Home » Home and Family

Cleaning Decks: Tips and Techniques

Aug 23, 2008
Cleaning decks is an important part of deck maintenance. Cleaning decks regularly helps to preserve wood and extending the deck's overall lifespan. Having a clean deck is about more than just keeping up with the neighbors. (An enviable deck is a nice bonus though.) After all, a deck is a big investment. It's a large portion of the value of a home. The time that you spend cleaning your deck will pay dividends when it comes to your home's resale value.

Not sure where to begin? Cleaning decks is big business. A plethora of products and tools await you at the local hardware store. It can be hard to understand the differences. Techniques and strategies abound too. Chances are, if you ask five deck-owners about cleaning decks you'll get at least three different answers. So take the best of all five answers, along with these tips for cleaning decks:

* Clean your deck once per year. You can hose your deck off as frequently as you like. However, you need only use a deck cleaner annually. When you do your annual cleaning, use a high-power pressure sprayer. Buy or rent one if you need to. (If you plan to be in your home for many years, purchasing one is a worthwhile investment.) Pressure washers are much more effective than garden hoses at loosening embedded dirt and grime.

* Use chlorine bleach cautiously. Commercial deck cleaners are great at getting out dirt and grease. They aren't always as effective at removing mold and mildew stains. If you have a mold problem, use a mild bleach solution. Be careful to dilute it well: use no more than one cup of bleach per gallon of water. Bleach will eat away at the wood, so use it sparingly. Apply it only to the portions that have mold/mildew, not the entire deck. Rinse mold/mildew spots first with a pressure washer. Then apply your bleach solution by hand with a heavy sponge and rub gently.

Don't use more force than is absolutely necessary, otherwise you'll damage the wood. After cleaning decks with bleach, rinse thoroughly with clean water. If mold/mildew isn't a big problem, avoid bleach altogether.

* Choose the right deck cleaner. What you use will depend upon a couple of things. If you are cleaning decks in preparation for re-staining, choose a cleaner that contains oxalic acid. These are also known as "brighteners." Oxalic acid removes dirt stains and lightens wood darkened by grime, returning it to its original appearance. It will open up the wood's surface in preparation for deep deck-stain penetration. Oxalic acid is also recommended for use on new pressure-treated lumber. It will help to break down the mill glaze and allow deck stain to penetrate more effectively.

If you are simply doing a routine cleaning without repainting, products containing trisodium phosphate (i.e. TSP) work well. TSP, when used correctly, won't damage the existing sealant/stain. Reading product labels is important. They contain all the information you'll need about application and how the product will affect your type of wood and sealant. Again, rinsing thoroughly after cleaning is extremely important. If you are following your cleaning by sealing/staining your deck, allow it to dry thoroughly before proceeding. Sealant will not adhere properly to damp wood.

Cleaning decks is a big job. Be sure to leave lots of time to complete the job well. Skimping and cutting corners when cleaning decks may lead to regret later on. You only need to do it once a year so you might as well do it right.
About the Author
Learn more about deck cleaners and deck stains or contact Shane Hester at WebFirstCreations for quality internet marketing .
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 148
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources