How to Properly Clean a Deck
Regular cleaning of your deck is essential to its overall health. This helps to keep your outdoor space looking good and also keeps it free from fungi that can cause serious damage such as wood rot.
Standard debris such as leaves and green deposits can be easily removed using a broom and warm water. For more stubborn stains and dirt use a commercial deck cleaner. A great post ahead.
With the right mix of cleaning agents and water, pressure washing is a highly effective deck cleaning technique. However, pressurized water can damage surfaces if used improperly or without adequate precautions. This is especially true for wood decks.
Professional cleaners use the proper techniques to ensure the best results. They also have the equipment necessary to handle the high water pressure. This prevents damage to the surface of the deck and the surrounding property.
Pressure washing is a highly effective way to remove stubborn stains that standard cleaning can’t. It also helps prevent wood rot by removing mold and mildew. It’s a great option before staining your deck because it preps the surface, making the stain last longer and look better.
When using a pressure washer, remember to wear protective gear to avoid eye and skin irritation. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended dilution instructions for your cleaning agent. Too much detergent can cause more fuzzing in softer woods such as cedar.
Using a nonmetal brush and your favorite deck cleaner apply the cleaner to the surface of the wood. A wet deck absorbs the cleaner better than a dry one. Scrub a small area at a time to avoid leaving marks and scrub in the direction of the wood grain.
Ensure you have protective gear. This includes eye protection and rubber gloves. Also, be sure to cover plants that might be damaged by the cleaning solution.
Sweep the deck railing, top of the deck, and stairs to remove loose dirt, leaves, and twigs. Some companies offer specialized tools that screw a hook into the end of a broom handle to dislodge debris stuck in the gaps between boards. Avoid using chlorine bleach-containing cleaners on treated wood. Bleach shifts the natural acidic pH of wood to a basic pH and damages the lignin that gives the wood its cellular structure. Follow cleaning with oxalic acid (deck brightener) to restore the pH to neutral and brighten the wood.
A good scouring pad is essential for any deck cleaning task. A scouring pad should be durable, with the ability to clean a variety of surfaces without damaging them. Scouring pads should also be able to withstand harsh chemicals and heavy scrubs. Using a Scotch-Brite® scouring pad will help ensure that your deck is safe for outdoor living.
Unlike other scouring pads that spray the surface with abrasive minerals, Scotch-Brite scouring pads contain fibers that are uniformly coated in abrasives. This makes them more effective at removing tough, baked-on grime and dirt.
These Marine Utility Scour Pads are an excellent tool for tackling engine room grease, galley grime, and fish mess on the boat. The small 4-inch rounds and squares fit conveniently into pockets for spot-cleaning the hull. Nylon blend construction with medium abrasive for general-purpose cleaning. Replaces scrapers, steel wool, and metal sponges. Resists degradation from hot water and detergents. Non-rusting and resilient.
Store aisles are full of cleaning products for wood decks, but some household products can also work well on composite decks. Vinegar, for example, is appropriate to use as part of a light-cleaning solution for composites and can be combined with baking soda to help deodorize the deck.
Before you start applying your homemade cleaner, sweep the deck to remove dirt and debris and clear out any gaps between boards. You can also use a leaf blower to speed up the process.
Be sure to mix your cleaning solution in a well-ventilated area, and wear protective gloves and goggles. If you use a pressure washer, avoid adding any powdered ingredients to the solution since they may clog the nozzle or cause damage. Rinse the deck thoroughly after you’re finished. Aim to get the deck as dry as possible to prevent puddles and damp spots that could cause mildew or mold. It can take up to 24 hours for the deck to completely dry. Continue reading the next article.