Will Salt Harm My Composite Deck?

Composite decking is a common choice for homeowners who want the look of wood without worrying over whether or not their deck will last as long as their home. Those who are concerned about the environment and using non-renewable resources also prefer it. Composite decking is made from recycled materials to resemble the look and feel of wood. Care for your composite deck to ensure it doesn't get damaged and that it lasts a long time.

Salt Effects

Salt does not damage composite decking under normal circumstances. In fact, some manufacturers, such as Trex, suggesting using rock-salt to melt ice on the decking. The salt has little drying effect on the decking. This makes composite decking especially convenient if you live near saltwater. While composite decking is susceptible to abrasive substances, salt, which can often serve as a scouring powder, is not coarse enough to damage composite decking. Regardless, don't rub or press salt into composite decking.

Removing Salt Residue

Salt will leave a chalky residue on your composite decking. This can make the deck look dirty. Remove the salt residue by rinsing the deck with water from a garden hose. Fit the hose with a high-pressure nozzle for a faster and more efficient result. You can remove tough salt buildup with a household cleaner containing a small amount of phosphoric acid. This will immediately remove the salt stains.

Regular Cleaning

Cleaning everyday buildup from composite decks is simple. Rinse the deck with water from a hose, then, scrub the deck with soapy water until you remove all of the dirt, debris and stains. Rinse the water away again. Use soap that will not harm plants if you have plants surrounding your composite decking.

Protecting Composite

There are several substances and materials that can harm composite decking. This includes using any substance that is highly abrasive including sandpaper or very abrasive scrubbing brushes. Oils can also stain some types of composite decking. Always use plastic shovels rather than metal ones to shovel snow off decks as the metal will scrape the deck.

Kaye Wagner

Kaye Wagner has been working in the fields of journalism and public relations since 2006 and is a recipient of a National Hearst Award. She is particularly interested in home-and-garden projects, as well as beauty and fashion writing. An avid traveler, she also writes travel reviews and guides. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.