Composite decking is designed to be durable and stand up to any test mother nature can come up with. The reality is that even the best composite decking materials can end up scratched. As your deck ages, you’re more and more likely to see scratches simply from standard wear and tear as well.
The good news is that your deck likely isn’t damaged forever. With a few composite decking scratch repair tips in your back pocket, you can take on minor nicks and even some more severe scratches. Use this guide to learn more about composite decking scratch repair even if you don’t consider yourself a particularly handy homeowner.
Why Do Scratches Occur?
Your composite deck looks downright stunning when you install it and you love spending time outdoors with friends and family. Over time though, you started to notice that your deck has small scratches in certain areas.
There’s a good chance these scratches are in high foot-traffic areas like walkways that lead to your interior access point. Here are a few of the most common reasons a composite deck gets scratched over time:
- Shoes. Boots, high heels and even some dress shoes can scuff and scratch your composite deck. You’ll notice these scratches more in areas like walkways.
- Kids and pets. Toys, dog nails and the general flurry of activity that accompanies both kids and pets can lead to scratches.
- Furniture. Outdoor furniture is generally heavy. That’s a good thing because it ensures that your furniture will stay in place. It also means that when your furniture moves there’s a greater potential for nicks and scratches.
- Weather. Winter weather is very harsh in some locations. Rain, snow, sleet and ice can take their toll on your deck and its finish. Winter winds that move large pieces of furniture around can also create scratches.
Composite Decking Scratch Repair Tips
Your composite deck won’t ever need to be sealed or painted because it is very durable and made to stand up to regular abuse. Pesky scratches can mar a great outdoor space though. Here are some methods you can use to fix scratches on your composite deck:
Fill nicks and scratches with an epoxy-based filler and a putty knife. When going this route, make sure you use a product that the manufacturer of your decking material approves. Some kits are available that provide everything you need for this type of repair.
Try the heat method. For this, you’ll use a heat gun about 8″ to 12″ away from the scratch. At the same time, you’ll be using a wire brush to scrape the decking in the same direction as this scratch. This works by blending the scratched and non-scratched areas together.
Replace scratched boards with new ones. This provides the perfect look, but finding the same exact replacement board can be difficult months or years later after your deck is installed. Avoid this problem by buying extra composite decking material when you shop the first time. A handful of extra boards can really go a long way. If you have holes or burns in the decking you can use this same method.
Consider consulting the manufacturer or retailer about your scratched decking. Composite decking material is very strong and resilient, but issues can arise in some cases. Your decking manufacturer or retailer may be able to recommend a repair method that works well for their unique material formulation. They can also provide cleaning, care and maintenance tips in many cases.
Trying to take on composite decking scratch repair for a very small scuff or scratch can do more harm than good if you’re not careful. This is particularly true if you’re using the heat method. With composite decking, a change in seasons may help eliminate your scratch or make it much less visible over time. As your deck ages, the scratch may simply blend in much better with the natural fade of any exterior material.
Avoid Future Scratches
Composite decking scratch repair is certainly possible even if you don’t have true handyman skills. Once your deck is properly fixed, there are steps you can take to avoid scratches in the future. Here are a few ways to keep scratches at bay and maintain your deck:
- Use a woven rug designed for high-traffic spaces. A woven rug will help keep foot traffic from shoes from doing damage. Heavy items like outdoor coffee tables can also be placed on rugs to reduce long-term scratches.
- Place pads under pieces of furniture that live on your deck. This can keep chairs, sofas, sectionals and tables from scratching your deck when slide a little bit during use.
- Put furniture away when it’s not in use. This is particularly important in the winter when you may not be using your patio for months at a time.
- Use a broom instead of a shovel to clear leaves, snow or other debris. Shovels and other hard tools can scratch your deck very quickly.
Composite decking material is rugged and tough enough to survive through dozens of harsh, snowy winters and sizzling summers. They’re also relatively easy to repair when scratches do occur. That makes composite material an excellent choice for any outdoor space.
Not sure what sort of composite deck material is right for your exterior spaces? Maybe you’re not finding the look you’re after? Reach out to us so one of our trained representatives can help you today. We understand composite decking and of years of experience can help you create an outdoor space that’s truly spectacular whether you’re building from the ground up or taking on a home renovation project.