restore trex decking, How to Restore Trex Decking

How to Restore Trex Decking

A deck is a fantastic way to transform your outdoor space into a hub for year-round gatherings. Decks & Docks is proud to carry award-winning and long-lasting Trex composite products, backed by a 25-year limited residential warranty. 

However, you still need to care for your deck, even if the maintenance is minimal. Weather, mold, and stains can take their toll on your deck over time. Learn how to restore Trex decking in this guide to prevent wear and tear on your composite decking. 

How To Restore Trex Decking: Basic Cleaning Instructions 

Composite decking requires less maintenance than many types of decking materials. However, you need to clean your deck regularly to keep it looking its best. 

If your Trex deck contains early-generation composite products, Trex recommends you clean it semi-annually with a composite deck cleaner. You can clean decks made from Trex’s high-performance product lines with soap and water. 

It is vital to clean your Trex decking after heavy storms (and snowstorms) because precipitation can leave debris, dirt, and mud on your deck. Weather debris can create the perfect conditions for mold growth if you don’t clean your deck properly. 

Step 1: Prep Your Deck for Washing 

Remove everything from your deck, including the furniture. Get rid of debris from the deck’s surface by spraying it with a hose. Use a broom or your hands to remove large debris, such as tree branches. 

Step 2: Spray Your Deck With Soapy Water

Use a pressure washer equipped with a soap sprayer (or another spraying device) to spray a mixture of soap and water or a composite deck cleaner on the entire Trex decking surface.  

Scrub the deck with a soft-bristle brush or use a pressure washer at a setting no higher than 3,100 PSI. 

Step 3: Rinse Your Deck With Clean Water

Spray the deck with clean water to rinse away loose dirt and soap. Make sure you completely remove the dirt and soap. If the dirty water dries on your deck, it can form a film layer on the composite surface.

Deck Cleaning Tips & Tricks 

The key is to use the right tools and techniques, which can produce the best results in restoring composite decking and getting your deck back into tip-top shape. 

Use the Right Cleaner 

Because Trex decking material is porous, debris and dirt can get inside the material. Your best bet is to use an oxygenated cleaner to penetrate the deck surface and remove any debris and dirt trapped inside the wood.  

Pro Tip: Don’t use chlorine bleach-based cleaners. The sodium hypochlorite in these cleaners can damage your deck’s surface. 

Additionally, the corrosive nature of chlorine bleach can discolor or damage your deck and make mold problems worse. Choose a sodium percarbonate-based cleaner instead of bleach. 

If you have done any work near your deck, dust particles from cement, concrete, mortar, or stucco may cause stains. Use a concrete dissolver to remove them. 

Keep Pressure Low When Pressure Washing

Trex decking is not as hard as natural wood. Pressure washing at too high a setting can chip the surface and lead to mold stains and sun damage. 

Pro Tip: If you use a pressure washer, keep it on its lowest setting – never go above 3,100 PSI, and use a fan tip.  

Keep the sprayer at least 8 inches away from the deck’s surface and spray on a warm day so the sun can help dry any excess water. 

Clean the Gaps

Dirt and debris can build up in the gaps between the wood on the deck, preventing moisture from escaping and promoting mold growth. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean debris from the openings at least once per year.  

Regular cleaning promotes consistent airflow and keeps the underside of your deck dry. 

Mold Removal 

Pesky mold can cause aesthetic and structural damage to your deck. Trex decking resists mold, but it can still grow when allowed to feed on built-up dirt or pollen. 

Regular cleaning is the best way to prevent mold growth. However, if you already have mold on your deck, it’s best to remove it as soon as you notice it. 

Get rid of mold by washing the deck and then scrubbing it away with a soft-bristled brush. If any mold persists after you attempt to remove it, contact a professional mold removal company. 

Stain Removal

Stains can be annoying and ruin the look of your deck. If you notice stains when restoring Trex decking, we have a few pointers on how to remove them. 

Hard Water Stains 

Cleaning the deck with hard water can leave spots on surfaces because hard water contains mineral deposits, such as calcium and magnesium. Avoid washing your deck with hard water when possible. 

If you must use hard water, dry the deck with a dry cloth or blower after washing. Use white vinegar to remove existing hard water spots. 

Discoloration from Rubber Mats

Some rubber-backed mats contain substances that can discolor your Trex decking, causing its surface to appear lighter. Remove rubber mats from discolored areas and replace them with mats backed with a non-rubber material. 

If you’d like to still use a rug, which can elevate the look and feel of your deck with flattering décor, check out our guide on the best types of outdoor rugs for decks. 

Tannins from Debris

Debris that sits on the deck for too long can leave tannins that cause discoloration. Use a deck brightener while your deck is dry to remove tannin stains.

Oil, Grease, and Food 

If you like to eat or cook on your deck, then oil, grease, and food spills are bound to happen. You could consider moving your cooking equipment off the deck to prevent potential damage, but people often enjoy BBQing right on their deck, especially when entertaining.  

Remove all food spills as soon as possible by following the basic cleaning instructions from this guide. Be sure to clean all spills within seven days to maintain the stain warranty on your Trex decking. 

Chalk Lines

This is one area that could be potentially permanent. Whatever you do, skip trying chlorine bleach. Try soap and water; if that fails, Trex recommends  Irwin Strait-Line® Dust-Off Marking Chalk (purple). 

Advice on How To Restore Trex Decking 

Trex has additional online instructions detailing other cleaning techniques for their decking, and we’ve also put together a pretty exhaustive guide for composite decking in general that you can look at.

If you need further advice on how to restore Trex decking, the experts at Decks & Docks Lumber Company can help you out. This includes the extensive restoration process that goes beyond just cleaning! Contact us today if you have questions or need answers about composite decking.