This step is about clearing the deck surface and eliminating layers of built up dirt. Here are a few tips to follow:
- Move deck furniture or plants elsewhere. If the space under your deck is in use, similarly remove items to prevent chemical damage.
- Sweep debris away with a soft bristle brush – or a strong bristle brush with water if you are dealing with stubborn debris.
- Purchase pot-plant feet (or saucers) to keep plants from touching the wooden surface of the deck.
For maintenance, it’s best to sweep for leaves and dirt about once a week – this will prevent further moss and lichen growth.
Safety glasses, gloves and a mask are recommended for this step as it may involve handling chemicals.
Solutions to Avoid
We advise against the use of bleach of any kind, especially on sensitive woods such as cedar and redwood. Using bleach on wood that has been treated will leave it with a white-washed appearance and a damaged, fuzzy-looking finish. Bleach can also corrode metal screws and nails on the deck.
If you’re considering using bleach however, speak to an experienced professional. This will mitigate the risk of staining or damaging the wood.
Solutions to Use
For all types of decks, a simple detergent and a bucket of warm water will be enough to remove any bird droppings and easy-to-remove stains. For removal of moss or mildew, a 30-second slow release product is your best option—short of a professional restoration process. For more stubborn marks, deck cleaning is best left to the professionals.
To scrub the deck, use a long handled brush and follow the method below:
- Wet the entire surface with a hose so the cleaning solution stays wet for longer.
- Dip brush into the cleaning solution.
- Scrub the surface area of your deck.
- Apply evenly to avoid spotting. With vertical wood cladding, work from the bottom up to prevent streaking.
- Leave the cleaning solution on the deck for 10-20 minutes. Any longer than 20 minutes will not be good for the wood.
Once your deck is dry and you have waited for up to 20 minutes, grab the hose and wash the mixture out thoroughly. Leave the deck to dry.
Once the deck is completely dry, move your furniture and plants back onto the deck. Now, you can relax and enjoy your newly cleaned deck!