While mold in composite boards is not nearly as prevalent as 15 years ago, it can still happen. Mold only needs a little moisture & organic materials to feed on to survive.
It can happen anywhere, vinyl, sheetrock, and of course - decking.
Here's a little more info on how decks can mold, what you can do to fix it, and most importantly, what you can do to avoid it!
Capped polymer and composite decking provide homeowners with a great alternative to traditional wood decks. However, most composite boards have wood particles in their boards.
Most brands offer a capped board, meaning they have a protective outer layer that surrounds the wood + plastic core.
leaves 1 full side exposed to the elements
at risk to mold/mildew growth
more budget friendly
completely enclosed & protected
should be highly resistant to mold/mildew
a bit more expensive, but likely worth the investment
complete made of plastic
has virtually no risk of mold/mildew
An important note is that mold is NOT a product defect, therefore it likely is not covered within the manufacturer's warranty. To avoid mold, a deck should be cleaned regularly. We recommend twice a year, if not more!
Do's & Don'ts of Cleaning A Moldy Deck
DO sweep often to get debris/organic material from getting between the cracks.
Do NOT power wash!
This could potentially worsen the problem by pushing the mold further into the board's pores.
Can also damage the deck surface if not done properly.
Reach out to a professional for this one!
DO buy the right supplies!
A long handled bristle brush for application is handy.
We recommend 30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner/Spray & Walk Away!
Helps control mold/mildew.
Biodegradable once rinsed into soil.
Can be found as most big-box stores or online.
Double check your cleaner is within manufacturer guidelines - don't void that awesome warranty!
Ensure the cleaner does NOT contain bleach - this might lighten your deck.
Bottom line, if you sweep often and clean a couple times a year, you should be good to go! If you can, invest in a 4-sided or capped polymer board instead of the 3-sided. It's worth the extra $$$, long-term!
Summit Outdoor Designs builds composite decks and is happy to guide you during the lifetime of your deck. We also offer cleaning services! Please reach out to us for a free estimate or with any questions.
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