Basic Cleaning Recommendations
Most deck-cleaning products will work. For best results, use a cleaner that contains any of the following as an active ingredient for general cleaning and follow the manufacturer’s instruction for use:
- Phosphoric Acid
- Oxalic Acid
- Hydrochloric Acid
- Sodium Hypochlorite
Power washing will enhance results when cleaning your deck. 1500psi is the recommended maximum pressure. A fan tip nozzle should be used along with the proper cleaning product. Spray in the direction of the brush/grain pattern to avoid damaging your decking. Use caution not to damage the material and always take the proper safety precautions when operating a power washer.
Keystone Custom Decks and most manufacturers do not recommend the use of rubber or vinyl products (welcome mats, planters, etc.) on vinyl decks. A reaction can occur that causes discoloration of the decking under the rubber/vinyl product.
Care should be taken when using bug spray or suntan lotions around your deck, as these products contain oils that can leave stains on the deck.
Although not recommended, vinyl and composite decking material can be stained. Wait approximately 8-10 weeks or until the deck has completed its weathering process before painting or staining. Clean your deck prior to applying paint or stain. Never paint or stain over surfaces that may contain dirt, or mildew.
Best results will be obtained when using a high-quality paint or solid color stain. Be sure paint or stain does not clog drain holes in planks with drain holes (such as TimberTech Floorizon). Once the deck is painted, stained or sealed, subsequent applications will be necessary to maintain appearance. Neither Keystone Custom Decks nor the manufacturers of the decking products guarantee the performance of anything applied to the products. Always apply paints and sealers in accordance with the manufacturer’s application instructions.
Wood decks can and should be seal and/or stained to fight against the natural weathering process. Visit your local lumber yard or home supply center for recommendations based on your specific wood species and deck location.
Many stains can be cleaned with soap and water. If stains have set, check with your local lumberyard, hardware stores, or home centers for cleaners applicable to a specific stain type. Also check the recommendations from the manufacturer of your specific decking material (Azek, TimberTech, etc.) Always be sure to follow the instruction for the particular cleaning product that you use.
Here are some general suggestions for removing spot stains:
Immediately wipe the soiled area and remove as much of the spill as possible.
If the spill consists of an abrasive substance, blot the spill. Do not rub.
Soak the stained area with warm water and blot up with a soft towel.
If the stain is still evident, mix a solution of mild dishwashing detergent and warm water in a small bucket.
Using a clean towel or soft sponge, apply the soapy solution to the stain and allow to stand for 3 minutes.
After the stain has soaked attempt to wipe with a clean towel or sponge.
Wash your deck periodically with a cleaner that contains or is mixed with Sodium Hypochlorite. Follow the manufacturer’s application instructions. Use a stiff brush to scrub heavily stained surfaces following the grain.
Rinse off your deck periodically with a hose. Even if your deck appears clean, it is important to prevent build-up of pollen/debris. Mildew stains may occur where moisture, pollens, and/or dirt are present. Mildew needs a food source to grow, which can be grass, pollens, dirt, debris, wood and wood resins.
Maintaining a clean, dry deck surface is the best method for combating mildew. Ensure that water drains effectively from your deck. Keeping weep holes clear and unclogged on planks.
Cleaners that are recommended for periodic cleaning on vinyl and composite decks are:
- Super Deck Composite Deck Cleaner
- Corte Clean
- E Z Off Composite Wood Cleaner
- Thompson’s Water Seal-Oxy Action
A Few Steps And It Looks Like New
Scratches, Nicks, Cuts and Grooves
For most composite products (such as TimberTech Reliaboard), scratches, nicks, cuts, and grooves can be eliminated by using a wire brush. Brushing will need to be consistent with the grain of the product and the brushed area will weather back in approximately 8-10 weeks. DO NOT USE THIS METHOD FOR VINYL PROCUCTS (such as Azek, TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions and XLM Plank)
For most vinyl products (such as Azek, TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions and XLM Plank), surface scratches and abrasions will fade after weathering.
For scuffs and scratches we recommend using MinWax Stain (found at local home centers). Care should be taken during application to buff off excess stain. The excess stain can cause a dark and glossy appearance to the surrounding area. Test the stain on a scrap piece of material or an a small area of your deck that is less visible before applying the stain to the affected area.
Ice and Snow
For ice removal, either rock salt or calcium chloride may be used without damage to the surface. However, either of these products may leave a white residue, which may be removed by either rinsing with water or a mild soap/water solution. Use care and caution to not damage the surface of your deck when shoveling snow or ice off of it. Do not use metal edged snow shovels.