The outdoor spaces at our homes are important to most of us. Decks are great additions to any homes. They add value to the home if we want to sell it and they add value to our lives if we do not. They do take a certain amount of care and feeding however to keep them looking great. Some of this we can do ourselves and sometimes we need to bring in a deck cleaning service.
Instructions for Cleaning Your Decks:
Basic Cleaning with Water:
- Remove everything from your deck. Any removable furniture needs to be taken off of the deck so you can access the entire surface and get it as clean as possible. If there is any random debris on your deck, now is the time to get rid of that.
- Take a broom to your deck. Sweep up any dirt, leaves or random small debris that has fallen on your decks. You can sweep it into a dustpan or directly into a trash can or bag.
- Take a look at the area between the slats. Decks have slats that tend to almost be magnets for debris and dirt. If you cannot get rid of this with a broom, you can use a small tool to remove it from these areas. A butter knife is perfect for this kind of thing.
- Take a hose to it. Rinse down your decks with a hose. If you have a spray attachment on the hose, you can increase the water pressure and get more of the dirt that you were not able to get rid of with your broom or any other way. This can be very effective. Make sure you pay close attention to the deck cracks and any other area where there is a lot of dirt, especially if it looks caked or stuck on.
More Thorough Cleaning with Bleach and Water:
- Make up your cleaning mixture. The best bleach to use for this is oxygen bleach. This is a very eco-friendly bleach that will be more gentle on your deck and will not kill any plants you have around the deck that might get splashed. Chlorine bleach will kill any plants or shrubs you have near your deck. Mix this with water. You should read the oxygen bleach bottle for a good ratio of water to bleach.
- Use a scrub brush to apply the cleaner. Leave your cleaner on the deck to do its work. You should leave it there for at least 15 minutes. If you think your decks need more time with the cleaner, leave it on longer. Scrub away any stains after this. You may need a little more cleaner.
- Get out your hose (or power washer) and rinse all the cleaner away.
Clean the area with a Pressure Washer:
- Find a pressure washer. If you do not own one, you can rent one from a local hardware store or you can buy one from the same kind of place. This may be a good option if you plan to do a lot of pressure washing to do. If you are planning a roof cleaning project or if you are interested in an exterior house cleaning project, this may be a good option. Be careful with the pressure you use, many decks can be destroyed if you use pressure that is too strong.
- Put your cleaner in your pressure washer. You can use the same kind of oxygen bleach solution that you use in a general bleach cleaning or another kind of cleaner that has been designed just for pressure washers. If you go with a pressure washing cleaner, read the instructions to get the ratio of water to cleaner.
- Take the pressure washer and spray the deck. Do not let the nozzle get within one foot of your deck surface. If you spray closer to the deck surface, you will damage it.
- Rinse off the cleaner. Use fresh water from the pressure water to rinse the remaining cleaner off of your deck. If you still have cleaning solution in the pressure washer, empty that out before you do your rinse job. You can do this again if you have stains that are stubborn and were not removed the first time.
With a little work, your deck will look great.