Keeping your wooden deck in great condition for many years requires a commitment to maintenance. Without it, your deck will rot, grow mildew, and the structure will become unstable.
When you go to clean your wood deck this weekend, make sure you include the most important steps.
Simply sweeping your deck isn’t enough. But, you also don’t need to spend more than a day or two working on this. Optimal wood deck maintenance only has three critical steps.
If you’re interested in learning how to clean a wood deck, keep reading.
Step 1: Remove Debris
The first step is easy and only requires a few tools. Begin by removing all patio furniture, plant pots, and garden accessories from your deck.
Then, start sweeping. Remove any fallen leaves, dirt, and twigs.
Notice if there’s any dirt or rotting wood between the planks. Use a putty knife to carve out the debris. Each plank should have a clear definition on either side of it.
When scraping out mildew and rotted wood, notice the condition of the planks. If the rotting has compromised the strength of the plank, you need to replace it. Do this before you continue cleaning.
Step 2: Pressure Wash
Now, it’s time to get the stuck-on grime off your wood deck. This is crucial for removing stains in the wood.
If your deck is small, you can get by only using a scrub brush and elbow grease. But, if your deck is larger, you’ll want to rent or buy a power washer.
You can choose a wood cleaner at the local hardware store or make your own mixture. A half-and-half blend of bleach and water will do the trick.
It’s best to spray the mixture on the wood and allow it to sit for an hour or two. Then, gently scrub the boards and rinse off with water.
Step 3: Waterproof
Sealants are chemical mixtures that prevent water from getting into the pores and crevices of the wood. They also protect the wood from growing algae and mildew, and from getting stained by UV rays.
Some sealants come with a stain mixed in. Once your deck is clean and dry, gently sand it to remove any splinters or loose pieces of wood. Then, apply the sealant evenly.
It’s best to apply two thin, even layers of sealant. Avoid covering the deck in a thick coat. And, always wait for it to dry completely before returning furniture to your deck.
For further protection of your deck, consider methods for waterproofing under decks. If you have a second-story deck with a patio below, waterproofing is very important. Doing so allows you to use your second-story deck as a ceiling for your main-floor patio.
Want to Learn More About How to Clean a Wood Deck?
Wooden decks are great additions to any yard in need of character and increased functionality. But, they do require more maintenance than a concrete patio.
Learn how to clean a wood deck before committing to getting one. For more home maintenance tips, check out the Travel and Home Living section of the blog.
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