The summer of 05 we put composite deckboards on. By the summer of 09 our deck looked bad. We attempted cleaning with cleaners the manufacturer suggested as well as cleaners from home improvement stores and Corte. The rust, mold, furniture scuffs would not come off. The summer of 08 we built an extension on this deck that is one level down and opted to stick with pressure treated wood. I used Cabot acrylic stain and it has been fantastic. It is now spring of 11 even though the 2 decks are 3 years apart the Cabot one looks wonderful. The scuff, rust and everything comes off with just plain soap and water and a big broom brush. Then rinse and great. So I went to Lowes to see about something to revive my composite deck. This is what happened:
(May 8th, 2011 between 2pm-231pm I went to Lowes and told the person on duty about staining my composite deck. I explained how I hate composite and will never do it again because it does not hold up to the elements, mold, rust and patio scuff marks. I explained how I built an extension to this deck 1 level down but used pressue treated and the Cabot Acrylic Deck Stain. This was 3yrs ago and it is fantastic. So I wanted to stain the composite because I had heard Cabot has composite stain. He sold me semi-transparent deck and siding stain. I had already cleaned the deck with a deck cleaner from Corte. The Cabot semi-transparent was put on Tuesday the 10th and today is the 12th and it does not look right. I contacted Cabot to inquire and was told this is the wrong product and the only thing I could do is wait until it is 100% dry and see how it does over the next year or two. It will begin to come off eventually. That is not a good answer because I am going to list my house and do not need a deck that has peeling stain. I want to know if there is a remover that is safe for composite or some other option besides waiting or removing the composite boards and putting down new pressure treated boards. I am not angry with Cabot as the product has done an awesome job on the real wood. It is the Lowes personnel that was not educated on Cabot products that I am angry with.)
I must admit I should have researched prior and educated myself on the correct products to use but in this case did not and trusted a home improvement center who Cabot sells to and apparently has some sort of special training on their products. I have emailed other companies that I have since then found ****** that make composite stains to see if they have better answers then letting it wear off as in peel off over a 1 to 2 year period or replacing the composite with pressure treated which will cost quit a bit since the boards are 1 solid 20 foot piece and there are 22 of them. The composite cost me $2500 and I sure do not want to be out that money either. I can tell you I will never in my life use composite decking again. Ever. Pressure treated is just fine and I think finding the right product to put on it is the key to not redoing it every year. Any advice anyone has on how to remove this semi-transparent stuff would be great. My husband seems to think we can just pressure wash it off but Cabot suggested not to do that.
Re: Composite Problem
If you are selling your house soon, sell it as is. If you face buyers who don't want to buy your house because of the deck, offer them a plank replacement in escrow. 22 treated 2x6x20 to save a deal - it's worth it.