Having a deck for the backyard of your home certainly boosts the market value of your property. It can also be a source of pride for some homeowners or a topic for discussion when you have guests over, because not every home has a deck installed.
The main point of owning a backyard deck is for you and your family to have a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors, not to mention it enhances the ambiance of your backyard altogether making it seem and look more elegant than merely having only just grass on the soil.
Depending on individual taste, decks are often decked out with various garden furniture and sometimes the occasional outdoor jacuzzi for even more fun in the outdoors.
Your deck gives you back a lot of the investment that you put into it. It raises the value of your home, gives you a great place to entertain and make memories with your family or friends just hanging out in the backyard.
It provides you and yours so much back, and all it asks in return is that you take the time to clean it, at least twice in a calendar year. If ever you see some rotten or damaged boards then you need to repair your deck before proceeding with the deep cleaning.
That is not a bad deal at all. The best time to clean your deck would be beautiful morning in spring or fall it might take two days to get it done depending on the requisite wait times for any sealers or cleaners to do their magic.
The weather would be perfect for some outdoor work. Make sure to prepare everything you would need beforehand. Allot just a few hours for this task and this bi-annual maintenance will keep your deck in tip-top shape.
Tools to Prepare for Deck cleaning
- Broom or leaf blower
- Deck brush with handle
- Paint roller with handle
- Wood deck cleaner
- Wood deck sealer
- Palm sander and sandpaper
- Laundry detergent
- Oxygen Bleach
- Clean washcloths
- Work Clothes
How to clean a wood deck
Step 1 Remove any furniture
The first thing you would need to do is remove all the furniture sitting on the deck. Set the outdoor furniture aside for now, either in the garden or your garage should work.
Grab your broom and sweep the floors of your deck to get rid of all the debris, leaves, dust and any trash that may be on the floor. If you own a leaf blower, use that instead to clear your deck floor of any loose debris.
Step 2 Power Washing the deck
Next, it’s time to use your power washer to wash and clean the deck floors. This is the easiest and fastest way to clean the deck. There are two types of power washers, the electric or gas powered, the gas-powered kind are usually the ones that are for rent at your local home depot.
The price for renting one varies depending on the kind you will be renting. Purchasing one should be a sound investment if you are planning to use it often to clean your driveway or even the sidings of your home.
If you are not sure how to use a power washer, read the instructions first for the power washer you are using. Here is an in-depth guide on how to use a power washer as well.
Usually, when being used for wooden decks, you need to set the power washer to its lowest setting an make sure to utilize a wide fan tip to prevent any damage to the wood.
Step 3 Scan for damages
You need to visually assess your deck and be careful to note any damage, discoloration, chipped wood, mold or mildew, basically anything that might need repair.
This is important because before you are done the cleaning, making the appropriate repairs are in order, this will prevent the damage from getting worse and should restore your deck to its former glory.
Double check if you would need to apply a water sealant to test, pour some water onto the deck if the deck absorbs the water then it is time to use a wood deck sealer after cleaning the deck.
Step 4 Repair any damages
Fix any damages that you noticed in step2, for chipped wood; you can use a palm sander if you have it. It would be better to purchase one to keep rather than renting one from the store.
Buy several sheets of sandpaper, grit 80 since you want that finish nice and beautiful. You would need to get on your hands and knees to feel any bumps on the wood and sand them flat.
If you encounter any mold or mildew while checking on each wooden panel, would need to treat that spot with a cleaner specifically designed to remove mildew. Read the instructions and apply accordingly.
Normally you would just need to use the cleanser and wait ten minutes for it to work, then just rinse clean. For any wooden panels that cannot be repaired or restored, then replace them respectively.
Step 5 Scrub clean the Deck
After you are done making the necessary repairs on your deck, it’s time to wash your deck with a homemade cleaner, grab a bucket to pour 2 cups of TSP for every 2 gallons of warm water, add a cup of oxygen bleach and mix well.
Use a deck brush with nylon or hard bristles and an adequately long handle to make it easier for you to scrub your deck clean. This would require some old-fashioned elbow grease.
Scrub the deck, leave for ten minutes then rinse clean, repeat if necessary. Scan the spaces in between the panels to make sure your brush got to any old leaves or debris and if needed clean with a putty knife.
When the time comes to rinse it, and you own a power washer, use that instead of your garden hose.
If you decided to purchase, a wood deck cleaner makes sure to read the instructions and follow each step respectively. Apply the wood deck cleaner, most cleaners will just require you to spray the cleaner on the deck; you can do that.
Spray the deck cleaner on the deck use paint rollers to evenly spread the cleaner on each wooden panel do not let the cleaner accumulate into puddles use the roller and spread it evenly as best as you can.
If you do not have paint rollers to spread the cleaner, you can use a mop with a sponge tip, or the deck brush you used earlier works too.
Step 6 Seal the deck
If your deck is not reflecting water as it should, meaning water absorbs into the wood instead of it forming beads on top of the deck then it is time to apply a wood deck sealer. Make sure to read the instructions of the sealer you purchased.
Not all water sealers work the same way, read it and follow the steps. Use the roller or sponge tip mop to apply it evenly to entire surface of your deck. Once you have coated the entire surface, let it dry for 24 hours.
How to clean a composite deck
Composite decks are different because they last longer and are sturdier and traditional wooden decks. Wooden decks which are composed of wooden planks or panels tend to break down over time quicker.
Wood, splinters, warps, and rots if not taken cared of but traditional wooden decks have their appeal that is why it is not going out of fashion anytime soon. Composite decks are made by mixing materials, namely wood and plastic.
Composite decks, on the other hand, are more modern, they are manufactured and does not rot, there is no need to stain or seal these because they are already factory made with these features. They do not stain, but if a spill occurs, then it is still best to wipe it clean.
The best way to clean a composite deck is it use a power washer, read the manual of your deck to make sure what settings to use when using a power washer. You can also follow Step 1, 2 and 5 of the steps listed above.
How to clean a deck without a power washer
If you do not have a power washer and have no plans of purchasing one anytime soon, that is perfectly fine. You can use your garden hose instead of the power washer. Just make sure to use a garden hose with a proper spray nozzle.
Follow steps 1 – 6 above but instead of using a power washer on step 2 replace that by using your garden hose to wash your deck clean to prepare for cleaning.
Owning a deck for can be a lot of fun, it increases the value of your property and makes for a beautiful backdrop to create treasured memories with your family and friends.
It doesn’t matter if you own a wooden or composite deck, what matters is that you take care of what you have so you can continue building treasured memories with the ones you love. Follow the steps above, and you will be able to maintain your decks.