The wood deck in your home is the place where you usually entertain your friends and spend time with your family. A clean and well-maintained wood deck can be attractive and inviting; without regular upkeep, it can become unkempt and unsightly. Therefore, regular maintenance of your wood deck is a must to ensure that it stays welcoming and safe.
If you plan to clean your wood deck, it is quite simple. Cleaning it regularly will not only give your deck a fresh look but also help protect and maintain the integrity of the wood, making your deck last for a long period of time. Wood is a porous material so as the temperature varies, it expands and contracts, allowing dirt, dust, and grime to get into the wood. If left unattended, your deck will look shabby and will begin to warp and rot over time.
A very easy step to maintain your wooden deck is to sweep it regularly and remove the debris and leaves. This will help prevent staining and mildew. While cleaning, keep a lookout for wobbly rails and loose boards, screws, or nails because these can be dangerous. Tighten or replace all the loose screws, fix or replace the damaged boards, and hammer down the nails. Fix any issues as soon as they come up – delays will only worsen the situation.
There are several simple ways to clean your wooden deck and in this article, we will give you a complete lowdown on how to do it.
Table of Contents
- Why Should You Clean Your Wood Deck?
- Wooden Decking Cleaning Tips
Why Should You Clean Your Wood Deck?
Affects the Value of Your Home
Having an outdoor deck in your home not only makes your home more attractive but also improves the value of your home. However, the deck should be well-maintained. Replacing a deck can be very expensive and this will be something that potential buyers of your home will consider. If there is too much damage or it looks like it needs to be replaced, they would probably opt for a home that has a better looking deck than yours.
Even if you are not planning to sell your home in the near future, replacing your wooden deck is an expense that you would want to avoid. Luckily, with proper care and maintenance, you can extend your deck’s life to around 15 to 20 years or even more.
Badly Maintained Decks Are an Eyesore
If not cared for properly, your wood deck can develop stains, mold, mildew, and cracks because your deck is constantly exposed to several elements including heat, cold, dampness, rain, and leaves. As time passes, the deck will no longer look inviting and people will prefer to stay indoors instead of out in the deck.
Unkempt Decks Can Be Dangerous
Wood decks are prone to dry rot and warping and if you do not inspect and maintain your deck regularly, you are most likely to miss these signs. Rotting decks can be dangerous – it can cause injuries and in worst case scenarios, even death.
Wooden Decking Cleaning Tips
Every week, sweep away all the dirt and debris that you can see on the deck. Every season, clean the surface thoroughly. This should be sufficient to keep your wood deck in good shape.
Inspecting and Sweeping
Before they become permanent, you must remove stains from the deck:
Treat with Bleach (If Needed)
Treat any part of the wood deck that has algae or mildew growth with a mild bleach solution (1 part bleach with 4 parts water). Pour the bleach solution on the area with the growth. If the growth is fresh, let the bleach solution sit for around 5 minutes and if it has been there for some time, let the bleach solution remain for around 15 minutes.
Using a stiff-bristled brush or a broom, scrub the area, rinse with clean water, and let it dry. If the growth or a stain remains, repeat the process. However, before you treat the area again, let it dry completely. Always take care while using bleach and wear protective eye wear and rubber gloves. Also, concentrated bleach may discolor the wood, so it may be better to use an oxygen bleach cleaner to make the cleaning solution.
Power Wash with Pressure Washer (Optional)
If you plan to power wash your wood deck, the best time to do it is in late spring so that the debris and grit left behind by the snow and rain is scoured away. It is always a good idea to do your power washing on a sunny, warm day when the humidity is low so that the deck dries up very quickly.
Sealing Your Wood Deck
There are many options when it comes to deck sealers available in the market. You need to buy a high-quality wood sealer for your deck for best results. Some deck sealers contain a waterproofing agent that offers year-round protection for your deck. Clear any dirt or debris that may have collected on the deck while drying and then apply the wood sealer as per manufacturer’s instructions.
Redecorate and Paint Your Wood Decking
Once the deck sealer is completely dry, inspect the deck again and fix any loose screws or nails before putting the furniture and other items back in their places. You can even redecorate or paint your deck if you want to have a new finish. Now, that you have learned how to clean your wood deck and your deck is clean and shiny, you can simply sit back, relax and enjoy.