How Do You Restore Faded Composite Decking

Composite decking has become increasingly popular among homeowners for its durability and low maintenance. However, despite its robust nature, prolonged exposure to sunlight and harsh weather conditions can cause composite decking to fade over time. Faded decks can detract from the overall aesthetic of a home’s exterior, leaving homeowners wondering how to restore their deck’s original beauty. If you’re one of those homeowners searching for a solution to restore your faded composite decking, this post is for you.

In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks that can help you rejuvenate your decking and bring back its pristine appearance. So, let’s dive in!

1. Introduction to composite decking and its benefits

Welcome to the world of composite decking! This type of decking material is becoming increasingly popular due to its numerous benefits. Unlike traditional wood decks, composite decking is made from a combination of wood and plastic, making it resistant to rot, mold, and insects. Additionally, composite decking is more durable and requires less maintenance than traditional wood decks, saving you time and money in the long run.

However, one common issue with composite decking is fading. Over time, the sun’s harsh UV rays can cause the color of composite decking to fade, making it look dull and unappealing. But don’t worry, there are several ways to restore your faded composite decking and bring it back to life.

In this blog series, we will explore the various causes of deck fading, how to assess the extent of deck fading, and how to restore your composite decking using specific products and techniques. Additionally, we will discuss tips for maintaining your newly restored composite decking and when it may be time to replace your decking altogether.

By the end of this series, you will have a comprehensive understanding of composite decking and how to restore it to its former glory. So, let’s dive in and get started!

2. Understanding composite decking’s properties that cause fading

Understanding composite decking’s properties that cause fading is crucial to restoring your deck’s original appearance after years of use. Composite decking is made of a combination of plastic and wood fibers, which gives it durability and resistance to insects and rot. However, the plastic in composite decking is susceptible to fading due to its exposure to sunlight and weather conditions. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause the plastic in your deck to lose its color vibrancy and even turn gray over time.

It’s important to know that some composite decking boards are more susceptible to fading than others. Cheaper quality boards are typically made of low-quality plastic that is more likely to be affected by environmental factors. On the other hand, some brands of composite decking use high-quality materials that are more resistant to fading. Before deciding which restoration methods to use, assess the extent of fading on your deck to determine its degree of damage.

To restore faded composite decking, consider using specific products and techniques that are designed to treat the type of fading your deck has experienced. You can try cleaning your deck with composite deck cleaners, which are designed to remove dirt, grime, and mildew that can cause discoloration. Additionally, sanding your deck with fine-grit sandpaper can help to remove any surface imperfections that are causing discoloration.

Another way to restore faded composite decking is to use deck stains or paints that are specifically designed for composite materials. You can apply these products to your deck’s surface to restore the original color and appearance. However, it’s essential to read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying any product to your deck to avoid damaging the composite material.

Once you’ve restored your composite decking, it’s crucial to maintain it regularly to prevent fading from reoccurring. For example, you can protect your deck from UV rays by applying a protective coating or shade covering over it. It’s also essential to clean your deck regularly to remove any dirt and debris that can contribute to discoloration.

Knowing how to restore faded composite decking can save you money and extend the life of your deck. However, if your decking is severely damaged, it may be more cost-effective to replace it entirely. By understanding your deck’s properties and the causes of fading, you can take steps to maintain its appearance and prolong its lifespan.

3. Causes of fading of composite decking

When it comes to your decking, fading can be a common issue with composite materials. Knowing the root causes of such fading can help in addressing the issue appropriately. The two major causes of composite deck fading are poor maintenance and exposure to heat/sun. Neglecting proper maintenance like cleaning and protecting the deck can weather it, as can continued exposure to extreme heat and sun rays. Inappropriate cleaning solutions like bleach or excessive pressure washing also cause fading. Weathering from the elements, like rain, snow, and moisture can also lead to fading. Understanding these causes is the first step to restoring your deck.

4. Assessing the extent of deck fading

When it comes to restoring your faded composite decking, it’s important to first assess the extent of the damage. Look closely at your deck and note how much of it has faded and whether the fading is consistent throughout or if there are areas that are worse than others. This will help you determine the best course of action for restoring your deck.

One thing to consider is the type of composite decking you have. Early composites would generally fade back to their underlying color after about three years of exposure to the sun, while newer capped composite boards are much more resistant to fading and staining. If you have an older composite deck, you may need to put in more effort to restore its color.

Another factor to consider is the level of dirt and debris buildup on your deck. If your deck is very dirty, it may be difficult to determine the extent of the fading. In this case, it’s best to start by thoroughly cleaning your deck before assessing the extent of the fading.

Once you have a good idea of the extent of the fading on your deck, you can start to choose the best restoration method. This may involve cleaning and sanding the deck to restore its natural color or using a deck stain or paint to give it a new, refreshed look.

Remember, proper maintenance is key to preventing fading and other damage to your composite decking. Regularly cleaning and removing debris and dirt buildup can help extend the life and beauty of your deck.

5. Restoring composite decking using specific products and techniques

Now that you’ve assessed the extent of your deck fading, it’s time to start restoring your composite decking using specific products and techniques. Luckily, there are a few options available to choose from.

One popular choice is the Rocksolid Composite Deck product, which promises to clean and restore your deck’s color in just one day. To start, make sure you properly clean your deck using a broom and hose to remove any surface grime and mold. Then, mix half a cup of vinegar and a full cup of baking soda into your deck cleaner before spraying it on your composite decking. This should remove any remaining dirt or grime.

Another option is to use a finish made specifically for composite materials. Trex recommends using a solid-color stain and cleaning your deck with a product approved for composite decking, or a solution of warm water and soap. Use a stiff-bristle brush to remove any stubborn stains or debris.

Once you’ve cleaned your deck, it’s important to remove all furniture and debris from the area. This will ensure that you have enough space to apply any restoration products properly. You may also want to consider sanding your deck to remove any rough spots or uneven areas.

Overall, restoring your faded composite decking can be a simple and easy process with the proper products and techniques. Keep in mind that regular maintenance, such as cleaning and sealing your deck, will help prevent future fading and damage. By following these steps, you can bring your composite decking back to its original color and beauty in no time.

6. Restoring faded composite decking by cleaning and sanding

Now that you’ve assessed the extent of your faded composite decking and determined that cleaning and sanding is the best approach, let’s get started! First, remove any excess debris from the deck with a broom or power washer. Next, mix half a cup of apple cider or white wine vinegar with a gallon of water and spray it onto the deck. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing the deck with a soft bristle brush.

After cleaning the deck, it’s time to sand it to restore its color. Start by using rough sandpaper, such as a 60-grit, to remove any stubborn stains or debris. Then, switch to a finer sandpaper, such as a 120-grit, to smooth out the surface. Finally, use 220-grit sandpaper to give the deck a smooth finish. Make sure to sand evenly to avoid creating any uneven spots on the deck.

While sanding, keep the deck wet to prevent the sandpaper from clogging and to help remove any remaining stains. Once you’ve finished sanding, rinse the deck with water to remove any remaining debris. Allow the deck to dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step.

To finish off the restoration process, apply a composite deck stain or paint to the deck. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times. This will not only restore the color but also protect the deck from future fading and damage.

With your newly restored composite decking, remember to maintain it by cleaning it regularly with a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft bristle brush. Avoid using bleach or excessive pressure when cleaning to prevent any further damage. By taking care of your deck, you’ll be able to enjoy it for many years to come.

7. Restoring composite decking using deck stain and deck paint

Now that you’ve cleaned your faded composite decking, it’s time to restore it to its former glory using deck stain and deck paint. While uncapped composite decking can be painted or stained, it’s important to keep in mind that only certain types of stain and paint will work with composite decks. Solid-color stains are recommended by Trex, for example.

First, make sure your deck is completely dry before applying any type of stain or paint. Then, choose a high-quality deck stain or paint designed specifically for use on composite decking. Apply the product according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using a roller or brush to achieve an even finish.

Remember to apply a maintenance coat of stain or paint when necessary to keep your composite deck looking its best. Clean your deck at least twice a year with a commercial deck cleaner or a homemade mixture of soap and water. With proper maintenance, your restored composite deck will look beautiful for years to come.

8. Tips for maintaining restored composite decking

Congratulations, you have successfully restored your faded composite decking! Now, you must take the necessary steps to maintain it and keep it looking its best. Here are some tips for maintaining your newly restored composite decking:

1. Regular Cleaning: Keep your decking clean by sweeping away leaves, dirt, and other debris every week to prevent buildup. Hose down your deck regularly and use a composite deck cleaner for a deeper clean when necessary.

2. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Don’t use harsh chemicals, bleach, or pressure-washers on your decking as they can cause damage and ruin the protective coating.

3. Use Mats and Furniture Pads: Place mats or furniture pads under planters, grills, and outdoor furniture to prevent scratches and damage to your decking.

4. Remove Stains Immediately: If you spill food or drinks on your deck or notice any stains, clean them up right away. Avoid scrubbing the area vigorously, as it can cause scratches that can further discolor the surface.

5. Don’t Use Heated Objects: Don’t place any heated objects or materials like hot coals or firepits on your decking. The heat can melt the plastic in your composite decking, and it can cause permanent damage.

6. Inspect your Deck Regularly: Conduct a thorough inspection of your composite decking every few months to check for any visible signs of damage or fading. If you find any issues, address them immediately to prevent them from getting worse.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your composite decking looking new for years to come. With a little bit of care and attention, you can protect your investment and enjoy your restored composite decking for years to come!

9. When to replace composite decking instead of restoring it

Although restoring your faded composite decking is a cost-effective solution to breathe new life into your deck, there comes a time when replacement is a better option. Here are some signs to look out for to decide if it’s time to replace your composite decking:

1. Extensive Fading: If your deck is severely faded and discolored, restoring it may not be enough to get it back to its original state. In this case, it’s best to replace the boards altogether and start fresh.

2. Warping and Cracking: If you notice that your composite decking is warping or cracking, it’s a sign that the structure is failing, and it’s better to replace the entire deck.

3. Structural Damage: If your deck has structural damage, such as rotting or termites, it’s best to replace the deck altogether, as it could pose a safety hazard.

4. Age: If your composite decking is old and nearing the end of its lifespan, it’s better to replace it instead of spending money on temporary fixes.

Knowing when to replace your composite decking is crucial in avoiding further damage and preventing any safety hazards. Keep an eye out for these indicators, and if you notice any of them, don’t hesitate to replace the boards or the entire deck altogether. It may seem like a huge investment initially, but it will save you time and money in the long run.

10. Conclusion and final thoughts on restoring faded composite decking.

Congratulations, you’ve successfully restored your faded composite decking! By taking the time to properly assess the extent of fading, using specific products and techniques for restoration, and maintaining your deck afterward, you’ve saved yourself time and money by avoiding a costly replacement.

Remember, regular cleaning is key to maintaining the vibrant color of your restored deck. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and use appropriate cleaning solutions. Additionally, make sure to address any repairs or issues as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

If you do notice that your deck is fading again, don’t panic. There are still options for restoration. Depending on the extent of fading and damage, you may need to repeat the restoration process or consider a different method such as painting or staining.

Ultimately, restoring a faded composite deck can be a time-consuming process, but with patience and proper care, you can enjoy a beautiful, vibrant deck for years to come. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy your newly restored outdoor space!