Can I sand or power wash composite decking? You should never sand your composite decking if you want it to last longer. With regards to power washing, you can power wash high-performance composite decking. But you have to be careful when you are rinsing your decking. This write-up explains sanding and power washing your outdoor plastic wood decking.

Why Homeowners Sand Their Decking

Sanding is the process of using sandpaper with rough edges to scratch the surface of their decking boards so that it will be smooth. The method of sanding is what homeowners do when they are about to paint their patio. This practice is common with wood decking. After installing a timber decking for some time, the owners of the decking will discover that the colour has faded. So, to restore the faded paint, they have to give the timber decking boards another colour.

 Before they apply the new colour, homeowners will first remove the old one. To scratch off the former pigment, they have to use sandpaper to rub it off the surface of their patio. After, the new stain will be applied to the wood decking. Composite decking, on the other hand, does not need sanding. This is because when you sand your composite decking, you will change the appearance. The beautiful surface texture of the decking boards will be distorted. 

When this occurs, you will void the warranty of your composite decking. That is why it is not a recommended practice to sand your plastic wood decking. Another reason you don’t have to grind your composite decking is that the pigment is long-lasting. What it implies is that when you purchase and install a plastic wood decking, the colour will last longer than a wood decking’s colour. 

Since composite decking surface pigment lasts longer than wood, then you don’t have to paint the top of your boards when maintaining it. Remember that folks sand their decking before they paint it. So, since painting is not required for composite decking, then sanding is not required.

Why Homeowners Power Wash Their Composite Decking

power wash outdoor decking

Power washing a composite decking is a quick means for homeowners to rinse the surface texture when they are maintaining their patio. Instead of wasting time pouring buckets of water over and over again when they are washing off soap or vinegar from the surface of their composite decking, they can just look for a power washer and utilise it to spray the top of their decking. Aside from rinsing soap, power washers can remove stubborn stains from the top of their decking.

 Also, before you scrub mould and mildew off the surface of your composite decking, you can use a power washer to peel them off so that scrubbing will be more comfortable. Note that when you use a power washer, you should be careful. You should never bring the edge of the power washer too close to the surface of your patio. This is because it can peel off the colour of your decking. When this happens, you will void the warranty of your composite decking. 

That is why most composite decking makers don’t recommend the use of a power washer unless you know how to use it. Hybrid decking makers like Trex do not recommend power washers for their early-generation composite decking. This is because it will damage the surface texture and makes the decking not to last longer.

With regards to their second-generation plastic wood decking, you can use a power washer, but you should use only a fan tip, and the pressure should be up to a 3100 psi. Also, the fan tip should not be lower than 8 inches from the surface of your decking.

Best Practice to Follow When Cleaning Your Composite Decking

When cleaning your composite decking, you should make sure that you use a soap that doesn’t contain too much bleach. Bleach can destroy the surface pigment of your composite decking boards. Aside from that, you should use a brush that is not hard when scrubbing off oil or grease stain. 

A stiff brush will scratch the top of your outdoor decking and void the warranty. If you don’t want to use a power washer to rinse the surface of your decking, you can use a bucket of water by pouring water on the surface over and over again. Ensure that the top is thoroughly clean and then leave it to dry.


Can I sand or power wash composite decking? You should not sand a composite decking because sanding will damage the top of your patio. You can power wash your composite decking, but you should be careful and not bring the power washer too close to the surface.

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