Maintenance Monday 7.11.22

Maintenance Monday 7.11.22

Your deck faces many challenges throughout the year. Your deck needs just as much TLC as the rest of the house. We have steps to keep your deck clean to last you for years to come.

Materials Needed

To prepare for your deck cleaning, gather a broom, scrub brush, bucket, garden hose, and cleaning solution.
A homemade deck cleaner. Be sure to use cleaning products and materials that won’t harm your deck — or you. Never mix ammonia-based ingredients with bleach as it can create toxic chloramine gas that can cause respiratory irritation.
Or instead, purchase a cleaning solution specially made for your wood or composite deck. Check out product options in your local hardware store.

What Is The Best Homemade Deck Cleaner?

If you want to mix up something yourself, go for an eco-friendly solution that’s right for your deck material.
For a wood deck: Use 2 tablespoons of ammonia-free liquid dish soap, 1 gallon of water, 1 pint of rubbing alcohol, and 1 quart of oxygen bleach (for example., OxiClean, found in the laundry detergent aisle at the grocery store). The oxygen bleach is safe on wood decks and helps in removing mold. Avoid chlorine bleach.
For a composite deck: Combine a half-cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with ¼ a cup of baking soda with 1 gallon of water.
Avoid homemade deck cleaners or brighteners when using a pressure washer or power washer. Because of the tiny nozzles on the sprayer, any granular cleaner will clog the nozzle.

What Is The Best Way To Clean Decking?

As already mentioned, the best way to clean decking depends on whether you have wood or composite boards. However, there are six basic steps for cleaning all decks.
  1. Remove all furniture, plants, and décor from the deck. Removing everything provides an excellent opportunity to visually inspect all of your decking to look for warping, discoloration, and spongy boards. Replace any rotten wood, tap in any popped screws, and tighten any loose fasteners.
  2. Sweep off the deck boards. Over time debris will accumulate on top of your deck, and you need to remove this as it can stain and hold in moisture. Use a putty knife or screwdriver to get any stubborn bits out from between the boards.
  3. Pre-rinse. This step allows the cleaner to be dispersed more easily.
  4. Clean with a solution geared to the kind of deck you have (wood or composite).
  5. Rinse the deck thoroughly, so you don’t leave behind a film or build-up. Hold the hose about 6-12 inches above the surface of the deck and spray a few feet in front of you. The water stream should be just strong enough to wash away dirt and debris. Never use high pressure, which can damage your decking and splinter your wood.
  6. Seal wood decking with stain with sealant or a clear sealant to prevent further damage. It’s easiest to use a long-handled paint roller or sponge applicator. Sanding before sealing may help the product to penetrate the wood more deeply.
A few helpful notes:
  • Whether you’re using a homemade cleaner or a purchased one, wear gloves. Some cleaning agents, such as Borax, can cause skin irritation.
  • It’s better to dispose of leftover homemade cleaner and make a fresh batch the next time you need it rather than storing it.
  • Keep all cleaning solutions out of reach of children.

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