Everything You Need To
Know About Deck Cleaning

As a deck owner, knowing how to clean it is an essential skill. It makes a world of difference, boosting the look and overall enjoyment of the space over time. With these five basic steps, you can create an outdoor space that you’re truly proud of—giving you more opportunities to host guests or enjoy the deck for yourself.

Deck&FencePro are trusted in the field of deck maintenance and restoration, and are here to assist you with that. Below, we share a few tricks of our trade, as well as explaining when to call in the professionals.

How to Clean Your Deck

To clean a wood deck, we recommend that you: remove excess surroundings and debris, prepare a solution, scrub the deck, rinse, and finally, restore the deck layout with plants, furniture and decoration. The below steps can be used to treat all deck types.

Step 1: Remove Debris, Plants, and Furniture

This step is about clearing the deck surface and eliminating layers of built up dirt. Here are a few tips to follow:

  1. Move deck furniture or plants elsewhere. If the space under your deck is in use, similarly remove items to prevent chemical damage.
  2. Sweep debris away with a soft bristle brush – or a strong bristle brush with water if you are dealing with stubborn debris.
  3. 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.

Step 2: Prepare Your Solution

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.

Step 3: Scrub the Deck

To scrub the deck, use a long handled brush and follow the method below:

  1. Wet the entire surface with a hose so the cleaning solution stays wet for longer.
  2. Dip brush into the cleaning solution.
  3. Scrub the surface area of your deck.
  4. Apply evenly to avoid spotting. With vertical wood cladding, work from the bottom up to prevent streaking.
  5. Leave the cleaning solution on the deck for 10-20 minutes. Any longer than 20 minutes will not be good for the wood.

Step 4: Rinse With a Hose

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.

Step 5: Replace Deck Furniture and Plants

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!

Best Tools for Deck Cleaning

If you’re wondering what the best tools are for a clean deck, there’s a chance you won’t have to look any further than your humble garden shed. You will need: 

  • Broom or brush: bristle-strength is dependent on your type of deck. Long handled ones are recommended so that you don’t have to crouch, but you may want to use a smaller brush to get in between corners and crevices.
  • Large bucket or container: for the cleaning mixture.
  • Cleaning solution.

If you don’t have the right tools, you may benefit from calling in the professionals at Deck&FencePro. Our services come with everything you need, so you won’t have to worry about buying tools of your own.

No Pressure Washer? No Problem.

If you haven’t got a pressure washer, you can wash the cleaning solution off with a stiff broom. In fact, this is a much better alternative as a pressure washer can damage your deck—and is generally not recommended. For more concentrated areas, use a smaller brush with thick bristles. A garden hose is also a suitable substitute, though we’d recommend you use the broom as well if you’ve chosen this method.

See our other Deck&FencePro services?

Professional Deck Cleaning with
The Pro Group - Deck&FencePro

If the process of cleaning your deck is too much for you, or a full restoration is required, call in the friendly specialists at Deck&FencePro. We are experienced in all aspects of deck maintenance: including cleaning and restoration. Tap into our years of experience with homes across New Zealand, and enlist the services of Deck&FencePro today.

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  • Should I use oil or water-based deck stains?

    Water based deck stain is effectively very thin acrylic paint, so thin you can see though it. The problem with it is that it clogs up the pores of the timber making it extremely difficult to maintain because the old residue is virtually impossible to remove. We use good quality oil based wood stain that nourishes the timber and can be recoated time and time again.

  • Why does my kwila deck have splinters?

    Hardwoods such as kwila come from tropical climates that have a lot of moisture in the air. New Zealand’s harsh climate and intense sun quickly dries out the timber causing it to splinter. There is very little that can be done to remedy this, and kwila is becoming less popular as a decking timber.

  • Do you use a waterblaster to pre-clean the timber?

    We use a specialist eco-friendly solution to loosen dirt, contaminants, and dead timber cells followed by a controlled pressure wash to sluice this residue away. Our team are very skilled at this process. Using a waterblaster alone can damage the surface of the timber because the water jet needs to be very close to the timber to have any effect.

  • How do I maintain my restored deck, fence, or furniture?

    A wood stain generally requires a top up coat every 12-18 months to replenish the nourishing oils and UV blockers. We can arrange an on-going maintenance schedule with you following the restoration process that will include a light clean followed by a recoat of the wood stain. In between scheduled maintenance, a mild detergent is all that is needed to remove any bird droppings or spills, and a spray with a moss and lichen inhibitor during winter can also help. It is important to not use harsh deck cleaning agents that may remove the oils contained in the stain. Painted surfaces generally last longer than stained ones but are more susceptible to abrasion.

Book a quote now

For any enquiries regarding your outdoor living spaces, or to request a quote, please enter your details and your local Deck&FencePro franchisee will be in touch to arrange an appointment as soon as possible.

If you prefer not to give a full address at this stage feel free to book a quote by phone at the free phone number below.

0508 422 532

Note that The ProGroup has strict operational processes in place with regards to Covid 19 and the relevant alert levels.

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