Composite Decking Maintenance
Regularly use a brush and hot soapy water to wash Builddeck composite decking. For water stains or any marks caused by birds, berries or leaves, use a soft cleaning detergent to wash off. For harder stains such as marks containing dyes that leave permanent stains, clean the surface using wire wool or sandpaper lightly to carefully remove. If using a power washer to clean your product, keep a distance of at least 30cm from the boards. Do not use solvent based materials on Builddeck WPC. Do not stain, oil or paint any Builddeck products without prior guidance. See below for more information.
To maintain the best performance of the products, we recommend that:
- All Builddeck products are stored indoors in its original packaging.
- The boards must be stored flat and level, and must be supported above ground at every 300mm along the length.
- If indoor storage is not possible, the product must be covered using outdoor, heavy duty tarpaulin in a shaded area or kept in a covered area (lean-to garage, shed) to prevent exposure to direct sunlight and weathering. The products must be stored as point 2.
- Boards should not be stacked near, above, below or adjacent to sources of moisture.
- Professional fork lift should be used while loading, unloading and discharging of the pallets.
- The pallet stacking maximum does not exceed 4 pallets.
- Must use outdoor, heavy duty tarpaulin to protect the pallet when the initial package is broken/open. Do not expose the product or inner packaging to direct sunlight, weathering and moisture. Builddeck composite decking will fade and therefore should only be fully exposed to sunlight upon full installation to ensure any fading is distributed naturally and evenly.
- Any damage occurred by man-made or other third party force majeure during stacking should be avoided.
When handling and processing Builddeck products always wear gloves, eye protection and work in a well ventilated area. Always wash your hands after handling Builddeck products, especially before eating or drinking. Wear eye protection when pressure washing or scrubbing the decking. Keep children and animals away from the work area until the job has been completed and the tools have been stored in a safe place. When cutting, planing or sanding Builddeck composite products, be aware
that the creation of dust and noise will occur.
We recommend that all operatives carrying out these tasks wear suitable P.P.E including gloves, eye protection, dust masks and ear defenders. Slip test pass results apply to the groove side of the boards only.
As with any product that is meant for outdoor use, scratches, marks and acts of nature will inevitably occur. If this does happen a 200 grit or finer sandpaper pad can be used to remove the scratch/mark with no detrimental effect to the longevity and performance of the decking.
Builddeck ’s composite products will fade due to sun bleaching over time. For more information on colour fading, please click here. As Builddeck composite wood is made from recycled materials, colour variations are to be expected. Our warranty does not cover colour fade, discolouration tolerance or water marks and stains on our products. When working with composite accessories, we cannot guarantee that colours will match exactly upon initial installation. However, due to weathering, the colouring of accessories should settle to a more similar shade over time. This is usually within the first six months.
Colour variations may occur, most noticeably when ordering in different batches.
Weathering and Storage
Builddeck composite products are made from 60% natural material and each board is designed to imitate traditional timber often with naturally occurring variations in colour, texture and grain pattern. For this reason, slight colour variations may occur (more noticeable when purchasing different products). We will always endeavour to pick all products from the same batch, however when orders are added or amended at a later date the boards will likely be from a different batch therefore colour variation is likely. Please ensure you order the correct amount of boards on the initial order. A member of our team will be able to assist you to advise the best amount of materials required based on measurements provided by you, and Builddeck does not take any responsibility for material calculations on site.
Where possible, Builddeck composite should be stored indoors and away from any direct sunlight to avoid any natural colour weathering prior to installation. Should indoor storage not be possible, the boards should be kept covered in a shaded, free draining area and supported off the ground by level bearers set at 400mm (300mm if handling Builddeck Victoria boards) apart, centre to centre. It is very normal for composite boards to fade due to weather and sun exposure. They are designed this way so that the board colour eventually settles as evenly as possible over time. Of course, as with any outdoor products, those in the shade will fade significantly slower than those exposed to direct sunlight.
Drainage and Ventilation
When designing and building decking always plan to achieve a structure that will enable water to freely drain away via ground preparation, sub structure and the deck itself. If the water does not run off freely from the support structure or the water collects on the surface of the deck for a long period, the boards may start cupping and structural damage may occur due to moisture absorption.
To achieve rain water “run off”, decking should be laid on a slight gradient of at least 1 in 80 (1.25%) in the direction of the long side of the boards in the grooves direction. Good drainage and ventilation around and under the deck is required. Please download our full installation guide for more information.
How To Clean Composite Decking
Before cleaning your composite decking, take a moment to remove any stones or small sharp objects from the surface. Then you can clean away dirt, debris or fallen moss using a stiff bristled brush and hot, soapy water.
Over time, pollen and small debris can build up on the composite decking surface. Any mould can be easily removed using a mixture of hot soapy water. Scrub the area with a brush or cloth. Once complete, thoroughly rinse the area clean.
Chalk markings can be removed by traditional cleaning methods and spraying down with a garden hose or hot soapy water. However, extra care should be taken to prevent young children from drawing on the surface as it may leave a permanent discolouration.
Garden furniture made of metals or containing metal fixings may rust and leave marks on the composite decking surface. These can be removed by mixing washing up liquid with hot soapy water and applied to the affected area. A medium bristle cleaning brush can then be used to scrub away the rust stains then rinse the area with clean water.
Oil and grease can be difficult to remove from any surface, however the results can often be greatly improved by attending to the area as soon as possible. Gently scrub a household degreasing agent onto the composite decking surface and rinse with clean, hot water. Repeat the process as required.
Builddeck composite decking boards are a solid product, meaning it is the same material throughout the entire board and there is no surface layer of film, colouring or any other material. Although great care should be taken when moving furniture across any flooring surface, inevitable scratches and marks made from garden furniture can be gently sanded away using sand paper.
As with all flooring surfaces, when furniture is dragged across the surface it will leave marks behind. Furniture with rubber or plastic foot pads will also leave marks on the decking which can be generally rubbed away using a moist cloth or kitchen paper. For more stubborn marks and scratches, sand paper can be used to help remove it.
Composite products are not designed to be anti-scratch, and if scratches do appear there are composite wood reviver products available on the market, please enquire for details. Do not stain, oil or paint any Builddeck products without prior guidance.
A jet washer can be used on composite decking, however the appropriate manufacturer guidelines must be followed at all times and must always be kept at a distance of 30cm from the boards.
The information given on this website is based on those guidelines for installation on domestic properties. Commercial decks require more robust design, materials and construction to deal with the loads placed on them and are advised to seek advice and follow all regulations put in place by your local authority. The above information is guidance only and is not subject to all and every scenario. Builddeck installation manuals are also designed as a general guide, since each installation is unique; the installation method used and/or the actual installation and its performance are the sole responsibility of the installer. Builddeck recommends that all designs be reviewed by a licensed architect or engineer before installation. Please ensure your plan and/or design meets building regulations and permission before you begin installation.
If you are unsure of the best practices, please use suitably qualified personnel to prevent injuries or accidents and get the best performance from Builddeck products. Websites such as Check A Trade can help to find tradespeople and landscapers based on recommendations and reviews.