Care and Maintenance
A great feature of composite products is that you can have a great performing deck without the need for staining, oiling, painting etc, and the deck will continue to last without rotting, cracking, splinters etc. However, wood/plastic composite products are wood-based and will only look their best if given some degree of care. The amount of care/attention required on your deck will most likely be directly proportional to the local environment of the deck; an area surrounded by heavy foliage or prone to lots of dust will of course require more attention than a very open area without trees etc….
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Mould colonies can develop on any outdoor area; this is generally due to air-borne spores landing in an environment that promotes mould growth. A slower-working long-term environmentally friendly solution is applying a product known as “Wet and Forget” – this works well but takes several months to take full effect. As mould spores are airborne they may reappear at later point in time.
A "quick fix" for this is the use of SoSafe ESR pH Boosted or Intergrain Reviva. NOTE: Intergrain Reviva may lighten the pigment of the decking boards and in all circumstances you must follow instructions as stated on packaging.
Possible results shown below.
Image of 4 year old 88mm Silver Gum Decking
Water stain marks can show on ModWood boards. We have seen two types of water stains; both of which will generally disappear with exposure to a reasonable soaking of rain and general weathering; both of which can be cleaned fairly quickly with an application of dilute "Intergrain Reviva".
Water stains from wood tannins will occur in the early life of your deck as the natural tannins come out of the wood fibres at the surface of the ModWood. This will happen in the early weeks of your deck, and will depend on how exposed to the elements your deck is before the weathering process is complete. Water stains from water pooling or dripping can happen with ModWood just like it can with many other materials/surfaces such as timber flooring, glass, laminated tables etc. The visibility of the stain will be governed by factors such as how dirty the deck is and how quickly the water dries from the water pooling. Clean as mentioned above
A wash with Intergrain Reviva often assists in eliminating such marks
Scuffs and scratches
Due to excess lubricants on the surface of the product, ModWood can show scuffs and scratches when new; especially on the Smooth (darker) side. By rubbing on light decking oil eg. Sceney's Natural decking oil; with a clean rag the marks will be less noticeable. Exposure to the weather will see the board revert to its natural colour, thus hiding scuff and scratch marks. The "Brushed" (lighter side) of the board provides a more textured "timber-like" finish and does not as easily show scuffs and scratches. The Brushed side must be facing up if the deck is fully or partially covered. Either side may be used in exposed areas. The brushed finish can be wire-brushed or sanded with coarse sandpaper to remove scratches. The area you brush will quickly fade out and hide your repair.
ModWood is a finished product-take care! To learn more about what can be done to repair please read Treating Scuffs and Scratches.
Tip – it is strongly recommended that all furniture on a ModWood deck has protective feet e.g. rubber stoppers applied to the legs to help prevent scuffing or scratching of the deck surface.
It is best to avoid coloured chalks that are used in construction as most coloured chalks are permanent! Best alternatives are white chalk (Irwin Strait-Line Dust Off) or baby powder. Test on a small off cut if unsure and confirm that you can clean off successfully. Contact the manufacturer of the specific brand and colour of chalk for a cleaning solution that may prove effective prior to use.
Fading / Colour Softening
ModWood will undergo some colour change when exposed to the elements and this will primarily happen during the first couple of months.
When deciding which side of the ModWood decking boards to use you should refer to "Brushed or Smooth - Pro's and Con's"
Most people do not use any coatings on ModWood, however it can be painted or stained at a later date should this be desired. Please refer to Frequently Asked Questions and then contact our office for information/advice.
Silver Gum Weathering
During the weathering process Silver Gum may show some discolouration & this initial colour shift is a result of the wood fibres undergoing natural bleaching by the sun’s ultra violet rays. This is quite normal and occurs with all of our colours, however it is more noticeable with the lighter colours & once the boards have completed this weathering process (typically 2 - 3 months after installation) the colour will revert to its final silver/ grey colour.
Brushed or Smooth? Pro's and Con's
Below are the pros and cons of using the different faces.
Brushed (lighter coloured face).
- Must be used for decks under roof/cover **
- A more uniform appeal when under cover
- Does not show scratches as easily
- A more “timber-like” surface feel
- Better non-slip feel in wet areas (e.g. around pools)
- Heavy scratches may be sanded or wire-brushed out
- Less colour shift/fade over time - apart from embossing lines fading
- A more durable finish; suitable for under roof and fully exposed deck areas.
- Surface temperature of brushed feels cooler than the smooth
- Can more easily take oil based paint or decking stain
- Susceptible to “fatty” stains due to the exposed wood fibre
- Will pick up dirt/stains/mould more easily due to wood fibres exposed (these can usually be cleaned)
Smooth (darker coloured face)
- More “plastic” at the surface gives better resistance to dirt and grime (stays cleaner)
- A more solid colour
- for fully exposed deck areas only **
- Less uniform appeal if installed undercover
- Smoother surface may feel a bit more plastic
- Surface temperature will get hotter; especially when new
- Smoother surface not quite as good for grip (88mm board)
- Cannot simply give a wire-brushing “touch-up” for scratches
- Will show a higher degree of fade over the first few months
- Needs to be well weathered before paint or stain will adhere properly
** For decks partially under roof, the brushed/ lighter side must be faced up. For fully exposed decks; either face up can be used.
See our Care and Maintanence and "Does ModWood Fade" for further details.
Graffiti Paint Removal
Trials have shown that it is possible to remove graffiti paint with application of paint removal stripper. Please refer to directions as stated on product
Many surfaces can be affected by pets doing their business where they should not. There are several products available through supermarkets and hardware outlets to assist. Some clients have had success with “urine free” and “pet loo” products.
A simple sweep of the deck area will generally prevent build-up of dirt and grime (or even leaves) that can lead to unwanted marks, stains and mould on your deck. Gaps between the boards should also be cleared of debris should this occur. As with timber, the longer your deck is dirty, the more work it will take to get it clean again.
In all circumstances you must follow instructions as stated on packaging; a wash with something like "sugar soap" or "sard wonder soap" solutions will generally remove most dirt and grime. A good product to use for general cleaning is SoSafe ESR pH Boosted and for the removal of heavy stains a more vigorous product is Intergrain Reviva". Please note that Intergrain Reviva may lighten the pigment of the decking boards.
For oil-based stains such as BBQ fat or sunscreen lotion, a dilution of degreaser such as Kenco" works very well - again, follow the directions on the pack. Please note Kenco will lighten the pigment colour of the decking boards - follow instructions as stated on packaging exactly.
Tip – if you have a BBQ on your deck, a good practice is to have a “splat mat" or "drop board” under the BBQ to catch fat spills rather than have them fall on to the deck.
Tip – if you have pot plants it is advisable that they do not sit directly on the deck boards; raise them as you may get stain marks from overflow. You can keep the area clean by using warm soapy water. Occasionally you may need to move the pots around to minimise shadow marks.
Care and Maintenance Hard Copy.