How to Clean a Composite or Wood Deck – 2024 Guide

Composite and wood decks are a pretty popular item right now. This is because they’re incredibly durable and relatively easy to maintain. Of course, to keep these in their best possible shape, it’s absolutely crucial to learn how to clean them properly. Everyone wants to keep their deck in the best shape attainable for as long as possible, and it’s actually pretty easy to do so if you know what you’re doing.

So, in this small guide, we bring you the best tips to keep your deck in its optimal state for the years to come!

So without further ado, let’s get to the bottom of it!

Use the right tools


Proper deck maintenance requires the use of the appropriate tools. A brush that’s too hard can leave ugly scratches on your deck and you’ll probably end up not even cleaning it right. Of course, for the basics, a regular broom is okay, but don’t try to deep clean your deck with it since it could be extremely damaging, especially in the long run. Instead, find a high-quality soft brush for your deep-cleaning needs. Don’t forget to clean the gaps too, since that’s where the most mold issues come from.

While wood and composite decks are durable, to keep them in their optimal state, it’s best to be gentle and careful when cleaning. Preventing any unnecessary damage by putting just a little more effort will pay off greatly at the end.

Remove everything from the deck


Before you start cleaning your deck, make sure you’ve removed any objects that are standing on it. While it may seem easier to just clean around the chairs and tables, it’s definitely not good for your composite or wood decking. Also, it actually might be much harder to do it this way, and you don’t want to miss any areas when cleaning. If only one part of your deck is stained or unclean, it could ruin the whole look of it.

So, yes, it’s essential to remove any objects placed on your deck before you start cleaning. This will give you more access to certain areas and it could prevent some parts from getting moldy or stained.

Choose the right cleaning solution


Whatever you do, never use a cleaner that has any type of bleach in it. Strong chemicals can lead to discoloration and completely ruin the look of your deck. Make sure to use a powerful, yet gentle cleaning solution for the best results.

Do your research, and maybe even ask the professionals for advice. Of course, the durability of your composite or wood decking will depend on the quality of the installation and the deck itself. So make sure you choose a reliable seller like the TheCompositeDecking before you even purchase the deck. A reputable company will be able to give you specific instructions when it comes to maintenance, so make sure you choose the best one available. The best thing to ensure longevity and durability is to ask professional advice on things like cleaners.

Don’t let moisture ruin your deck


Always make sure to invest in a good mold-protection product. Do your research and find the product that works the best for you. Mold is the number one cause for ruined decks, especially if you live in a humid climate. So make sure to find a good way to protect your wood from moisture. Clean the gaps regularly, and make sure not to leave thick layers of water once you finished cleaning. Also, pick the optimal time for cleaning. It should be a sunny day, so it all dries out quickly. If it doesn’t have enough time to dry, you’ll be risking to end up with a moldy deck.

Other than that, avoid any waterproof solutions made for protecting the material from moisture. These solutions can actually make things worse, so make sure to do some research before opting for a specific mold shielding product.

Break the process into smaller parts


This is very important since you don’t want the dirt to dry out before you had a chance to remove it. It will also make the whole process easier since you’ll be able to clean everything more thoroughly.

Keep in mind that this process can take up some of your time, so always schedule it when you’re absolutely free. It’s much better to do this once but do it well than to do it every day but do it poorly. So start out slow, and pay attention to every single detail to ensure you don’t miss any spots.

As previously mentioned, it’s crucial not to miss any gaps, since this is where most issues come from. Clean every gap and try to remove any debris and dirt as precisely as you can.

Should you use a pressure washer or not?


It’s usually not recommended to do it, because the strong pressure can damage the surface of your decking. Still, it does make the cleaning faster and easier, so if you simply don’t have enough time to do it manually, you can still use a pressure washer. When you do so, make sure to find the optimal setting, and clean along the grain if you can. Ensure that there is enough distance between the washer and the surface you’re cleaning, so you don’t end up damaging the material.

You should definitely ask the servicer that installed the whole thing for some advice. They’ll be able to tell you the optimal pressure levels and instruct you on how to do this properly. Whatever you choose to do, make sure to do your research and learn about all the possible alternatives to pressure washing.

The takeaway

While wood and composite decking are relatively low-maintenance, you should still know how to care for them appropriately. This will help you to keep it in its optimal state for the longest time possible, and all it takes is a little extra effort and carefulness.

All in all, just make sure you’re careful and research your cleaning options before you start a maintenance routine.