Light sweeping—ideally daily—will remove standard debris and help slow the growth of fungi. For more serious stains, call Deck Cleaning Summerville SC. For rough or textured surfaces, choose a brush with a durable aluminum frame and foam for heavy-duty scrubbing.
For stubborn stains, add 1 cup of powdered borax to the solution; borax won’t damage nearby landscaping plants. Be sure to rinse afterward thoroughly.
Debris on a deck can damage or stain the surface. Whether dirt, leaves, or pine needles, these contaminants must be removed promptly to avoid mildew growth and mold buildup. To do so, sweep away loose debris with an outdoor broom. A push broom with tightly spaced bristles connects tight spaces between deck boards.
Then, if necessary, remove moss or other plants growing on the deck surface. If the deck has a wooden railing, cover it with tarps while cleaning to protect it from soapy deck cleaner. It’s also a good idea to cover any grass, plants, or yard ornaments near the deck. This protects them from any spilled cleaning solution and prevents them from drying with a dirty coating that can affect their appearance.
Before applying any cleaning solution, wet the deck with a garden hose to help break up any stubborn dirt or grime accumulated on the surface. It will also soften the dirt and make it easier for the cleaner to penetrate the surface.
Next, choose a deck cleaning solution appropriate for your deck material and the type of stains you want to remove. Store-bought cleaners are available for most types of decking and home remedies that work on some, but not all, stains. A commercial cleaner containing detergent and bleach works best on dirt, mildew, and other general stains. Those containing oxalic acid are suitable for removing tannin streaks around nails and screw holes and on the ends of boards.
Mix your cleaning solution following the instructions on the label. A scrub brush dipped in the solution should work well on most stains. For oil stains, you can try a commercial product specifically designed to lift grease without damaging composite decking. Suppose you’d prefer to go the natural route. In that case, a combination of white vinegar and baking soda is safe and effective for many mildew and fungus stains on wood. It’s important to rinse the deck thoroughly with a garden hose afterward to prevent the accumulation of soapy residue that can harm nearby plants and cause a slippery surface.
If your deck is just dirty, you can skip the power washer and use a simple solution of soap and water. Mix equal parts of liquid dishwashing detergent and water in a bucket, then mop or spray the solution on the deck surface. Scrub stains with a scrub brush, if needed, then rinse the whole deck surface and stairs with clean water.
If the discoloration on your deck is more severe, a commercial deck cleaner may be in order. Several are available with non-toxic ingredients that won’t damage surrounding grass or plants. Most include familiar household products such as vinegar to help break down grease and baking soda to act as a wood brightener on weathered decking. Others contain oxygen bleach, a safe alternative to chlorine bleach that works to whiten and remove mildew without damaging the wood.
When using a store-bought deck cleaner, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution and application. A power washer on a low setting is also an option. Be careful to keep the nozzle at least two feet away from the deck surface and never get it closer than six inches, as this could damage or scar the wood.
Once the washing is complete, let the deck dry completely before applying additional treatments. If the deck is stained, this can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. If you use tarps to cover surrounding plants or furniture during the cleaning process, remove them and rinse off the tarps.
During this time, it is a good idea to check for loose screws and nails in ledger boards, railings, and posts, as well as to tighten them, if necessary. It is also a good time to replace rusty ones if needed.
For a natural, quick, and easy way to clean a deck, try an all-natural approach of diluted vinegar. This will freshen the surface and remove mild stains from most decking materials. You can use a scrub brush or a stiff-bristled brush to work the cleaner into the grain of the wood and tight corners and between deck railings.
A well-maintained deck provides a beautiful outdoor living space for entertaining guests or relaxing on warm summer evenings. However, over time, a deck can become dirty and grimy. To keep it in good condition, you need to clean it regularly. The first step is to sweep the deck thoroughly with a broom, especially considering corners and crevices where debris can collect. After vacuuming, use a garden hose or pressure washer (if you have one) to rinse the dirt and debris.
For best results, use a cleaner suitable for your deck material and type of stains. You can purchase cleaning solutions at most hardware stores. Some cleaners contain mildewcide, which helps prevent the future growth of mold and mildew. Other cleaners provide a temporary seal that repels dust and dirt for weeks or months.
Oxygen bleach is a safe, non-toxic alternative to chlorine bleach. It can remove dirt stains from wood surfaces without damaging them. It also removes mildew and mold spores growing on your deck.
Baking soda is another tried-and-true cleaning agent that’s gentle on decking materials and helps remove stubborn stains from fossilized dirt, bird droppings, and tree sap. To make a homemade cleaning solution, mix 240 ml of vinegar and 3.8 liters of water. Apply the cleaner using a spray bottle and scrub with a brush.
Rinse the deck thoroughly to remove all of the cleaning solution and the dirt and stains that were released with it. After rinsing, allow the deck to dry completely. This can take a few hours or more, depending on weather, temperature, and humidity. If the deck is covered with tarps to protect furniture, tables, and other items during the cleaning process, remember to remove them before the deck is fully dry.
If you’re ready to stain your deck, it’s important to let it completely dry. A damp deck can cause the stain to peel, and it may also be a health and safety hazard for anyone walking on it. To speed up the drying process, you can use a push broom to sweep away standing water and help it evaporate faster.
Staining can bring out the best in your deck’s wood grain and give it a finished look. You’ll find stains in a wide array of colors and transparency levels, from clear finishes that highlight the natural color and pattern of your deck to semi-transparent and solid shades that alter its tone. To stain correctly, you must first prep your deck. Sweep off debris, hose down, clean any soiled or stained areas, and then do a light sanding.
A good deck stain should last about a year before you need to add another coat. The frequency with which you need to apply a new coat depends on your climate and the amount of sun or shade your deck receives. To help the stain last longer, sand the surface after it has dried.
Before applying a stain, please read the product label and carefully follow its instructions. Some products require you to apply two coats within a certain time frame of one another. Others have specific requirements about which kind of brush or sprayer to use and what kind of weather conditions you can stain in.
If you’re using a chemical cleaner, test it on an inconspicuous area of your deck before working with it. The cleaner may stain or damage the type of wood your deck is made from, so avoid accidentally discoloring any parts. Alternatively, you can make your deck cleaning solution with simple household items like vinegar and baking soda. Combine 240 ml of vinegar and 3.8 liters of water in a bucket, mop the solution onto the deck boards, and scrub away any mildewed sections with a stiff brush.
After the deck is completely dry, apply a fresh coat of stain. It would be best if you chose a water-based stain, as these contain less oil and don’t create a film on top of the wood like urethane or paint stains do. For the best results, use a brush to firmly grasp and apply the stain evenly with no drips.
Some stains can take up to three days to dry, so plan when staining your deck. You’ll also need to allow a few days for the wood to cure before you start walking on it again fully. Then, routine sweeps, regular hosing of the deck, and a deep cleaning twice a year will keep your stain looking its best for a long time.