Installing, maintaining and cleaning your FIBERON composite decking
To help ensure your Fiberon composite deck maintains its natural beauty, consider some of these helpful cleaning tips.
Refer to the Fiberon Care and Maintenance document for more information.
Installing your composite decking
Make sure there is adequate and unobstructed air flow under the deck to prevent excessive water absorption. Improve drainage or grade flat areas where standing water may gather. For decks with limited ventilation, add flow-through vents at various locations around the rim joist.
Spacing the boards
If the gap between your decking boards is less than 3/16", organic debris such as leaves, seeds or pollen can settle on your deck and clog gaps. Water can pool, steeping organic debris that forms a "tea" or tannin which may stain your deck. This organic debris is a strong food source for mold. Keeping the gap clean is the easiest way to keep your deck clean. So, if your gapping becomes clogged, use a garden hose, a spatula, putty knife or similar tool to remove the debris and help the deck maintain itself.
Cleaning your decking
Clean your decking twice a year
Composite decking materials are pretty resilient. To maintain that 'just installed' look, clean your deck twice each year to remove pollen, organic debris, dirt or stains.
Dirt and grime
Generally, a broom or a blower will work better than a hose for removing scattered organic materials like leaves. Over time, especially with kids and pets, the deck may become soiled. Dislodge accumulated dirt with a broom or by using soap and water and a scrub brush. Scrubbing in the direction of the grain is best. Thoroughly rinse off with a garden hose.
Skilled professionals may use a pressure washer with wide fan tips, at low pressures under 1,500 psi and at safe distances, 12? above deck. In the wrong hands your composite deck can be damaged. Exercise extreme caution.
Different types of stain
Cleaning tannin stains
Tannin stains naturally occur in all wood species and sometimes migrate to the surface in composite decking where surface wood fibers are exposed to sun and water. Tannin stains resolve themselves over time. Depending on the season this can take several weeks to several months. Once tannin stains disappear after the weathering process is complete, they do not re-appear. To hasten removal of tannin stains, use Corte Clean or other commercial deck cleaners designed specifically for your type of decking, strictly following the manufacturer?s instructions.
Cleaning oil and grease
Speedy clean up is best. The longer the oil or grease sits on the surface the more likely it is to soak into composite wood fibers. Over time, almost all oil and grease stains disappear. The amount of time depends on the type of stain, the exposure to water and sun and other factors. To clean up grease and oil stains that soap and water cannot remove, use Corte Clean or other commercial deck cleaners designed specifically for your type of decking. Follow manufacturer?s recommendations and test in an inconspicuous area prior to cleaning the entire deck. Install a splash guard mat under your grill to help protect your deck from grease stains.
Colored chalk, used in construction for marking straight lines prior to cutting, is permanent on most surfaces. Contact the manufacturer of the specific brand and color of chalk for a cleaning solution that may prove effective. The best advice is to avoid colored chalk, using workable alternatives such as white chalk or baby powder.
Salt and calcium chloride
Built up from salt and calcium chloride from snow and ice removal are easily removed with enough water and perhaps a light scrub. Use a garden hose or sprinkler. If using a pressure washer, use at low pressures under 1,500 psi and at safe distances, 12? above deck, to avoid damaging your deck. Never shovel snow or chop ice on the surface of Fiberon Outdoor Flooring.
Welcome mats or grill mats with a rubber or latex backing can mark your deck. The marks can be removed, but to avoid them, use vinyl-backed mats or colorfast woven rugs only.
Mould and Mildew
Clean away leaves and debris that promote mold growth. Use an environmentally-friendly commercial deck cleaner designed for your type of decking with sodium percarbonate that keeps mold at bay. Follow the manufacturer?s instructions.