With summer on our doorstep, this is the time of year when your deck will be used the most. South Africans love to enjoy the outdoors and entertain at home, but even with high foot traffic and activity a composite deck can be returned to first-day appearance in just a few quick minutes.
Caring for a composite deck is a little different from maintenance for a traditional all-timber deck. In general, timber will need to be refinished; sanded, stained and sealed every few years to avoid warping, cracking and splintering. Wooden deck boards are also much more prone to scratches and let water into tiny spaces, causing decomposition and discoloration. The lifespan of a timber deck is typically not longer than ten years.
Composite decking boards, on the other hand, typically feature a hard cap made from recycled plastics that prevents scratching, splitting, warping and discoloration from stains while standing up to the elements for much longer. A composite deck from Eva-Last, which features a solid pressed bamboo polymer or PVC core, carries a warranty for literally decades and never needs anything more than a regular sweep and a clean.
The key to showing off a brilliant, spotless deck is simple, quick and regular gentle cleans. Eva-Last’s finishes are designed to endure the toughest of environmental and usage conditions – even in tropical, humid coastal zones – repelling everything from heat and rain to stains and mould, but even the hardiest materials need a little attention from time to time.
To return your deck to tip-top shape following winter, here are some simple tips for showing off your prized landscaping and décor materials with the least effort:
1) First, lightly sweep the deck to get rid of any loose fallen debris.
2) In almost all cases, nothing more than some soapy water and hard nylon-bristle household broom or brush will be required to maintain your decking. Where there is localised fatty build-up from a braai or spillage, a brush can be used for a light scrub with soapy water (a mild solution of dishwashing liquid will work just fine to dissolve fatty deposits).
3) There is no need to use bleach-based or ammonia-based products. In case you are unsure, anything with bleach in it will likely list some form of chlorine or “hypochlorite” among its ingredients.
4) While there is almost never a need to use a scourer or abrasive of any kind on a composite deck finish, on Eva-Last’s Eva-Tech range some 40-grit sandpaper or even a regular pot scourer can be rubbed gently with the grain to remove very stubborn stains or marks. The sanded area will be slightly lighter for a few days, but will quickly return to its usual shade after a few days in the sun. Stains will never penetrate into the actual board under the finish, so only a light scrub is necessary.
5) Heat and/or steam are never necessary to clean an Eva-Last product. Usually, even dreaded stain causes like red wine can be wiped up easily with nothing more than a cloth and water.
6) Once a deck has been washed or lightly scrubbed of all dirt, only a hose or clean water is required for a final rinse. High water pressure is not needed, though your deck will happily cope with that.
7) All Eva-Last materials can be cleaned in this way – decking boards, cladding, railings and beams will all look their best after a quick and gentle clean, whether indoors or outdoors.
While most cleaning is hassle-free and quick, some situations may be out of the norm. We’re always on call to help, so if there’s a cleaning challenge that looks unusually difficult, please contact Eva-Last for the best advice.