how to care for and clean trex decking

How-To: Care for and Clean TREX Decking


A common question we get in regards to products branded as ‘low-maintenance’ is “how often do I need to clean it?”

The answer is that all exterior building materials require regular cleaning in order to keep them looking in tip top shape. In the case of Trex, simply cleaning seasonally (or as needed) with soap and water is all that is required to clean Trex Transcend, Enhance and Select products. For further information, and specific guidelines for cleaning different types of soiling, see our handy maintenance and cleaning instructions below. There’s even a handy How-To Video to help.

PROBLEM: Dirt and Debris
SOLUTION: The affected area should be sprayed off with a hose to remove surface debris. Use warm soapy water and a soft bristle brush to remove dirt and debris from the embossing pattern.

PROBLEM: Hard Water Staining
SOLUTION: Hard water is water with a high amount of mineral deposits like lime, silica and calcium. When the water dries, deposits are left behind, leaving unsightly spots on surfaces. This is not a defect of Trex products but an issue with the water itself. Generally these deposits can be cleaned with white vinegar on decking surfaces or use of Magic Eraser® on railing surfaces. Rinsing is required so care should be taken to not use hard water for this purpose, and if it must be used, dry with a cloth or use a blower to dry surfaces.

PROBLEM: Chalk Lines
SOLUTION: Most colored chalks are permanent and may discolor the surface. Use only Irwin Strait-Line®* Dust-Off Marking Chalk (purple), available at Irwin.com

PROBLEM: Tannins Due to Debris
SOLUTION: Remove all debris from the deck using a hose or broom. Once the deck surface is dry, apply a deck “brightener”** to the deck as directed by the manufacturer. Deck Brighteners contain oxalic acid, which will also remove tannins.

PROBLEM: Ice and Snow
SOLUTION: A plastic shovel may be used to remove snow from the deck. Use calcium chloride or rock salt to melt the snow and ice from the deck surface.

PROBLEM: Oil, Grease and Food
SOLUTION: All food spills should be removed as soon as possible. The surface must be cleaned within seven days to maintain the stain warranty. To remove, spray off with a hose and use warm, soapy water and a soft bristle brush to remove spills from the embossing pattern.

PROBLEM: Mold and Mildew
SOLUTION: If debris such as pollen and dirt is allowed to remain on the deck surface, mold can feed on the biofilm. Using a hose and warm, soapy water with a soft bristle brush is recommended to remove the food source and mold.

PROBLEM: Using a Pressure Washer (Concrete, Stucco or Ground-in Construction Dirt)
SOLUTION: A pressure washer with no greater than 3100 psi*** that has a fan attachment/adjustment and soap dispenser may be used to remove dirt, concrete dust, or other types of construction dirt. Spray deck with soap, then follow with gently scrubbing each deck board with a soft bristle brush. Spray/rinse each individual deck board using a fan tip no closer than 8-in from the decking surface. RINSE THOROUGHLY. If dirty water from cleaning is left to dry, this will cause a film to remain on the decking surface.

PROBLEM: Maintaining Transcend and Select Railing
SOLUTION: NEVER use acetone or other solvents on Trex Transcend or Select Railing to maintain the beauty of the surface. For color transfer issues (from attachment of baluster spacer), use Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser® Original or Magic Eraser® Extra Power to help remove this.**** For small surface scratches, marks or scuffs, use Dupli-Color Scratch Seal™ Clear Sealer Pen.*****

PROBLEM: Job Site Storage
SOLUTION: Store decking on a flat level surface, and always use proper supports (dunnage). Do not store directly on the ground. When stacking decking bundles, supports (dunnage) should start approximately 8-in (0.20 m) from each end and be spaced approximately 2-ft (0.61 m) on center. In addition, supports (dunnage) should line up vertically/perpendicular to the decking product. Adjust support blocks (dunnage) accordingly if bundles are loose. For Select decking, 1×12 and 1×8 products, the maximum stack height is 12 bundles. For all other decking products maximum stack height is 14 bundles (IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT PROPER DUNNAGE SPACING MUST BE IN PLACE FOR THESE HEIGHTS.)When stacking multiple bundles, ensure that dunnage lines up vertically down through each stack. Always cover decking products on site until ready to be installed.

*Strait-Line® is a registered trademark of Irwin Industrial Tool Company.
**Use of products containing bleach or acid will lighten the surface of Trex. Use in an inconspicuous area to determine whether you like the effect. Neither product will affect the structural integrity of Trex.
***Use of a pressure washer greater than 3100 psi could damage the boards and void the warranty.
****Mr. Clean® and Magic Eraser® are registered trademarks of The Procter and Gamble Company.
*****Scratch Seal™ Clear Sealer Pen is a registered trademark of Dupli-Color® Products Company.

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