Clean and Seal Your Composite Deck With Defy
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Follow these simple steps to clean mold on composite decking (cleaning Trex®)
When you made the decision to build your deck using composite lumber, you paid a little more for your lumber, expecting that it would be maintenance free and maintain its beautiful appearance for years to come. If your deck is constructed of older composite decking (installed prior to mid-2000), then you probably know what a big problem unsightly mildew growth has become.
Many of these older composite lumber products were manufactured without any type of mildewcide in their formulas and now the problems have become obvious: unsightly black mildew spots everywhere.
The reason why mildew grows on composite decking is really pretty simple. Composite lumber is made up of a combination of both plastics and wood fiber/flour. The wood flour (like saw dust) is a food source for the mildew to grow on and without some type of mildewcide to prevent its growth, it will flourish during times of higher temperatures and moisture. But the fix is pretty easy if you just follow a few steps.
Composite Deck Cleaning (Trex® Cleaning)
The first step is to remove any mildew, dirt, or stains that are currently on the deck. For cleaning, I highly recommend using a power washer on composite decks as opposed to just a garden hose and a scrub brush. A power washer will not only help get things cleaner than scrubbing by hand, but will also do it much faster. Just remember, anything that is not removed by cleaning will not be able to be removed once the project is finished. So take your time and thoroughly clean the deck.
Use a “Safe” Cleaner. Avoid using Bleach.
The cleaning process will go best if you select the right cleaner to begin with. Some folks use common laundry bleach. I hate bleach because it kills plants and vegetation and it’s terrible to work with. It will kill the mildew spores, but doesn’t necessarily remove them from the surface of the wood. Instead, I recommend using DEFY Composite Deck Cleaner. This cleaner is specifically formulated for cleaning composite decking, including Trex. It is an environmentally safe product that will not harm plant life or vegetation and is highly effective at killing and removing mildew spored from the surface of the decking so they don’t become a food source for additional mildew growth.
Seal the Deck
You don’t have to seal the surface once it’s been cleaned, but I suggest you do. By properly sealing or staining composite decking, you could get several years of use out of it before you need to clean it again. If you decide not to seal the deck, you will most likely need to plan on cleaning it again every year or so.
Choosing the Right Composite Decking Stain is the Key
The sealer that you select will determine your satisfaction with your project once it’s complete. There are a few things you should look for when selecting your product.