Composite Decking Care Guide

How to clean and maintain composite decking

A little cleaning you can help keep your outside space looking beautiful for longer.
With anti-splinter technology and protection against rot and fungal decay, composite materials are a great low-maintenance alternative to more traditional decking materials, such as timber.
Aside from a little cleaning to help preserve their fresh appearance, the low-maintenance traits of composite materials mean that they will require far less attention across their lifespan. However, as with any flooring surface, scrapes, scratches and stains are still possible due to the tactile nature of the material.
Please note: There will be initial lightening of all uncapped composite products, as the product naturally weathers over the first 8-10 weeks including a reduction in the wood grain, after which they are relatively colour stable. Capped composite decking (such as our Frontier range) will not fade. Read more about
composites fading
.

How to clean composite decking

Most dirt can be removed from composite decking by washing with warm soapy water and a soft bristled brush. You should only need to do this every 3-6 months.
For a deeper clean you can use a power washer (recommended max. 1500psi pressure). Ensure to spray in the direction of the grain of the boards and use a fan tip nozzle (min. 6 inches from surface) along with the proper cleaning product.

Dirt and grime

Maintaining a clean, dry surface is the best method for combating dirt, grime and mildew build up, where a periodic cleaning is all that may be required. Even though Hyperion® composite decking is formulated to inhibit mildew growth and staining, mildew stains can occur where moisture and dirt or pollen is present.

Spot stains

Many stains can be cleaned with soap or household de-greasing agent and warm water. Scrub and soak the affected area as soon as the stain occurs to ensure best results, then rinse off with warm water.
For more stubborn stains we recommend using a composite specific cleaner for more effective stain removal.
Only with very set stains, you may want to use coarse sandpaper (60-80 grit) and sand lightly, always in the direction of the grain of the decking.
Cleaned or sanded areas may lighten, which can require 8-10 weeks exposure to the sun to match the remaining product, depending on location and specific application. Due to the wood content, composite products, like any wood-based product, may experience a naturally occurring process called extractive bleeding. This process can cause a temporary discoloration that will fade with time.

Static discharge

In rare occasions you may notice static discharges occurring when walking over your deck area, this can be caused by contact created from insulating shoes rubbing against the insulating surface of the plastic composite deck boards.
Usual air humidity levels prevent general static build up, however with dryer, dusty or windy conditions, humidity levels can reduce enough to cause static build up. Over the longer term static build up should naturally reduce with plastic composite boards, however in the short term you can help reduce build up either by introducing plants (for increased environmental humidity levels) or in severe cases using a super concentrated anti-static solution as supplied by
Elcom
.
To use this solution you need apply it to the deck surface generously by spraying, wiping, dipping or transfer roller coating. Having a similar viscosity to water, for high production applications mechanically apply solution by implementing fine-mist sprayers or foam rollers. The product can also be manually sprayed using a trigger sprayer at 8-12ÔÇŁ from desired surface. An anti-static floor cleaner can also be used if you want to clean your deck regularly.

Painting and staining

Composite decking comes in a variety of colours and does not require painting.
However, it is possible to paint or stain composite decking if you wanted to. You will have to wait until the product has completed its weathering process and ensure you have a clean and dry surface prior to applying the paint or stain.
Always apply products in accordance with the manufacturerÔÇÖs application instructions.
EnviroBuild does not recommend or guarantee any paints or stains applied to Hyperion® composite products.

Repairing marks and scratches

In many cases, marks and scratches on composite materials will naturally blend with the rest of the surface through weathering over time, but can otherwise be easily treated when they occur as detailed.
With all of the methods below, we recommend testing out the repair solution on an offcut before attempting on an installed board.
There are also significant environmental benefits to be able to repair rather than replace damaged boards, aligning with our environmental pledge.
Disclaimer: Yes, we did damage our own boards and we feel terrible about it. Please do not try this at home.

Light marks and scratches

Uncapped composite decking

If your composite material has a mild mark or scratch, there is no need to worry! These can be easily repaired.
On uncapped composite decking materials, such as our Hyperion Explorer range, repair any light marks or scratches with a steel scourer, simply scrub over the marked area ensuring to brush in the direction of the wood grain lengthways down the board. You can also use green scouring pads but you will need to put in more effort to remove the mark. Steel scourers and scouring pads are readily available in the majority of UK supermarket and homeware stores.

Capped composite decking

Capped composite materials, such as Hyperion Frontier decking, have an exterior plastic coating which protects the board against fading and staining. As this coating is more durable, the repair process for light scratches is slightly different.
If your composite material is capped, use 60-80 grit sandpaper to lightly brush over the damage, always in the direction of the grain, lengthways down the composite board. It is important not to sand too heavily, as this may cause the damaged area to lighten, therefore causing colour inconsistencies across the board, this area will not weather over time to blend in.

Deep marks and scratches

Uncapped composite decking

The process for repairing marks and scratches differs depending on the extent of the damage.
For deeper marks and scratches on uncapped composite materials, use 60-80 grit sandpaper to brush over the mark, always moving in the direction of the grain, lengthways down the board.
If required, you can finish the repairing process by using a steel scourer to darken the sanded area which may initially appear lighter until weathering improves colour consistency; this may take a month or so to stabilise.

Capped composite decking

If the damage on a capped composite material is deeper than a mild scratch, but does not fully penetrate the outer board capping, a heat gun on a 450┬░C setting can be used. You should lightly pass over the area, where the distance of the heat gun nozzle should be around 10-15cm from the board surface but no closer when repairing the mark, so as not to overheat the material.
If required, follow the heat gun process with a light sanding of the damaged area using 60-80 grit sandpaper, always in the direction of the grain.
It is important to be gentle when carrying out these repairs to ensure the board is not damaged further. We recommend testing the process on an offcut first before completing the repair on the damaged board.

Heavier damages

Uncapped Composite Materials

Where there is a deep mark or scratch in the surface and sanding would not be sufficient to repair the damage on your uncapped composite material, a heat gun on a 450┬░C setting can be used. You should lightly pass over the area, where the distance of the heat gun nozzle should be around 10-15cm from the board surface but no closer when repairing the mark, so as not to overheat the material.
If required, follow the heat gun process with a light sanding of the damaged area using 60-80 grit sandpaper, always in the direction of the grain.
It is important to be gentle when carrying out these repairs to ensure the board is not damaged further. We recommend testing the process on an offcut first before completing the repair on the damaged board.