How to prepare your decking to protect against mold and mildew
Much like wooden decking, your composite decking can grow mold on it too. Mold is caused by outdoor moisture and water being trapped within cracks and joints which can freeze with low temperatures and expand causing the wood to crack, in addition to this black spots may appear from mold or mildew and can spread across the deck. Typically mold will grow on the dark parts of decking or parts where the sun hits it the least as it thrives in damp conditions. Decks become dirty from mud, leaves and dirt which won’t only produce mold but mildew and other visual eye-saws. You should use a broom to push any rainwater left on your deck to reduce the risk of mold or mildew growth.
Clean your deck
To reduce the mold on your decking, clean it as often as you can, but it’s recommended to do it at least twice a year. Some areas of the world would require it to be more regularly cleaned as climate conditions vary which varies the possibility of mold.
After cleaning your deck you should add a mold inhibitor to reduce or remove the possibility of mold growing in the future. Once the decking has been cleaned once, unfortunately, it must be sustained much like a car or a house.
Treat with special products
You can treat mold growth with alkaline substances or chlorine related products such as outdoor cleaners. They perform better than water as mold thrives in water and dampness in general.
Another way you can treat your deck is with a homemade solution consisting of water, bleach, vinegar and baking soda. This will not only clean your deck but also kill any signs of mildew that you cannot see.
Powerwashing will only worsen the problem
The pressure of a power washer actually pushes the mold down the pores of the material further so you should not power wash whilst mold or mildew is present. If used improperly, you could damage the deck surface which would either be expensive either to replace or repair.
If you decide to powerwash you should wash from the recommended distance of 12 inches away from the decking to reduce the risk of damage and remove any excess water afterward with either a brush or sponge.
Although it’s still possible for composite decking to grow mold or mildew, it’s a better choice over regular wooden decking as it is extremely resistent to dampness and moisture meaning there will be far less maintenance. Composite decking is extremely resistant to moisture and dampness because water does not cause the decking to splinter, crack or rot and it hinders mold growth between air gaps underneath the surface as it uses a special coating of polypropylene to prevent anything like this happening.