Vinyl sundecks are virtually maintenance free, but like anything outdoors, they need periodic cleaning to stay looking their best.
Here are Citywide Sundecks’ tips on when and how to clean your vinyl sundeck:
To keep your vinyl sundeck spic and span, clean it once per season. For general cleaning, use soap and water. First, clear the deck of furniture and any other items. Next, wet the whole deck surface down. Lightly scrub the vinyl with a stiff broom and a dish soap solution. The soap and water solution should be similar to what you would use to wash dishes. When you’ve scrubbed all over the deck, make sure any gutters and drains are clear before rinsing the deck.
Deep cleaning your vinyl sundeck
If basic soap and water just aren’t cutting it, there are a few other go-to cleaners that’ll get your vinyl sundeck looking like new.
Fantastik spray cleaner is useful for tough stains like motor oil, coffee, crayon, and makeup. Cascade Powdered Dishwasher Detergent also works well. Before using a cleaner, lightly scrape or wipe off any excess material. Wet the area, apply the cleaner, and scrub with medium pressure to remove the spot, then rinse. When you use either of these products on your vinyl deck, ensure they’re not left to sit or dry on your deck, as they may cause damage. Always rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
Duradek Vinyl Cleaner is a specially formulated cleaner for vinyl surfaces. It can be used in place of soap and water for a light to medium cleaning that won’t leave residue behind. You can order Duradek Vinyl Cleaner by contacting Duradek headquarters in Surrey, BC.
Ammonia mixed with water at a ratio of 1 tablespoon to 1 quart is an excellent first line of defense against mildew or wet leaf stains. Ammonia is also helpful with tough stains such as yellow mustard or permanent marker, in combination with Fantastik spray cleaner.
Naval Jelly applied with water on rust stains will quickly clear up any rust spots.
Rub-on citrus based hand cleaner is a sellar cleaner for fresh (not dried) urethane caulking. First, scrape off any excess caulking, then wait 5 minutes after applying the cleaner before rubbing it off and rinsing with water.
Note: Certain substances such as suntan lotions, wet leaves, cedar, permanent markers and others contain dyes that permanently stain vinyl. Clean your deck promptly after exposure to these items for best results.
Power washing your vinyl sundeck
Yes, you can powerwash your vinyl sundeck! Power washing can remove dirt and debris, but it’s not recommended for removing embedded stains.
To avoid damage to your vinyl, set the psi at 1500 (max), and hold the nozzle one foot from the deck surface. Couple the power washing with soap and water for the best cleaning.
Be very careful at the seams, railing attachment, caulking, and house trim. Avoid spraying directly on these more delicate areas to protect the membrane integrity.
How NOT to clean your vinyl sundeck
Vinyl is highly durable, but with improper cleaning practices you can still cause damage. Avoid these mistakes to keep your deck in ship shape. Don’t clean…
All at once – Test an unseen area of vinyl before cleaning a stain in the middle of your deck. Start in a corner or where furniture hides the deck to ensure there is no damage or discolouration from the product.
Without rinsing – All cleaning methods must be followed by a thorough rinse with water. Leaving chemicals on the vinyl deck surface to dry can cause damage.
In direct sunlight – baking cleaning product into your vinyl sundeck is not a good idea. Keep the deck wet and create shade while cleaning, whenever possible.
With whatever’s under the sink – You can’t use just anything to clean vinyl. Certain household cleaners, powdered abrasives, steel wool and industrial cleaners can cause damage and discoloration. Dry cleaning fluids and lacquer thinner/solvents will remove the printed pattern and gloss on the vinyl decking. Waxes may also cause permanent damage. Stick to the recommendations here.
With whatever’s in the shed – A soft to stiff plastic brush or broom is best for cleaning your vinyl. Never use a metal-tipped shovel or other metal tools as they can pierce or rip the vinyl.
Infrequently – Vinyl will last decades with just a little TLC. Clean your deck seasonally and always clean it immediately after spills and fallen leaves to avoid staining.
If cleaning isn’t cutting it, it’s time to replace your vinyl deck. Citywide Sundecks and Railings is Metro Vancouver’s vinyl decking expert.
Fill out the form below or call 604-SUN-DECK for a free quote.
These tips were adapted from Duradek’s Care and Cleaning Guide.