Spring Cleaning Your Deck in 3 Simple Steps
Spring is in the air! At least, so it says on the calendar. For those of us living in New England, spring depends on the weather. Warm sun, temperatures in the 50s and 60s, these are signs that it’s time to do some spring cleaning. From the garage to the living room, we wash away the accumulated gunk of the winter and welcome fresh air. Why shouldn’t your deck get the same treatment? After all, it’s been under snow and ice and been the victim of shoveling and roof raking. To make life a little easier, we’ve put together 3 steps to spring cleaning your deck.
Of course, to prep, everything possible should be removed from your deck: planters, furniture, and decor. If you have permanent planters on your deck, make sure you wet your plants and cover them with plastic sheeting.
How to Clean Your Wood Deck for Spring
1. Remove debris from your deck.
Debris can come in many forms. It could be dirt tracked on your deck from kids and pets to just plain old weather wear and tear. You’d be shocked to see how much crud can build up in between the planks of your deck, especially where the joists support the decking.
Experts recommend taking a plastic putty knife and picking the dirt from in between these areas. Stay away from metal because sharp edges make it easy to gouge planks. Not too keen on digging dirt on your knees? Get a length of 1.25” PVC pipe and insert the handle of your putty knife in the end. Instant extension!
2. Thoroughly sweep your deck.
A logical second step to #1, make sure you sweep your deck with a stiff-bristled broom after removing all debris. Make sure you sweet with the planks until all dirt and crud is off the deck. It’s important to be meticulous with this step because you don’t want to mix any unnecessary dirt in with the cleaner.
3. Clean your deck.
This step takes into consideration the type of decking that you have; different types of decking require different types of cleaners and techniques. We’ve broken it down into the type of decking that you have. The best time to cleanse your deck is a cloudy day, preventing the drying up of any detergent by direct sunlight or the warmth of the deck.
It’s important to mention that even though there may be different cleaners for the same kind of decking, they might not all have the same process. Read the directions!
A standard deck cleaner is sufficient for wood deck cleaning. Dilute your chosen deck cleaner according to instructions and apply with a stiff brush, garden sprayer, or a paint roller. In most cases, you will need to let the cleaner stand for 10 minutes. Don’t let it dry. Then rinse thoroughly.
When washing your wooden railings, try washing them from the bottoms up. That way the wood is still wet if you splash cleaner on it. One rinse and done!
There are cleaners on the market that are specifically formulated for composite decks; make sure you don’t pick up one for wood or PVC decks by mistake. If you find that you have grease and oil stains on your deck, such as around your grill, a commercial degreaser is sufficient to remove them. It may be tempting to use a pressure washer on your composite deck. Composite decks are susceptible to damage from rough treatment. When applying your cleaner, make sure you use a soft brush.
These are the easiest to clean. There’s no need for a special cleaner; simple soap and warm water are sufficient. Use a stiff brush and a circular motion to get any ground in dirt and crud out of the planks. Make sure you rinse thoroughly.
After cleaning, be sure to let your deck dry for a full 2 days before you put any furniture or decor back on the surface. With the help of a cloudy day and a few hours’ labor, your deck can be ready for its spring sealing. Be sure to check back for more articles about choosing a deck sealant and the importance of sealing your deck.
Ready to plan the next step? Contact us today to make an appointment for your spring sealing to prolong the life of your deck.