As the outdoor temperature climbs, it is time to get the backyard into shape. Wooden deck owners want their outdoor seating area to be sparkling clean before the first barbecue of the season. Cleaning the deck makes it look fresh and maintains the integrity of the wood. A thorough cleaning and treating or resealing should be done at least once per year. Throughout the year, deck owners should remove debris and give the deck a good sweeping.
You will need:
• Trash bags
• Hose and sprayer
• Long-handled, stiff bristle brush
• Commercial deck cleaner or laundry detergent
• Oxygen bleach cleaner
• Plastic gloves
• Power washer (optional)
Step 1: Prepare to clean the deck by removing all items, including furniture, and putting them in a remote location. Cover fragile plantings in the area to keep them from being damaged during cleaning.
Step 2: Use your hands to remove large debris, putting it in the trash bags. Use the broom to sweep remaining debris. Gather this in the dustpan and put it in the trash bags.
Step 3: Working your way from one end to another, spray the deck surface with the garden house outfitted with a sprayer. Set the sprayer to the most powerful setting and spray until the deck is clean. You can also use a pressure washer but maintain a few feet between the deck and the sprayer nozzle to prevent gouging the wood. Use the fan setting on the sprayer.
Step 4: Spray between the deck boards with the garden hose, removing debris.
Step 5: Combine laundry detergent and water in the bucket or mix the commercial cleaner as instructed on the label.
Step 6: Apply the cleaning solution to your deck and scrub the boards with the long-handled, stiff bristle brush, working from one end to the other. Remove the cleaning solution by rinsing the deck with the hose.
Step 7: If mildew or algae is growing on the deck, mix one part oxygen bleach cleaner with four parts water in a bucket. Wear plastic gloves and do not spill the cleaner on plants. Pour this solution onto the growth area. If the growth is new, let the solution sit for one or two minutes. Otherwise, let it sit for approximately 15 minutes. Scrub the growth area with the stiff bristle brush, rinse, and let the wood dry. If the spot remains, repeat the process.
Step 8: Rinse the deck thoroughly with the pressure washer or garden hose. Let it dry completely before replacing furniture and other items.