The better question when it comes to maintaining a Trex deck may be, “What don’t you need to do?” Because many of the more tedious deck maintenance tasks homeowners deal with don’t apply when it comes to Trex composite decks. Here’s a look at the dos (and don’t have tos) relevant to keeping your Trex deck functional and looking great for years.
What You Don’t Need to Do
Trex composite decks are designed to look like natural wood, and we offer deck designs in a range of wood colors and stains. You won’t ever need to seal or stain the deck, and you certainly don’t have to (and shouldn’t) paint it. And since Trex is a composite material, you don’t have to carry out long-term maintenance such as replacing rotted boards.
You should never use acetone or any type of solvent to clean your Trex deck as these chemicals can damage the composite and negatively impact the aesthetic of the structure.
How to Care for Your Trex Deck
But no exterior surface stays pristine all on its own. Like the rest of your exterior home and yard, your Trex deck is exposed to the elements. Dirt, debris, and mold can build up over time, requiring annual or semiannual cleaning with either a composite deck cleaner or soap and water. You don’t need to pressure wash the deck; usually, a quick scrub with a soft-bristle deck brush and a hard spray with your hose does the trick to refresh the look of the composite surface.
In some cases, your Trex deck comes under fire from specific debris, stains or elements. Here’s how to clean and maintain your deck in those situations.
- Tannins. When organic debris rest for a period on your deck, their oils can seep into the surface and cause discoloration or stain. Avoid this issue by sweeping the deck regularly to remove leaves, flower petals and other matter. You can also use a deck brightener to remove tannins from the surface of your Trex deck and hose off oils or spilled drinks immediately. Leaving these types of spills for days can create a permanent stain; in fact, Trex says that leaving food or oil on the deck for more than a week will void your stain warranty.
- Mildew or mold. These growths can sustain themselves on tiny debris, including pollen, that might accumulate on the deck surface or within the indentations of the wood-like grooves. Use a soft-bristle brush and soap and water to remove mold and mildew and anything they might grow upon.
Rock salt and a plastic shovel are both safe to use on a Trex deck to maintain safety during the winter. If you want to use a pressure washer periodically, ensure that it produces a pressure of 3100 psi or less. Higher pressure streams can damage the decking material.
However and whenever you clean your Trex deck, make sure you rinse it completely. Leaving dirty water to dry on the deck redeposits the grime you were clearing off in the first place and can leave stains.