People think composite decking is maintenance free, but like any surface that is exposed to the elements, composite decking is prone to fading and staining over time.
However, applying a new stain will recolor a composite deck and give it a whole new leaf of life.
First Step: Deal With Any Cracks In The Composite Decking
Before proceeding with the task, you need to analyse if there are any major cracks to deal with. Composite boards are crack-resistant, but they are not crack-proof. They can crack if they are stressed by a settling foundation or faulty design. They can also get cracked by everyday wear and tear or by faulty pieces. Check out our guide here if you need to deal with cracks on the deck before proceeding.
First Step: Clean The Composite Decking
If you have purchased composite decking that doesn’t not have any coating, because it is new, you won’t need to complete this step. If you’ve had the deck for a while, you should follow what most manufacturers recommend. To keep your deck free of any dirt, bird poop, or leaves that may accumulate over time, wash it down from time to time with soapy water and a soft-bristled brush.
You can use a commercial deck cleaner as an alternative. Be sure the product you choose is gentle and does not contain caustic chelating detergents that may harm your deck over time, but still works well to eliminate spills and dirt without scrubbing.
If your deck has a significant amount of dirt or mould on it and you don’t think a gentle brush clean will do the job, you can very carefully use a pressure cleaner to help with the process. You need to keep the amount of pressure at a minimum, and the distance from the pressure washer head to the deck must be at least 12 inches. You should be aware that it is very easy to create marks on this decking, so always clean along the length of the board, not across it.
Second Step: Apply Composite Deck Sealer
The composite deck stain can be applied after the deck has dried a few days. It is best to seal it using a water-based sealer. You should avoid mildew growth by using a product with synthetic resin-based components. It is also possible to use a percarbonate wood cleaner. You should brush your sealer on while the deck is wet to help maintain a clean appearance.
But.. before proceeding, make sure you cover any nearby grass, plants or concrete trim along with any and all other areas you don’t want to get stained in the process. Also make sure you thoroughly stir the product before you start applying it. This will ensure all the pigments it contains are thoroughly mixed through.