Most people who discover composite decking mold problems immediately run for the water hose and the bleach jug. Sure, you can get rid of that black, ugly looking stuff with some heavy-duty muscle action (as in scrubbing with a brush) as well as lots of water and who knows what damage to the environment.
Harsh chemicals like bleach can not only fade the color of your composite decking, it can also destroy any and all plant life growing around your deck that happens to get a splash of bleach water on it.
Discover the Source of the Problem First
Before you haul out the bleach and power spray washer to address your composite decking mold problems, take a few minutes to read about what causes this problem in the first place. There’s no use in tackling a job that’s not only rated upwards of 10 on the hard-work scale, but also proves to be something you’ll be doing over and over again – unless you address the underlying trouble.
Unless your composite decking mold problems come from a once-in-a-blue-moon spell of constant or near-constant rainfall through the fluke of an unusually rainy season, something else is causing moisture to build up and stay on the decking. This is what you need to discover first before you spend any time or energy cleaning off the mold.
Other composite decking mold problems stem from window air conditioner units being placed so that their condensation drip, drip, drips constantly onto the deck. Water sprinkler systems with heads not properly placed can water your expensive composite decking as much as your plants with mold resulting as an unwanted bonus.
Redirect Water Flow
Most often, the problem lies in inadequate drainage due to the deck not being properly built to drain water. This means that whomever built the deck did not build it to slope gradually (not so much as to be noticeable, but enough to facilitate drainage) away from the house toward the yard.
It stands to reason that you can’t change the slope of your deck after the fact, but you can redirect water-sprinkler heads and remove window air conditioner units. After a rain, go out and sweep your deck to rid it of standing water.
Contacting a reputable landscape contractor may be the best solution outside of rebuilding for composite decking mold problems. He (or she) may be able to offer more reasonable solutions to redirecting water build up, perhaps by adding guttering to the edges of the decking or, more likely, to the roofline of your home, which would stop the flow at the source, so to speak.
Get Rid of the Mold
Once you have the problem solved of from where the water is originating, you can then take steps to get rid of the mold. Composite decking mold problems are no different from mold problems anywhere else.
Several products on the market sold as deck wash (Thompson’s and Wolman are two reliable brand names) can be applied as directed to get rid of mold and mildew. Because these products may contain bleach, be careful to cover any surrounding plants with plastic before application, removing it as soon as possible to prevent damage to your plants.
Don’t let composite decking mold problems prevent you from enjoying your outdoor experience. Take care of them as soon as possible, not only to get the most pleasure possible out of your home, but also to retain its value through proper maintenance and upkeep. When and if it comes time to sell, you’ll be glad you did.