This past winter was a doozey, with the Arctic Blast bringing record low temperatures in February. You hunkered down, which you were pretty good at anyway given the pandemic, but you’re probably feeling restless and ready to break out at this point.

Now that it’s finally warming up in Colorado, your custom deck is calling to you, and it probably needs some redecorating. Hopefully, you have everything you need and can pull things out of storage and get set. However, before you start reloading that deck with furniture and accessories, you should know about items and materials that could jeopardize your wood or composite deck.

To Rug or Not to Rug

(Pixabay / Pexels)

One major thing you need to be wary of is the rug you use. While rugs are nice, comfortable and add flair, they can be a risk.

Weathered wood

Once your deck is installed, it takes a bit to get everything weathered. Kind of like the Statue of Liberty, except it’s a composite wood instead of metal. After a short amount of time, the wood will start to have a slight color change. Really, this change is so slight, you wouldn’t likely notice it.

One thing to know, though, is that if you put a rug on before the weathering is finished, things won’t be even due to the inconsistent barrage from the elements. Just wait a few months, three to six is all it takes, then you can layer it how you want.

Stains

If you leave the rugs on your composite deck the whole year through, moisture is bound to get under them. This will cause some water stains to occur. This is actually a pretty easy fix. When you notice those blemishes in the composite material, all you really need to do is clear off the deck and spray each board with a hose. Make sure you get each board covered evenly, then let it dry naturally. Once it’s no longer wet, you can put all the porch furniture back on.

Gunk

Eventually, things like leaves and dirt will work their way underneath your porch mats. These are easy to clean off with a broom or water. But something that isn’t easy to clean? Mold and mildew. While composite decks are made to be resistant to these things, they can still develop on occasion. Getting those things trapped beneath your rugs can cause them to mold, which can jeopardize your beautiful deck. But don’t panic; this is not an end state. These things can be cleaned up. You can take a soft-bristled brush to your deck and scrub, scrub, scrub that gunk away. Water can also work, but you’ll need a pressure washer to get it done. Another option is using cleaning formulas; just make sure you use the ones that are appropriate for your deck materials.

Other things

A final thing you need to be aware of when it comes down to deck maintenance in the rug realm is material. Some types and styles are better or worse for the wood than others—even when they call themselves outdoor rugs.

Damage

Rugs that have the possibility to damage typically have a rubber or latex back. These can stain or leave regular marks all over. Other dangerous mats are the ones with metal in them. As you probably know, metal tends to rust, and this can definitely stain your deck. If these marks do happen, clean them with the proper chemicals, and talk to the company that installed your deck if marks persist. If a pressure wash is in order, your deck installer will know what kind of PSI (pound per square inch) to use in order to avoid stripping color.

Safe rugs

Rugs can do a lot to protect your deck, and they look nice, too. Fortunately, there are some deck-safe options for you to explore. Polypropylene rugs work very well for humid, rainy climates. They can handle high moisture, and they’re affordable, too. They also resist fading in the sunlight and clean up easily if you spill on them. One drawback of polypropylene is that it’s highly flammable, so make sure that you keep it away from the grill or fire pit.

Polyester rugs are another great choice, and they also handle stains well. And finally, nylon rugs are good for outdoor spaces and hold up under high foot-traffic. If your deck gets a lot of play time, consider a nylon rug. Be mindful, though, that they’re not as good as polypropylene or polyester rugs for areas of high sun, so you’ll likely see your nylon rug fade a bit if it’s fully exposed to the sun’s rays.

When it comes down to taking care of your deck, there are plenty of small things that many never consider. Remember to think of those small details like rugs when keeping up with the maintenance. If you do, your porch will be a beautiful piece of art for years to come.

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