The deck is probably one place that you never think to clean. Many people figure that since it’s outside, it will get washed off by the rain or maybe with a garden hose when they water the lawn.
While this certainly works, not cleaning the deck regularly can lead to it looking worn out, and may even lead to damaged areas where water has seeped in, or the wood begins to rot.
Mud and debris are two of the leading causes for problems with wooden decks. The reason for this is that these materials can get into the wood and may lead to rotting or splitting.
Debris and mud often build up after storms, as well as in late summer and fall when the leaves begin to fall from the trees. Those who have a lot of plants on the deck may also notice debris from the flowers or leaves as well.
The best way to handle this is to take a broom and sweep away the debris. After that, a quick once-over with a RainJet can help to remove any last traces of mud or plant matter.
After removing any debris or mud, the next step is give the wood a good cleaning. One word of caution with this is that it is crucial to check to make sure that the product can be used on treated wood.
Using products that are not meant for treated wood decks can lead to stripping off the protective coating or causing further damage. If in doubt, check a small corner on the side or behind furniture first!
Once the product has been prepared, start in one corner of the deck and scrub outward, using small motions. The idea is to avoid deep scrubbing, but still remove as much dirt as possible.
While cleaning, be sure to pay attention to hard to reach areas like around railings, posts, or even around stairs. These areas are often overlooked, and may need special attention.
It may be a good idea to keep a garden hose nearby to spray away any large chunks of debris, or just rinse away the cleaning product after finishing a section of the deck.
Depending on the state of the wood, it may be a good idea to follow up with a protective coating. Older decks, or ones that have started to wear out, may need to have their protective coating replaced.
The coating may be a simple wood treatment to help keep the planks looking new, or it may be a wood stain that also creates a water resistant barrier to keep out moisture.
If the deck still looks new, then there may not be a need to add the coating. If this is the case, simply give it a good cleaning periodically with a RainJet and a garden hose.