Summer is almost here and many of us like to gather with family and friends on our back-yard decks. Before you uncover the grill and bring out the furniture cushions, take a few hours on a sunny afternoon to perform a deep clean of your deck. Not only will it look better, but your deck will get a longer life too!
Sweep. Before diving into your deep cleaning, take the time to sweep your deck to remove any loose dirt, leaves and twigs. Check the spaces between the boards, rails, corners, and under the steps to ensure you get as much surface dirt and debris off of the deck as possible.
Rinse. Using a garden hose, apply a clean, warm water rinse to all of the deck, rails and stair surfaces.
- Apply cleaner. There are many cleaners available for decks. Vinegar and water is an effective solution to clean mold, mildew and dirt (mix one cup of vinegar to one gallon of water.) There are also many brands of commercial wood and deck cleaners available at your local hardware store. If you are treating mold you may be tempted to use a bleach solution. Make sure the cleaner you use does not contain bleach, as this can damage wood.
To make the job go faster and easier, apply the cleaning solution using a pump sprayer. A pump sprayer disperses liquid solutions to large areas very quickly. Apply the cleaning solution using long strokes over the entire area. The sprayer wand can reach into corners and crevices and makes easier work of applying cleaner to vertical surfaces. (Always remember to clean and rinse your pump sprayer after every use.)
If needed, scrub the deck with a push broom to work the cleaner into the surface. Also make sure to read labels. Some cleaners need to set on surfaces for 10-20 minutes (or more) to break down organic matter.
Rinse. Use a garden hose to rinse off all of the cleaning solution.
- Dry. Let your deck air dry completely before walking on it or placing plants and furniture.
Once the deck is clean you may treat it with stain and/or a deck sealer to protect the wood. It is also a good time to replace any rotting boards and check for loose nails and screws. For continued maintenance, sweep and hose off the deck periodically as needed. Try to stay on top of removing leaves, twigs and other organic matter that can break down and seep into the wood.
Here’s to many happy summer gatherings!!! I’ll take a hamburger please!
For information on Solo Sprayers see: us.solo.global