Deck contractors and homeowners alike know the problem when it comes to cleaning tree sap, a sticky substance that hinders the enjoyment of backyard and dockside living. Sap gets in the way of many enjoyable things in life. It attracts bugs, stains clothes, and ruins paint jobs on cars. If you have taken to walking on your PVC deck boards barefoot or in socks, you can end up with sticky sap on your feet. Or for those who like to relax and do their yoga on their Muskoka docks, the sap on PVC dock decking might stain their yoga gear. Then there are your pets. A beloved pet may not be able to walk or lounge on the PVC deck boards without getting sap stuck in their fur.
Sap is everywhere
All trees produce sap. This includes popular trees that we use to provide shade and decorate our spaces whether they be deciduous trees or evergreens. The popular pines and maples aren’t an exception.
When the process of photosynthesis is at its peak in the Spring months, the trees produce carbohydrates and store their starches and sugars over the winter months as sap. Once Spring arrives again, the sap helps to feed the growth of new leaves! The trees continue to produce sap (and leak it out through any holes or damages found on the tree) until temperatures consistently stay above freezing, when the tree is at its strongest, ready to photosynthesize at its best again.
This means that you can expect the most sap to be produced in your backyard from March until the temperatures stop fluctuating below freezing. This is the time many deck contractors are out doing their work to build gorgeous decks and docks. During these months, it’s important to check your PVC deck boards and PVC dock decking regularly for sap.
Freshly fallen sap is not too hard to clean, while sap that is left to age all winter long can be a bit of a pain.
Cleaning Tree Sap from PVC Deck and Dock Boards
There are a wide variety of methods to remove sap from your PVC decking boards and composite dock decking.
- A power washer may be used on the appropriate setting to remove debris or soften stubborn messes.
- A soft washcloth or soft bristle brush then together with dish soap and warm water can be used. If desired, you may wish to use an all-surface biodegradable household cleaning product instead.
- Pure vegetable oil applied to the area can help to remove dried sap as well.
- Some people prefer to use ice cubes to harden large pieces of sap and manipulate it off that way; though you will want to be careful to not gouge at the capstock of your PVC deck boards with sharp/metal tools if you choose this method – consider using something like a plastic shovel.
Before you use on the full deck, we recommend that you test fixes on either a spare piece of board, or on a small area of the deck that is out of the way.
Deck Contractors – Choose the Best PVC Decking
An outdoor deck will always run the risk of being exposed to the elements. If you are a deck contractor, you have a choice of PVC decking brands. Choose TIVADEK from TIVA Building Products for a strong deck that will last the test of time. TIVADEK offers the best PVC decking, with a variety of styles and colours to choose from. Deck contractors, we have a choice of PVC deck boards that can help you create a unique look to suit your client’s needs:
- Architectural Series, inspired by hardwood, for a classic and elegant PVC decking solution.
- Modern Series for bold, edgy outdoor deck designs.
- Designer Series with exclusive colours and naturally-inspired variegation.
If you’re building dockside, and are looking for PVC dock decking, try our TIVADOK Marine Series or our newest PVC composite dock decking, our Dockside Series.
With new innovations around every corner, we are proud to consistently offer premium decking solutions. We aim to continue providing the most fabulous deck materials Canada has to offer, and can’t wait to be a part of your next big project or DIY.
Visit our website to learn where to buy TIVA building products, including TIVADEK and TIVADOK. Promote your great work by sharing your project photos with Team TIVA on Facebook and Instagram @TIVADEK.