Technology comes to the rescue when it comes to repairing your composite decking.
One of the great things about composite decking is that because of the way they are made, it is very crack-resistant. So it is unlikely to need much repairing – at least from cracks. Because wood by-products are combined with plastic and resins under high pressure to make a wood-like composite that is durable and rot-resistant, each board is straight and uniform and easy to paint or stain easily.
All this design quality for the product itself means that cracks are unlikely to appear in the deck when it has been built and installed properly. However, a crack could occur in some situations if it is placed on a foundation that has not completely settled or if there are design issues with the deck itself. While unlikely (especially with higher quality composites), cracks may occur from simple wear and tear from kids and pets or simply faulty manufacturing. It is also possible that some pieces are faulty from the manufacturing process.
For these rare occasions, when you need to patch cracks in composite decking, manufacturers have developed special products just for this purpose.
Firstly, it is important to differentiate a crack from a scratch from a dent from damaging UV rays. They are all different with different approaches required for a fix.
Before you drill into the step by step detail, you will need to get yourself one of the many types of repair kits available.
Best Composite Deck Repair Kits
There are many different types of composite deck repair kits available on the market today. Some of the best kits include products from companies such as Fiberon, Trex, and TimberTech. These kits typically come with everything you need to repair your deck, including instructions, and can be purchased at most home improvement stores.
Step by Step For Repairing Composite Decking:
- The first easy option is to whenever possible, check underneath the cracked board and use a drill/driver to unscrew the cracked composite decking material from below, turn it over and screw it back into place upside down. Now you have a new undamaged surface as a replacement, you can do the fix without covering the crack. If individual composite boards are cracked on both sides, or one side of the decking has a different finish, then this approach won’t work.
- If the board cannot be reversed, you need to complete a process using the air compressor. Blow air into the crack using the air compressor to thoroughly clean it of any debris. Remove any twigs, debris, chips, or dust from inside the crack with an air nozzle. Use a putty knife to cut through the debris if it has become stuck, and then re-apply the compressed air to remove it. Persist at it until it is all very clean.
- Use mineral spirits dampened on a cloth to clean out the crack. Allow the mineral spirits to dry. Inspect it closely to ensure everything is clean and dry.
- Place masking tape on both sides as close as possible along the sides of the crack without actually covering it. Make sure it will adhere well to composite planks. This is why everything needs to be very clean and dry.
- Open a 1/4-inch hole at the end of a tube of composite filler by cutting the end at a slight angle with a utility knife.
- Place the tip of the decking board wood filler tube at one end of the crack. As the tube moves along the crack, squeeze the tube to inject the filler, forcing the crack full in the process. Using a putty knife, push the filler into the crack deeper. When applying filler with the putty knife, if the crack has a small depression, but more filler on the crack and repeat until it is flush with the surface. Allow the filler to dry for at least 12 to 24 hours – as described in the manufacturer’s instructions.
- The crack and filler should be sanded with a 100-grit sandpaper using a hand block – this should only be the filler, none of the surrounding composite board. Sand the filler flush with the crack surface by using strokes parallel to the board. If the composite filler shrinks and leaves a depression, fill the depression with more composite filler and let it dry. Using 100-grit sandpaper, sand it smooth.
- Stain the sanded area matching the stain color.
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