To gain a better understanding about decking and decking cleaning, you need to start with the basics. Sealing, repairs, staining, and proper treatment all depend on the type of house decking you have.
Wooden decking, for instance, cannot be properly cleaned with a composite decking cleaner. When it comes to the choice of decking materials, there really isn’t a ‘right’ way or a ‘wrong’ way to do it. It strongly depends on your visual preferences, budget, and the general architecture of your house. For instance, if your home has a highly modern design with generally cold colours, a traditional wooden patio deck might not look the best. You might want to look into a composite or aluminium deck in this case.
There is no denying the natural beauty of a quality wooden deck. A wooden deck is a useful home improvement that adds beauty and value to your home. It offers a way to expand your living area into the outdoors. A deck is best described as a wooden platform, capable of supporting weight, typically constructed outdoors and often but not necessarily, connected to a building. Depending on its height it could be enclosed with wooden balustrades for safety.
Furthermore it provides a pleasing outdoor space for entertaining purposes. Blending your entertainment area with one of Mother Nature ‘s splendid products provides a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living, especially in South Africa, where our year-round climate makes timber decks a commodity to be enjoyed during all seasons.
Not surprisingly good timber decking has become a popular addition to many South African homes, transforming bland spaces into practical and stylish outdoor amenities. Because timber is so versatile, practically any shape, size and colour is possible, which means you can design one to suit your individual taste or budget.
Decks can form part of your landscaping or be an alternative to patios by adding a romantic pergola. Pool surroundings can be revitalised by replacing worn-out paving with a new, spunky wooden deck.
Whether considering a large elevated wooden deck or small intimate space for relaxing, hardwood decking timber provides a functional and practical solution, with a lifetime cost that is often less than many high maintenance softwood options.
Composite decking is simply a mixture of wood fibers (new or used depending on manufacturer) and plastic (recycled or new depending on manufacturer) with binding agents. They are heated and pushed through a machine to mould them into the shape of a decking board. The tops of the boards are usually given wood grain finishes to mimic the look of wooden decking boards. They are then cooled with water and cut to popular lengths.
The resulting composite decking board is denser and heavier than wood which is resistant to rotting, warping, splintering and does not require sealing, oiling or to be sanded. The second generation of composite decking boards being produced have a plastic capping covering either just the top of the board or encapsulating the entire board. This plastic capping is co-extruded over the entire board and offers an added layer of protection from the elements.
Due to the extra process involved in manufacture, they are usually more expensive than the first generation composite decking boards and generally have a longer manufacturer warranty accompanying them.
Decking - Maintenance
Outdoor Wood Decking
If you proudly remind your houseguests that your deck is made of wood whenever the opportunity presents itself, you will need to learn about the particular details of cleaning a wood deck. However, decking wood comes in various shapes, sizes and types, which all require different wood deck cleaning methods.
The most relevant tip for maintaining a great deck is to clean it and optionally stain it, provided it’s made of wood. If you follow these basic steps, your deck will most likely last for years on end. Aside from cleaning and staining, you should also take this advice into consideration:
- Fix any loose nails or screws the moment you notice them. This will save you costs on large repairs in the future.
- Protect your deck with some form of patio cover. If you don’t want it to be permanently shielded from the sun, consider one that rolls out and can be easily put back in place.
- Cover the deck whenever working on it to protect your deck from dirt and dust.
- Replace any boards that were split. Make sure that you remember the brand of boards you bought so the pieces can match.
- Clean residue or any kind of rubbish as soon as you can. If they don’t get the chance to dry up or affect your deck in any other way, you will automatically be reducing long-term maintenance.
- Consider working with a team of professionals in case you ever feel that maintenance gets out of hand.
Composite Decking Maintenance
Composite Deck Wash can be used to remove these stains.
You can use a pressure washer to clean your deck. Always use a fan tip blade with no more than 1300 PSI, and do not apply closer than 20-30cm from the deck surface. Doing otherwise may cause damage to the surface of the deck.
Scratches or Surface Abrasions
Markings of this type on your deck should fade within 12-16 weeks of installation. Using a deck wash containing hypochlorite (bleach) can speed this process of natural weathering up.
Scrub the affected area with Composite Deck Wash and hot water to help remove the stain. For stubborn stains, bleach can be added to the cleaning solution to achieve the desired result. We recommend using a blue or white chalk line when installing your deck to avoid this mishap. DO NOT USE RED CHALK.
Rust Stains/Stubborn Spots
Composite Deck Wash or alternatively a cleaner containing oxalic acid, commonly known as deck brighteners, can be used to remove these stains. In order to achieve desired results, the cleaner may need to sit on the stain for up to 15 minutes prior to rinsing.
Removing Ice or Snow
Allow to melt and wipe off. Alternatively, calcium chloride or rock salt can be used to remove ice.
All in all, these are the main tips that you should consider for long-term deck maintenance. You can avoid many of these situations by investing in reliable decking materials and working with Paving Worx when setting your deck up. If you feel that you don’t have the time or patience to constantly maintain the deck, think about using composite decking.Remember, your deck is an extension of your home. With the proper love and care, your deck can continue to be gorgeous for years and years and bring a smile to every guest’s face.