Trex decking looks great from the moment it’s installed, but over months, it gradually accumulates dirt, dust, grime and debris. All of this needs to be removed, preferably two or three times a year, to keep your deck looking its best.
What Time of Year Should You Clean a Trex Deck?
Mid-spring and mid-fall are the two best times of year to clean Trex decking, because they offer ideal temperatures for the job.
Winter tends to come with hard freezes, and a sudden cold snap straight after you clean the decking can render it very slippery or even cause damage. Calcium chloride or rock salt can be used to melt the snow and ice from the deck surface.
Summer temperatures may be too hot for many people to perform a deck cleaning job. If pollen counts are high or there’s dust build up during the summer, consider rinsing your deck off with warm water from the garden hose in the early morning or evening hours to beat the heat.
Removing Mildew and Debris
To begin cleaning Trex decking, simply remove everything on it, from seating to barbecues — and don’t forget kids’ toys. This is also a good time to clean outdoor patio furniture, especially the seat covers, since you’re moving everything anyway.
Give the decking a good sweep to remove leaves, soil, and other surface debris. A soft bristle brush is usually the best option, as it minimizes the risk of scratching the deck surface. It also removes finer debris from the embossed pattern than other types of scrub brushes might.
Next, rinse the deck with warm, soapy water, gradually working the water and soap into the grain. Use a clean soft-bristle brush to do so. You can use a slightly tougher brush if the mildew and grime on your deck is particularly stubborn, but avoid brushes with metal bristles such as paving brushes, as these can permanently scratch and scuff the Trex surface.
Finally, spray the deck with a garden hose. If dirty water is left to dry, it can leave a film that makes your decking look duller, so ensure that you get rid of all the soapy water. It’s usually best if you work systematically up and down each board and use a wider spray that’s 2 to 3 inches wide when it hits the board.
Using a Deck Brightener
Deck brighteners are popular, but use of bleach or acid can lighten the color of Trex decking. While they don’t affect the actual integrity of the decking, they can lead to patchiness. Always test a deck brightener in an inconspicuous area before using it.
What Not to Use
Cleaning solutions containing solvents can damage a Trex deck — notably acetone or toluene-based solvents. This is because they dissolve the decking. Oil and grease can also affect your deck, so remove these as soon as possible using warm soapy water and a soft-bristle brush if they come in contact with the decking.
Properly Pressure Washing your Deck
Using a high-pressure power washer will damage many forms of Trex decking materials, as the water may bite into the protective sealer layer and gradually tear it up. If you want to use a pressure washer, it must have a fan tip attachment and produce a pressure no greater than 3,100 psi. Keep the nozzle head no less than 8 inches away from the surface — again, any closer could damage the board.
Pressure washing is only recommended when you have construction debris or concrete dust on the decking. Otherwise, it’s best to avoid it.
Trex decking offers a long-lasting solution with minimal maintenance. However, if you want to keep it looking great year-round, it does need the occasional clean, and the size of that job depends on the size of your deck. Because you don’t need to oil, seal or otherwise treat it on a regular basis, this composite decking is a great alternative to traditional wood decks. Talk to our home improvement company today about a custom deck design for your backyard.