Outdoor areas such as backyard decks and patios can add square footage (and value!) to your home and are great places to relax and to entertain. Whether building or renovating a deck, look for plastic composite lumber, some of which is made from recycled plastics from grocery bags and plastic containers.
Why plastic? Plastic composite decks are easy to maintain and are durable enough to outlast many decks made from wood! Plastic composite decks also hold up well to outdoor conditions, which means you can spend more time enjoying your deck instead of maintaining it and paying for repairs.
While plastic composite decking is virtually maintenance free, it does require some cleaning from time to time. Here’s how to go about it for the most common deck-damagers:
- General Dirt and Debris: The affected area can be sprayed off with a hose to remove surface debris. Use warm, soapy water and a stiff-bristle brush or broom to remove dirt and debris from the embossing pattern.
- Tannin Due to Debris: Remove all debris from the deck using a hose or broom. Once the deck surface is dry, apply a “deck brightener” as directed by the manufacturer.
- Ice and Snow: A plastic shovel may be used to remove snow from the deck. Use calcium chloride or rock salt to melt the snow and ice from the deck surface.
- Oil/Grease/Food: All food spills should be removed as soon as possible (the surface must be cleaned within seven days to maintain the stain warranty). To remove, spray off with a hose and use warm, soapy water and a stiff-bristle brush or broom to remove spills from embossing pattern.
- Mold and Mildew: Mold can feed on debris such as pollen and dirt that remains on the deck surface or between planks. Use a hose and warm, soapy water with a stiff-bristle brush to remove the mold and its food source.