How To Clean Your Deck To Make It Look Like New Again

One of the best ways you can extend the life of your deck is by cleaning it at least a couple of times of year. Doing so before and after the outdoor season (summer) is usually best. This enables you to get rid of the dirt and grime from the winter months as well as a good clean up after a full season of cook outs and gatherings. With those good cleanings you can expect your deck to last longer, but how do you clean your deck? Here are some simple steps to follow.

First, you have to decide if you want to use a bleach or non-bleach based cleaner. A bleach based cleaner will lighten your wood, so that may be an option if you have wood that has darkened with weathering. Also, check the label to be sure the cleaner is environmentally safe and appropriate for residential use. You can find these cleaners at your local home and garden store in the outdoor area.

Next, once you have chosen a cleaner, you need to prep your deck to be cleaned. Prepping involves some light cleaning of the deck. For instance, you should sweep your deck thoroughly to get rid of loose dirt, wood fibers, and leaves that have gathered. This will allow your cleaner to get to the wood and do its job.

The next step in prepping the deck to be cleaned is to protect items that need to be protected. For instance, if you have any plants, vines or flowers on the deck, you will need to cover them with plastic or remove them from the deck. Also, if you have a nearby pond or a hot tub, they will also need to be covered as the cleaner can be toxic.

Finally, you are ready to get down to cleaning. Wet down your deck with a hose and water so that it is ready to receive the cleaner. Then, by consulting the cleaner container, mix the cleaning solution. Most deck cleaners require some dilution before use. Then, using a brush or a sprayer depending on the type of deck cleaner, you should apply the cleaning solution. In accordance with the cleaner’s instructions, let the cleaner stand on your deck. Then, all you have to do is rinse it off with a hose and let it dry. You should usually allow a full day for the deck to completely dry before using it just to be sure the cleaner is gone.

By cleaning your deck a couple of times a year, you can keep fungus from growing and other bacteria from affecting your deck. In turn, your deck will last longer at a higher quality than if you did not. Overall, cleaning is not difficult as long as you follow the instructions on the bottle and plan ahead. Consider what type of cleaner you want (bleach based will lighten your wood), make sure it is environmentally friendly, prep your deck, and follow the directions and you will have a clean deck.

WARNING: Always wear eye protection and gloves when working with chemicals like deck cleaners.

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