To prolong the life of anything outdoors, cleaning at regular intervals is required. Even high performance composite decking is not entirely “maintenance free.” Regular cleaning will keep it looking great for as long as you own your home and then some. Although maintenance on composite decks do not require nearly as much work as with wooden decks, a twice yearly cleaning is strongly recommended. Unless you make a very common mistake which could accelerate the decline of your deck both physically and aesthetically. That’s what this article is about–increasing the time between cleaning —which you can do by avoiding this most common mistake others make while cleaning their composite decks. Do Not Make This Mistakes While Cleaning Your Composite Decking!
Choosing the Wrong Cleaner—Bleach
What is the first thing to come to your mind when someone mentions “clean” and “deck” in a sentence? Most people think of bleach. And there are some good reasons for it. First, manufacturers and retailers have done a great job of marketing their product as easy and inexpensive. Both are true in the short term. Second, bleach has been around for so long that nearly everyone has either used it either on their decks, on their patio furniture and in the laundry. However, just because bleach is popular and well-marketed does not mean it is the best way to remove mold and mildew stains off your composite decking. In fact, if you love your decks you will never use a chlorine-based product to clean your deck.
Sodium hypochlorite is the active ingredient in bleach based products. Bleach can accelerate the “fading” of a deck as well as cause the wood fiber in the composite deck to “bloom.” This blooming creates a great home for mold, mildew and algae to set up home. The more mold, mildew and algae you have on your deck, the more frequently you will have to clean it. We have seen decks that were covered in mold stains and the homeowner had only cleaned a couple months prior. To keep the stains off their deck they would have had to clean it several times per year.
Bleach can also be harmful to plants and humans. If you are using a strong concentration of bleach you will need to wear gloves, eye protection and ensure your plants are covered and children and pets are away from the deck. Bleach is an outstanding disinfectant and so should be used in the medical field. Unfortunately, bleach is not great for everything. Especially cleaning your composite deck.
In other words, bleach is an awesome disinfectant but a poor choice for cleaning your deck. The best way to clean a composite deck is to use a product developed by scientists to be used as a deck cleaner—Resist Mist Composite Deck Cleaner.
Resist Mist Composite Deck Cleaner is a powerful, non-bleach solution that is tough on mold, mildew and other stains but mild on your deck and plants.
In summary, if you want to clean your composite deck, stay away from bleach and choose a solution designed for cleaning composite decks for Resist Mist.