An outdoor decking structure is more than an extension of living space for most homeowners. It is an exterior amenity that boosts curb appeal and a place where they can spend time with their families, friends, and loved ones.
Many homeowners prefer to use wood composite for their outdoor decking because of its aesthetically pleasing look and durability. Also, composite decking requires very little maintenance making it a fantastic wood flooring alternative for most homes.
Even though composite decking is a durable outdoor decking option that requires little maintenance, keeping it in good condition is important. This ensures homeowners can enjoy it for longer and increase their home’s value.
Here are six different ways homeowners can maintain their outdoor decking to keep it in the best condition all-year-round:
1. Sweep The Deck’s Surface Regularly
It is important to sweep the surface of the deck and under the base of the decking, if open, regularly. By doing this, homeowners prevent particles and dirt from getting caught in the gaps between the outdoor decking boards.
As the outdoor deck is exposed to the elements 24/7, dirt is likely to accumulate on it. Wind may blow debris onto the surface. Cleaning it regularly keeps away particles and ensures it stays clean for any occasion.
2. Clean Food Residue Immediately
Another way homeowners can maintain their outdoor decking is by cleaning food debris immediately. Leaving food particles encourages the growth of mould and mildew that can increase the chances of allergies like skin irritation and shortness of breath.
But for mould to grow, it needs a supply of moisture, oxygen, and organic food. For this reason, it is important to keep the outdoor deck’s surface clean to prevent the survival of harmful fungi.
3. Do Not Remove Snow And Ice With Sharp Objects
Many homeowners make the mistake of scooping snow and ice from their decks using sharp objects like shovels. Although it is difficult to get the snow off an outdoor deck during the winter season, sharp edges are not the solution. This is because a sharp-edged object like a shovel will damage the deck’s surface, which could be permanent.
Plastic shovels can also cause the same damage to a deck’s surface. Instead of a shovel, homeowners are encouraged to use rock salt or a product that is calcium-chloride based to melt the snow away.
Homeowners must also ensure they don’t use an ice-melt with a colourant; otherwise, the dye may permanently stain their deck.
4. Scrub Grease Off Immediately
Not only will grease and oily spills damage an outdoor deck, but they may also void the warranty. Oil stains are not good for composite decks. Homeowners should endeavour to clean off any grease or oil spill immediately.
Greases can be removed from the deck’s surface with a bristle brush and warm soapy water.
5. Seal The Deck
Part of maintaining an outdoor decking structure, especially one made out of wood composite, is sealing. A deck doesn’t have to be resealed all the time, but at least once a year is a good rule of thumb. Homeowners are also advised to do this during late spring.
It is always a good idea to seal a deck after giving it a thorough clean. To seal a deck, sweep the surface after it is dry. Apply the sealant according to the manufacture’s instructions and allow it to dry completely before moving furniture back into place.
Sealants come in different types:
- Clear sealer
- Semi-transparent stain
- Solid Stain
6. Inspect Outdoor Decking Regularly
Lastly, homeowners must always inspect their deck. They must look out for cracks, mould growth, protruding nails, loose screws, weak and split boards, and any other issue that requires repair. This ensures they stay safe and can identify faults before they get out of hand.
The guidelines above will help homeowners maintain their outdoor decking and keep it in stellar shape for longer.