Composite decking is long lasting and relatively low maintenance, especially when compared to other deck wood products. However, basically anything outdoors can grow mold under the right conditions, and composite decking is no exception. Knowing what you can do to remove the mold and how you can prevent the mold from returning can help you maintain your deck and keep it looking beautiful for many years to come.
What should you do if your composite decking product gets moldy?
If your composite decking product gets moldy, you can clean it using the following procedure:
- Sweep your deck. Use a broom to remove all loose dirt and debris from the deck.
- Mix up warm water and oxygen bleach into a bucket. Oxygen bleach gets the job done just like chlorine bleach, but it's better for your landscaping than chlorinated bleach, which means it won't kill your flowers and shrubs.
- Use a long-handled brush to scrub down your decking. Start in one corner of the deck and move your way methodically to the other side to get total coverage.
- Wash away the mold and cleaner with a strong jet of water. If the warranty for your composite decking product allows you to use a power washer, this tool will be easier and faster than a garden hose.
What can you do to prevent the mold from returning?
Mold grows in areas that are cool, dark, and moist, so one of the things you can do to prevent mold from returning is to change the conditions that allowed the mold to grow in the first place. Prune nearby trees and shrubs that cast the deck into shadow and remove anything from your deck that traps moisture against the boards. Keep leaves and other debris swept and off of your deck throughout the year.
Inspecting your deck regularly and removing mold as soon as it's spotted can keep the problem manageable. Finally, sealing your deck can also help. You may already know that composite decking doesn't have to be sealed to be protected from moisture and rain water. However, sealing your deck can protect the wood from the mold spores, which will stop the mold from growing until the deck sealer wears off. If you do seal your composite wood deck, be sure to use a sealer formulated for that type of decking product and follow all the manufacturer's instructions to ensure that the sealer is applied properly. Following these tips will keep your deck looking its best for many years to come.
Contact a representative from a company like Robert G Miller Inc. to get a composite deck installed or to learn more about how to care for one.