Composite decks are awesome. They are sturdy, demand little maintenance, last for years, and usually require less maintenance than maintenance intensive wooden decks. Plastics and wood fibers are the main materials used in their production. These raw materials are high tech, durable and strong. Termites cannot destroy composite decking, there are no stains or paints that have to be stripped and rot does not occur require frequent board replacement. So, in general, little maintenance is needed. However, even the most expensive composite decks need to be cleaned at regular intervals because, after all, there is a difference between “little maintenance” with “no maintenance.” Nothing that spends time outside requires no maintenance. Not even a $300,000 Bentley.
Currently homeowners can choose between three main methods to clean their composite decking of mold, mildew, and stains:
- Pressure washer with no cleaning agent
- Resist Mist
Each of these cleaning methods has its pros but only one is recognized as the best composite deck cleaner and protectant. Which of the three is it? Let’s find out.
Bleach is by far the most common and, in the short term, least expensive composite deck cleaner. Off the shelf it is not expensive, it does the work well, and because it’s on every Home Depot shelf, it’s easy to get. But for all these advantages, bleach has some serious downsides. First, it is harmful to your deck. Most composite deck manufacturers recognize that bleach creates further problems with biological growth because it makes the wood fibers in a composite deck more open to mold. Many people have used bleach and seen that the maintenance required to keep the deck looking great is increased year after year of using bleach. Even at low concentrations, bleach can have a negative impact on a composite deck. Second, bleach can be harmful to humans and to the environment.
- Harsh on decking
- Potentially harmful to your health and the environment.
- Short-term results requirement allot of future maintenance.
Pressure washing is a great way to clean larger areas of composite decking. It is certainly more convenient than hand scrubbing your deck on your knees, but convenience comes with a risk. Different composite decks accept different pressures as max pressure. If you go over the max pressure of the deck, you can cause permanent damage to your deck. If you are going to perform your own deck maintenance, then leave the pressure washing to the professionals. A little mistake here can damage the decking.
- Efficient for large areas
- Can damage your decking
- Short-term solution
- Leave it to the professionals
Resist Mist is a revolutionary composite deck cleaning and protection technology. After years of testing and being available exclusively to large deck manufacturers it is now available to the DIY’er. The Resist Mist kit comes with a cleaner developed for use on composite decks with Lift and Rinse technology. This technology makes the water penetrate further into the nooks and crannies of the deck to lift dirt, mold, algae, oils and other stains. Once the cleaner is rinsed the Resist Mist Treatment/Conditioner is applied. This treatment helps resist mold, mildew and algae stains on the deck for up to three years. This product significantly lowers the maintenance required on a composite deck.
- Easy to apply
- Long lasting resistance to mold, mildew and algae stains.
- Makes future deck cleaning much easier.
- Reduces required maintenance
- Very economical long term.
Because it is so new, it is only available online and select mid-Atlantic retailers.
Resist Mist clearly tops the list of benefits. So it is declared the best composite deck cleaner.