If you have recently had a vinyl deck installed on the front or rear section of your home, then you should understand that maintenance is important to keep the deck in good condition over a long period of time. One of the things that you may see is a bit of oxidation and this is common when it comes to vinyl constructions. The good news is that the oxidation can be treated. Keep reading to learn more about what causes the problem and how you can get rid of it.

What Is Vinyl Oxidation

If you have ever seen a vinyl fence or a deck with a white discoloration on the surface, then you are familiar with oxidation. Oxidation makes vinyl appear old and worn, and it most often appears in response to ultraviolet (UV) light. Specifically, the chalky appearance develops when the UV inhibition materials within the vinyl start to break down. 

UV inhibitors are substances that keep the vinyl from degrading and fading in the presence of UV light. Typically, they keep the vinyl from absorbing all of the light that is released by the sun.

UV inhibitors and stabilizers do not last forever, and a layer of oxidized vinyl will appear on the surface of your deck when it breaks down. This layer must be removed to reveal the vinyl underneath that is still protected from the sun. Thankfully, the oxidation is often quite thin and can be removed through a fairly simple cleaning process.

How Can Oxidation Be Removed

Oxidation can be removed from vinyl with the help of several different types of cleaning agents. The key to cleaning the deck without damaging it is to use your desired cleaner with a soft cloth or a soft-bristled scrub brush. Do not use a brillo pad, wire brush, or any other type of hard, scrubbing item. 

A 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water, an oxygen bleach solution, or a 50/50 mix of laundry detergent and water are a few good options when it comes to the cleaner. Apply the cleaner to your deck and use your cloth or brush to scrub it. You want to rinse the vinyl completely when you are done. Do not leave cleaning residue behind as this may encourage the formation of new oxidation.

You can use a pressure washer to clean the vinyl as well. Just make sure that you are using a low-pressure device. Also, you want to stay away from any solvent cleaner that is advertised for use for vinyl constructions. The solvent can easily eat through the vinyl and cause permanent damage.

For more information, contact a fencing installation company, such as Rainier Fencing & Decking. They can help you maintain your current fence or tell you if the fence is too damaged to be saved.