How to Repair Damage to Composite Decking

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Composite decking is an increasingly popular choice of deck material due to its durability and longevity. It is easier to maintain compared to many other common decking material choices and does not warp, rot, or split like wooden boards. Composite decking is made up of wood fibres that are combined with plastic. Although it is hard-wearing and durable, composite decking can still become scratched or damaged. It is worth taking some time to do some research before you tackle any damage. Wherever possible, it is a good idea to contact the manufacturer of the composite decking to get the best solution to any problems that you might be experiencing with your deck. They will be able to offer tailored advice based on the type of composite decking material that your boards and made of.

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning of your composite deck around once per year will help to maintain its bright and new appearance and minimise the risk of damage. Most deck washes will work just as well with composites as they do with wooden boards; however, it’s important to always check the label to ensure that you are using a cleaning solution that is ideal for using with composite materials. Any heavy grime on your decking can be cleaned away with a degreaser. Depending on the materials of your composite decking, it may be suitable for cleaning with a power washer. It is best to get advice from the manufacturer if you want to power wash your decking, since they will be able to let you know the best setting to use.

Discoloured Planks

Without adequate protection, composite decking boards that are continually exposed to the sunlight might become discoloured over time. However, when this happens, it is not always as easy to repair compared to wooden planks. Because of the plastics in composite decking, sanding is not an option. Paints are also not advised, because they do not usually adhere very well to composite material. You can get stains designed to recolour a composite deck, although the colour might vary from what you see on the can depending on the colour of your decking. Another option is to replace any discoloured boards with the same composite decking. Ecoscape UK provides the largest selection of composite decking in the UK with a huge range of styles and colours on offer to suit every outdoor space. You can check out some of their recent projects online; read more about it here. 

Scratch Repair

Composite materials can be prone to scratches and scuffs from moving outdoor furniture or items falling on the decking. The solution for a scratched composite deck board will vary depending on the product type and the manufacturer. Some manufacturers recommend leaving abrasions and scratching on the decking, since with a little time they will eventually blend in with the rest of the decking. On the other hand, some recommend applying a soldering iron to the affected area to encourage it to disappear and blend in with the rest of the decking. Contacting your manufacturer for their advice is an important first step if you notice any scratches or blemishes on your composite decking that you want to repair.

Filling Chips and Cracks

Chips or small cracks can be caused in composite decking by moving outdoor furniture, items falling on the deck, or extreme weather. If you have noticed any small cracks or chips in your composite deck, you can often use a specially designed composite deck repair kit to fix them. These are usually made up of an epoxy or wax based filler and can be easily applied to the damaged board like a putty. Before you start, make sure that the affected board is clean, then apply the filler to the chip or crack based on the instructions. Use a putty knife to smooth out the filler and ensure a uniform look.

Heavier Damage

Heavy damage to your composite decking such as deep scratches, cracks and broken boards, may often require a replacement plank. To replace a composite decking plank, first find the fasteners, which may be concealed below the decking to avoid showing the screw heads. Once you have found them, you simply need to loosen them to replace the entire plank with one that matches the rest of your deck. Replacing the planks is always an option no matter what kind of damage you are dealing with – even if there is only light damage, but it cannot be repaired to your satisfaction.

Composite decking is a popular material for decks in the UK thanks to its durability and ability to withstand wet weather conditions. However, composite decking can suffer some damage, and knowing how to keep your composite decking in the best condition will help it stay looking great for as long as possible.