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  • Yuri Samayoa

What Is The Best Way To Clean Decking (5 Steps)?

As mentioned, the best way to clean decking depends on whether you have wood or composite boards. However, there are five basic steps for cleaning all decks.

1. Clear Off the Deck 

Remove all furniture, plants, and deck décor. Once clear, inspect the decking for warping, discoloration, and spongy boards. Replace any rotted deck boards and tighten any loose screws and fasteners.  

2. Sweep the Deck Boards

Over time, debris will accumulate on top of your deck, which you need to remove as it can stain and hold in moisture. Use a putty knife or screwdriver to remove stubborn bits between the boards.

3. Pre-rinse the Deck

Use a hose to rinse any remaining loose debris off the deck. This step allows the deck cleaner to disperse more easily and work more effectively. 

4. Apply Deck Cleaner 

Pick a deck cleaning solution geared to the kind of deck you have (wood or composite). Read and follow the instructions on the bottle, or try a homemade deck cleaner—like the homemade cleaners in the previous section. 

5. Rinse the Deck 

Rinse all the decking thoroughly so you don’t leave behind a film or build-up. Hold the hose about 6-12 inches above the deck’s surface and spray a few feet in front of you. The water stream should be strong enough to wash away dirt and debris. Never use high pressure, which can damage your decking and splinter your wood.

Deck Cleaning Tips: 

  • Whether you’re using a homemade cleaner or a purchased one, wear gloves. Some cleaning agents can cause skin irritation.

  • It’s best to dispose of leftover homemade cleaner instead of storing it. Simply make a fresh batch the next time you need it.

  • Keep all cleaning solutions out of reach of children.

How To Clean Your Deck

Cleaning a deck doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming, but it is essential in making it last. While the steps are simple — remove anything on the deck, sweep, and clean — you will want to be sure you’re doing it right.

Deck Cleaning Solutions And Materials Needed

To prepare for your deck cleaning, gather a broom, scrub brush, bucket, garden hose, and cleaning solution.

Be sure to use cleaning products and materials that won’t harm your deck — or you. Never mix ammonia-based ingredients with bleach, which can create toxic chloramine gas, which can cause respiratory irritation.

Instead, purchase or mix a cleaning solution specially made for your wood or composite deck. Many deck cleaning products are readily available online or at local hardware stores.

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