Your Simple Guide To Composite Deck Cleaning

According to home remodeling comparison site Fixr.com, 85% of experts believe that homeowners now are more willing to invest in outdoor living spaces.

However, investing in our home’s outdoor living spaces is not just about installing new home additions like composite decking. It’s also about taking proper care of your investment so it’ll continue to serve you for a long time.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of composite deck cleaning so deck owners will know how to take care of their investment.

As a proud distributor of Trex® composite decking, All Exteriors recommends building your deck with this high performance and low maintenance product line.

Pre-Cleaning Preparations 

The good things about composite decking are that it is made from a combination of wood and plastic, making it a very low-maintenance decking option. Fortunately, composite deck cleaning doesn’t require any specialized tools or supplies.

Here are the items you’ll need to clean your composite decking:

  • Broom
  • Hose and bucket of warm water
  • Bucket of soapy water (water mixed with a deck cleaning solution or a simple dish soap)
  • Deck brush with soft to medium bristles

It is highly recommended to clean your composite deck during a sunny day. Cleaning on rainy or snowy days is possible, but it could cause moisture to build up and lead to molds.

How We Recommend Cleaning Composite Decking

Once you have all the needed cleaning supplies, you simply have to follow these six simple steps to clean your composite deck.

  1. Remove everything on the deck, including furniture, accessories, plants, and other decor. This makes cleaning easier and prevents anything from getting damaged.
  2. Use the broom to properly sweep away dust, dirt, and other debris like leaves. Make sure the deck is free of dirt and debris before proceeding.
  3. Spread warm water across the surface of the composite deck to prepare it for the soap. It’s essential to use warm water because it helps the detergent work better. Warm water also helps remove stains and grease faster.
  4. Mix soap and water together. Follow the product instructions if you’re using a deck cleaning solution. If you are using dish soap, the ratio should be similar to what you use when cleaning the dishes.
  5. Grab the deck brush and dunk it into the bucket of soapy water, then brush the surface of the composite deck. Apply just the right amount of pressure on the deck brush to avoid minor damage on the deck’s surface, especially if the bristles are a little harder.
  6. Once the deck’s surface is properly brushed, you can use a hose or some warm water to rinse away the soapy mixture. Once properly rinsed, leave the deck to dry in the sun.

Things To Avoid When Cleaning Your Deck 

Cleaning your composite deck is relatively straightforward. However, there are a few things that you need to avoid when maintaining your deck.

  • Avoid overusing pressure washers: A high-powered pressure washer is one of the best ways to clean decking, but it can damage the deck’s surface if used carelessly. If you’re not familiar with operating it, leave the pressure washing to professionals.
  • Never use bleach: Harsh chemicals like bleach can eat away at the deck’s composite structure, causing surface damage and permanent discoloration.
  • Don’t use a wire brush: It might be tempting to use a wire brush to scrub away any annoying stains, but all it will do is damage the surface and cause scratches on the surface. Stick to brushes with softer bristles.
  • Don’t paint your deck: Some people often paint their deck after having it cleaned. A painted deck certainly looks impressive at first. After a while, the paint will start peeling and chipping away, forcing you to remove the aging paint manually. The added maintenance simply isn’t worth it. The reason to install composite decking is to have

Installing a composite deck can be an excellent investment. While composite decking is designed to be low-maintenance, it’s still important for homeowners to make sure the deck properly cleaned and cared for so it remains to look great. That’s why at All Exteriors, we trust Trex® composite decking, known for high performance and quality.

All Exteriors are your home improvement experts that offer professional deck installation, fencing, and roofing services. If you plan to invest in your outdoor living space, contact us today to discuss our deck installation services.

The Benefits of Having an Under Deck Ceiling Installed

With most people spending a lot of time at home, more people are taking on outdoor living space improvement projects. One of the most popular ones is deck installation.

Decks are an excellent addition to any home, as they provide extra usable space that can be used for entertaining, recreation, or relaxing. However, rain and snow can wreak havoc on decks, and the damage caused by the elements may work its way toward your foundation.

For this reason, installing an under-deck ceiling is one of the best things you can do, especially if you have raised decks with usable space underneath.

All Exteriors, an under-deck contractor in Wisconsin, shares the numerous benefits you can get from having an under-deck ceiling.

It Prevents Water Damage

Water drips around and through the deck every time it rains. If improperly drained, the water could collect under the deck and cause mold growth. Note that pools of water along the sides of your home can seep into the ground and into your foundation. The costs of repairing foundation damage caused by excessive moisture can run between $2000 and $6000.

Installing an under-deck ceiling helps create a better gutter and drainage system. It will keep the under deck dry during heavy downpours, prevent the substructure from rotting, and extend the life of your deck.

It Protects You From the Elements

An under-deck ceiling will keep you dry during downpours and protect you from UV rays on sunny days. This means that you can use the under-deck space regardless of the weather or time of year.

You Can Place More Appliances and Fixtures

The space below your deck will become more usable by having an under-deck ceiling. If you want an outdoor cooking space, it’s possible to set up a built-in cooking stove, barbecue grill, or pizza oven without having to stress about it being too exposed to the elements.

What’s more, you’d have a wider selection of overhead, hardwired outdoor lighting fixtures to choose from since you won’t have to worry about them getting wet.

More Entertainment Options

With a protected area under your deck, you can get extra storage for seasonal toys and furniture. Alternatively, you can use it as a venue for gatherings. You can entertain underneath the deck all year round without worrying about the elements. Having an under-deck ceiling helps you make the most out of space that is often unused. You can use the space as a:

  • Game Room: You can make the under-deck space a game room for the family. By adding just a billiard table, a poker table, or a shelf full of board games, you can transform this space into a place where you can have fun with your loved ones.
  • Events Room: During special occasions, the space under your deck can be an excellent venue for parties and other social gatherings with family and friends.
  • Personal Workspace: If you’re into painting or woodcarving, the under-deck space will make a great hobby area. You can even use the space under your deck as a home office for when you feel the need to do your work in the fresh air.
  • Storage Room: Enclosing your deck is another good option. This allows you to create a storage space for your out-of-season gear and seasonal decorations.

Increase Property Value

Outdoor under-deck ceiling provides a finished look, which makes your outdoor living space look more attractive. Having a dry, usable, and covered under-deck space also helps increase property value. Compared to many home renovation projects, you can recoup 100% of what you spend on deck and patio improvements when you put your home on the market.

Entrust Your Outdoor Space Improvement Project to the Experts

Make the space under your deck more usable by protecting it with an under-deck ceiling system from All Exteriors. As a premier under deck contractor in Wisconsin with more than 20 years of industry experience, we can be relied on for quality installation and excellent service. Send us a message today to learn more.

Turn Your Dark, Dank Under-Deck Into a Bright, Usable Space

If you have a second-story or elevated deck with enough headroom when you stand directly beneath it, you can maximize the space and turn it into a usable area where you can rest, relax, have fun, or do something productive.

An under-deck living space might seem like a no-brainer, but the truth is that many homeowners skip on the opportunity. Wood decks do not have solid flooring and cannot provide reliable cover underneath when it rains, turning the ground beneath it muddy during the rainy season. Installing outdoor concrete flooring helps, but the area will remain unusable as long as the ceiling continues to leak with runoffs from the deck above.

The solution? An under-deck ceiling and drainage system.

Ceiling and Gutter System in One

An under-deck drainage system is a straightforward construction. Its purpose is to collect runoffs from the above-deck and lead the water into a gutter system. This could be the home improvement project that will transform your backyard from being an underutilized space to your new favorite hangout.

Here are some pointers on how to install under-deck roofing in your home.

Materials

Corrugated aluminum, PVC, fiberglass panels, and plastic sheets that can be draped over slats to form troughs are some of the most commonly used materials for under-deck roofing.

Installation

The entire length of the ceiling must be seamless to avoid leaks, so material- and design-compatible fasteners are absolutely necessary. Ideally, under-deck ceilings formed with multiple panels must have an interlocking system that ensures water doesn’t leak between the panels. In cases where the panels must be nailed to the structural beams, the nails must be coated completely with epoxy polyurethane to ensure that the ceiling is entirely waterproof.

The basic method of installing under-deck roofs is to attach structural beams (also called purlins) a little lower beneath the deck joists. The ceiling panels are then nailed or fastened perpendicularly to the beams, the latter holding the former in place.

On one end of the panels are downspouts that open directly into a gutter system. It crucial, therefore, that the panels are pitched a couple of inches lower towards the gutters so that rainwater will flow naturally towards the gutter. The structural beams must be positioned with this in mind, too.

Gutter System

Under-deck roofs are ideally pitched away from the house. This is to keep the water away from the foundation. Pitching the roofing away from the house is especially a must if the exterior walls are made of wood. The exception is if your house is made of brick and you have high-quality gutters attached to catch the runoff from the under-deck ceiling.

Finishing

To round off the project, coat the ceiling with a fresh coat of paint. Choose a color that matches the exteriors of your home, otherwise the new addition will look out of place.

White is a popular choice because it can help brighten up the deeply-shadowed area beneath the deck. The white paint on the aluminum or PVC membrane also creates a refractive surface for both artificial and natural light, illuminating the space at daytime and nighttime.

Maximize Your Outdoor Space

No matter how tiny the area is below your deck, you can turn it into a comfortable lounging area where you can sit with a cup of coffee in the mornings or evenings, or a workshop space where you can do hobbies like woodworking, painting, drawing, gardening, or playing a musical instrument. It’s just a matter of preparing the space for your use. Since an under-deck roof is affordable and doesn’t take long to install, it’s a good project to start with.

5 Deck Renovations That Really Pay Off

Having a deck in your yard is a great way to make the most of time spent outdoors. During a party or even a casual get together, decks offer a natural gathering point.

A deck is a great spot for eating, admiring the view and more. With deck renovations in New Richmond, you can get even more enjoyment out of your deck.

Renovations help adapt a deck to the specific uses you have for it, making it an even more valuable asset to your home. These are some of the best and most useful renovations to give your deck a new life.

Add a New Railing


Railings for your deck add that final touch that makes the deck look properly finished. They’re also vital for safety reasons, to prevent people from stepping off and falling down.

Adding a new railing gives you control over the look and feel of this important component of your deck. A custom railing can enhance the beauty and style of your existing deck. Whether you opt for an entirely wood railing or a welded railing, a custom addition is sure to satisfy your expectations.

Below Deck Space


If you want to make the most of the space in your home, try using the space below your deck. If your home has two stories, this can be an entire patio or another outdoor area.

If you have less space, though, you can still make use of the area under your deck. For those who are always searching out new storage solutions, this may be the perfect spot to use for stowing away seldom-used items, such as seasonal items or camping gear.

A remodel can help you make use of this previously wasted space and clear up a cluttered garage.

Get It Waterproofed


Waterproofing is an excellent way to extend your deck’s life and a practical renovation. Wood decks are constantly exposed to the elements, from UV rays to days of rain and snow.

Having a waterproof sealant applied will help keep the boards of your deck clean and strong, avoiding rot and staining from moisture. Wood decks are gorgeous, but they are vulnerable to damage from moisture.

The boards can warp or discolor over time if they aren’t protected. Updating the sealant will keep your deck protected, so you can enjoy it for years to come.

Update With Deck Resurfacing


If your deck is aging, it may be time to have it resurfaced. Resurfacing can include replacement and repair of any aspect of your deck, from the railing to the individual boards.

Wood boards with damage or staining can be replaced, either with new wood or with low-maintenance composite wood. You can also update stairs, keeping them safe for the seniors in your family as well as the little ones.

Loose stairs, missing steps, and other damage are all excellent reasons to schedule a deck resurfacing.

Put In a Drainage System Below Deck


This update is a great option for keeping your deck mold-free and avoiding unsightly water stains.

A series of metal panels under the deck collects rainwater that falls between boards, keeping it from soaking through the bottom panels and into the ceiling below a raised deck.

All the collected rainwater is channeled into a spout, where it can be released just like it would be from a rain gutter.

This under deck ceiling is guaranteed not to leak, giving you a comfortable and clean area to use below the deck.

Contact All Exteriors Today!

If you want to have a deck remodel in New Richmond done, All Exteriors has skilled services that will help you create the deck of your dreams.

Whatever renovation or repair you need, we have the best crew and materials to get it done. Contact us today, or call us at 715-781-1696 for more information.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/alabn

What Wood is Best for Decks?

What Wood is Best for Decks

A deck is a perfect place to hang out during those warm spring and summer days. Grilling, chatting, listening to music – it’s an ideal laid-back setting to catch up with friends and family. However, before you start building your deck and getting it ready for the upcoming season, there are some decisions you have to make―namely what sort of wood you want to use for the project.

Many different types of wood can be used to create a good, solid deck, and each comes with its own appearance and experience. Take a look at some of the best outdoor wood options and decide which material fits your needs before beginning the building process.

Redwood

Redwood is a soft wood, but it is durable. The most remarkable quality of this aptly-named wood is its initial color, which is a warm reddish tone. While redwood deck boards resist rot rather well, that same color is prone to fading to gray over the years or even turning black. To maintain its initial bright color, you will need to seal it using a clear coat and maintain the sealer over the years. Aside from the unique color, this product is comparable to cedar in most aspects.

Cedar

Cedar is another soft wood, but, like redwood, is one of the best woods for decks that are left uncovered as it resists rot. There are many different types of cedar, each with its own benefits. Some common options include:

  • Western red cedar
  • Northern white cedar
  • Aromatic cedar

Cedarwood decking holds its own against sun, rain, snow, and heat with ease. Aromatic cedar (commonly used in closets and nearly three times harder than red cedar) also helps to keep insects at bay. However, when used outdoors, cedar wood is prone to splintering. Staining is recommended to keep this wood looking great.

Ipé

This hardwood is from South America and has excellent resistance to not only rot but also bugs. The wood is known for its stunning density and hardness. Though this quality can make the material difficult to work with, it also ensures it’s able to support a great deal of weight, which makes it an excellent product to use on decks that have planned stone or slate accents involved.

Tropical Hardwoods

Mahogany, tiger wood, and cumaru wood are other options for those looking for something vibrant to add to their outdoor space. Tropical woods typically have rich grains and rate high on the hardness scale, making them resistant to bugs and rot. It is a generally durable option. However, with that being said, these woods are so dense they can be challenging to work with, are difficult to stain, and are generally expensive to import.

Pressure-Treated Lumber

This is the leading option for decks across the country and makes up a whopping 75 percent of all new deck constructions. Rather than having air between the wood particles, these boards have been filled with chemicals that stave off rot and bugs, which makes it an excellent addition to any outdoor project. Woods can be treated in a variety of different ways, including the inclusion of water or oil preservatives that are less harmful to the environment while remaining just as effective.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is a human-made product that’s created of nearly equal parts recycled wood fiber, and recycled plastic. As this material contains a high plastic content, it doesn’t fade, splinter, or crack like most natural wood, but the existing wood content still gives it that familiar, wood texture. Composite decking also comes in a wide range of colors, so you can get the look you’ve had your eye on – for a fraction of the price. This is an excellent option for those looking to build a deck that presents as little mandatory upkeep as possible.

Find the Best Wood for Your Deck

Each option has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you to decide which aspects important to you and your outdoor experience. Contact All Exteriors today to learn more about popular deck wood options and get the answers to any questions you might have before getting started on your outdoor construction project!