All we want during these chilly days is a fast-forward magnificent arrival of spring and a fragrant morning coffee on your deck. But before the sun comes again and you snuggle down in your comfy chair enjoying the fresh air, you have more work to do.
Although exterior floors don’t require as much care as the interior ones, you must keep in mind that they won’t clean themselves. An external composite deck requires a certain level of maintenance that should be performed from time to time, especially after the winter period, when we can expect a lot of dirt, stains, and leaves.
Improper maintenance by the owner can shorten the lifespan of our favorite place – and that’s why today we’re pointing at some quite common mistakes you should avoid.
1. Forgetting gaps
You mustn’t have any dirt collectors on your deck, since this may cause countless problems over time. In case you notice particular cavities or gaps full of dust, leaves, or mud, you must make sure you empty them and clean them regularly. Avoiding this chore counts as a huge mistake that you’ll start regretting as soon as you notice the presence of mold, water and surface deformation.
The organic matter that remains trapped in these gaps and slowly begins to rot will soon start affecting the color of the wood from which the outer floor is made and cause permanent damage. Not to mention the accumulation of water that we know can be harmful when it reaches certain places that need to remain dry. The bottom line is: don’t skip this part – consider it as one of the most important steps.
2. High-pressure washing
The materials used for making composite decks aren’t equally durable compared to steel or glass, regardless of their strength. Excessive or high-pressure washing can be the cause of shortening their lifespan. These undesirable methods seem like the fastest and also the most effective way to do the job, especially if you’re using a large garden hose, but the truth is that you need to learn how to be patient and reserve some time for this process.
You have to keep in mind that the materials decks are made of are softer compared to natural types of wood, which makes them more susceptible to incision and the creation of various holes. This is probably what will happen if you don’t lower the pressure in time.
3. Poor cleaning before refinishing
One of the major mistakes owners make in the beginning is poor cleaning before applying the oil. After your composite deck has been installed by professionals, the whole procedure needs to be done according to the instructions. Before applying the oil layer, many owners will only remove the visible dirt with a broom or an old cloth, which is absolutely wrong, because mistakes will come to light as soon as you notice stains on the surface.
Any dirt standing between the oil and the surface of the deck will be an obstacle to bonding and proper adhesion. That’s why thorough cleaning is a must at the very beginning, before you even start enjoying your time there. If you are afraid that you won’t be able to do it properly, you should simply get a specialized cleaner for such surfaces and forget about the presence of unwanted stains in a couple of days.
4. Not checking the weather
Weather conditions can turn into a big enemy when applying a top layer to your deck, which is why you should make sure you follow the weather forecast and postpone the work for a brighter day. Numerous homeowners don’t take this advice seriously and decide to clean the outer floor, though, hoping that they’ll be able to apply the final layer and that it will dry before the rain.
If you are one of them, after a few days you’ll notice spots that weren’t there before and which are an obvious result of the effects of unfavorable weather conditions that you didn’t anticipate. This’ll make the surface layer uneven and certainly cause you a headache that won’t go away so easily – especially if you are aesthetically oriented.
The good news is that you can alway avoid this scenario – you just need to make sure that this area will be dry one day before and one day after the final coating phase.
5. Using the wrong cleaners
According to many manufacturers, such exterior floors don’t require the use of aggressive cleaners. As we can see on www.dinodecking.co.uk, for the material to retain its color and shape, it’s only necessary to wash it occasionally with soap and remove dirt regularly. Yet, when choosing a foam cleanser, you need to be cautious because, if it contains ingredients that endanger the color and shape of the wood or corrode the surface, it’s best to say goodbye to them.
You should do the first check while you’re still in the store and take a look at the label. If the detergent contains chlorine compounds, just don’t buy it – otherwise, you’ll have bleach problems that may corrode the surface after application.
6. Use of aggressive tools
In addition to paying attention to the composition of the detergent, you must also be careful with the tool you choose. With composite floors, you have to be gentle, which means that you shouldn’t use aggressive brushes by any chance. During the regular removal of dirt, a garden hose and a broom are the most welcome, especially if the broom is made of hard and sharp fibers. Hard fibers can easily scratch the surface – we’re sure you don’t want that.
All deep dirt removal should be done with the help of a soft bristle brush you can get in garden tool stores. Also, a plastic shovel will always be a better choice compared to a metal one!
As you can see, regular maintenance of your composite deck doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive – you just need to pay attention to the way you do it to ensure a longer life for your outdoor floor. With the use of real detergents that won’t whiten the floor and monitoring the weather conditions, you’ll be able to enjoy your perfectly preserved deck for a long time and make all your friends jealous!