Getting your deck looking immaculate is easier than you think, but it does require preplanning and a little hard work. Scrubbing up your natural wood deck has more benefits than just aesthetics, though. It will help protect your deck from the forces of the weather and make it last longer.
Wood, by its very nature, is prone to wear, tear, and decay. While it looks natural and traditional, it’s porous — which means it will expand when it’s hot, contract when it’s cold, and soak up water.
These factors can lead it to absorb grime and end up looking rotten and warped.
Why Clean a Wood Deck?
There are many reasons to keep your wood deck in peak condition. As a homeowner, well-maintained deck boards not only add curb appeal but also increases the overall value of your entire property. Just because you’re not thinking of selling any time soon doesn’t mean you want to let it fall into a state of disrepair! Plus, maintaining the entire deck means you can stave off the expense of replacing it for many years to come.
Neglected decks can be unsightly as a result of mold and mildew, and they could even become dangerous. Dry rot can go unnoticed if you’re not inspecting your wood surface once or twice a year and could ruin it — but if you’re taking care of it, you’ll know as soon as anything arises.
The Right Deck Cleaning Solution
Now that you’ve put the time aside to clean a wood deck, it’s time to make sure you’ve got the right deck cleaner equipment. We recommend getting hold of the following at your local hardware store to clean your deck:
- Tarpaulin to protect items beneath your deck
- Oxygen bleach
- Stiff-bristle brush
- Power washer
Clear the Deck, Sweep, and Deal With Stains
First, you’ll need to remove everything from the deck surface — if you don’t have space to store it all, move half to one side of the deck while you work on the other. Now that it’s clear, you can carefully inspect the decking boards for any loose screws or areas that may have rotted. If you come across any decay, we’d recommend calling in a professional to treat the rot before it becomes a problem.
Next, give it a thorough sweep using a push broom, getting into every corner and every inch of the railings. You can even sweep the ceiling to remove any cobwebs or critters that may be lurking. If you can get to the underside, eliminate any debris that may cause a build-up of moisture. Once this is all done, you can go ahead and use the oxygen bleach and a stiff scrub brush to scour away any unsightly tough stains. Remember, don’t clean the deck with chlorine bleach unless you don’t mind removing it’s natural color and damaging it’s cellular structure. Alternatively, you can use liquid dish soap, baking soda, and a warm water mixture to remove stubborn stains.
Finally, Rinse off With a Pressure Washer
This job is best left until a warm, sunny day. Use the lowest power wash setting when pressure washing, and don’t keep the nozzle directed in one space for too long. Keep the hose around four feet away when rinsing your wood deck and work in the same direction as the wood grain. Use a clean broom to sweep off excess surface water and leave it to dry for two to three days.
In conclusion, cleaning your wood deck after winter is an important maintenance task that can help prolong its lifespan and keep it looking great. With the tips and methods provided in this article, you can easily and effectively remove dirt, debris, and stains from your deck. However, it’s important to take the necessary safety precautions when working with cleaning solutions and equipment. By following these steps and taking care of your deck, you can enjoy your outdoor space for years to come.