Apologies in advance if this gets a little wordy but I feel like if I can save just one person the trouble that I went through then it’s worth the time to put this down. I had an old wooden deck that I replaced with a much larger (3X) Trex composite platform. Very nice custom work from a reputable builder. What happened next is, in my opinion, a mutual fault situation on the part of myself and Trex. I will admit straight up front that I did not do what I was supposed to do… clean the deck two times a year. My bad. For all the money I put into it you would think I would have been more careful. Anyway, in no time flat (the first year) I started to notice little black splotches appearing sporadically here and there. I think this is where the issue of culpability on the part of the Trex composite materials starts to come into play. I’ve had plenty of wooden decks, and never once did I ever encounter a situation where the wood was covered in black mold after a single year. Anyway, on my new Trex deck some areas had a higher concentration than others, for no apparent reason. Anyway, procrastinator that I am, I did nothing other than make a mental note that I’d have to address it before it got worse. Did it ever. Long story short, I let it get bad. Really bad. Bad enough to where I wouldn’t let my 2yr old son go out on the deck anymore and left myself a pair of “deck” shoes out there so if I had to walk on it I wouldn’t track mold into the house. It was that bad. Ultimately I decided to act. Went to Home Depot. Asked for advice, was referred to Baehr (sp?) composite deck cleaner. Used it. Didn’t make a dent. The scrubbing I did made an impact but the stains were still there and the mold came back with a vengeance almost as soon as I put the brush down. Basically, I think I just made it angry. Started doing more internet research. Found that certain types of composite decks are massively prone to mold, and that there had been class action law suits on some companies, etc., etc. Was starting to think I’d really screwed up permanently with my new home addition. It had been 3 years and I had only cleaned it once and the mold was bad. Yes, I agree… I was a moron for not taking better care of the deck and nobody (including Trex) would argue that I didn’t get what I deserved. I got all kinds of bad advice from everywhere you can imagine, folks telling me to high pressure wash it, sand it, etc. to fix but luckily was told by the contractor who built the deck that I would only end up destroying the deck surface and providing even more of a course and grainy surface for mold to cling to and it would be worse than ever. Was considering a tear down when I found a link to Corte Clean on some DIY web site or other. They were making some pretty sensational claims about restoring trashed composite decks to ‘like new’ status with their wonder product. I bookmarked it but figured it to be just another bogus bunch of marketing garbage. Nothing else worked and I’d tried all the big name products so why believe that some relatively obscure product was the silver bullet? I didn’t. Anyway, after more procrastination and the approach of winter I had one more shot for the season to try to fix the situation so I ordered a bag of it off the net. Had nothing to lose at that point. Bought a little plastic pressure pump applicator, got out the scrub brush and went to work. The only regret that I have is that I didn’t take pictures of the before and after. I don’t write product reviews very often (as you can probably tell) but after all I’d been through and the result I got with Corteclean I had to say something. The deck looks like the day it was installed. No mold. No stains. G-o-n-e. I mean it, it’s perfect. Perfect! Make no mistake, it wasn’t a hands-off job. I had to scrub it and apply it twice (it was in really bad shape) and it’s not real easy to wash off so I got a workout for sure but it’s been three months now and I am still astonished at what I have back there. It went from FUBAR to flawless in one afternoon. End story is that my son plays out there again and finally I can open up the double doors again for company and let them use back area. Huge success. WHY is this not sold at Home Depot? At Lowes? At Target? Walmart? Everywhere?? The scary part is that I found this stuff only by luck. Needs a big old marketing push to get the word out. At least there’s the Internet. Seriously, folks. Finally something that actually lived up to (in my opinion, outperformed) the hype. Btw, I do plan on cleaning it at least annually from here on out. cheers, Brian E
AMAZING! FUBAR To Flawless!! TREX!!!