team on 0203 9673500 or via our online contact form. We are more than happy to discuss the ways RYNO decking products can help you realise your design vision.

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