ADVICE: Clean Your Deck Every Spring & Fall
- Protect yourself, protect your pets and protect your plants. If you are only using soap and water (Vinyl/PVC decks or Fence-All Composite decks) you may skip this step, but if you are going to be using bleach or other chemicals, you’ll want to (i) wear appropriate gloves/clothing, (ii) keep pets away from the area for a period of time, and (iii) cover all plants/furniture in the surrounding area with some type of protective covering (plastic tarps).
- Move all the furniture, the barbeque and as much stuff off the deck as possible so that you can easily get at the deck floor, stairs, railing, etc.
- Sweep the deck off, getting rid of as many leaves, needles as possible as well as dirt.
- Prepare your cleaning solution. While some people plan (particularly if it’s just a very small deck front or back step) to use a bucket of water, a broom, and muscle most homeowners use a pressure washer with a proper mix of cleaning solution.
- Vinyl/PVC or some Composite materials are typically best cleaned with a simple water & dish soap mix (see directions on your pressure washer).
- Organic materials (Wood or Composites with sawdust) will typically need to be cleaned with water & bleach mixed (we suggest 1 cup of household bleach per 5 gallons of water as a starting point although many bleaches come with advice as to their own suggested mixtures).
- Apply your cleaning solution. Be careful not to damage your deck by scrubbing too hard or moving the pressure washer too close to the wood. Let the solution sit on the deck for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse the solution off with clear water. Again, be careful not to damage your deck by scrubbing too hard or moving the pressure washer too close to the wood. You may want to clean off the plastic tarps covering plants in the area at the same time.
- Leave the deck to dry for about 24 hours before bringing back the furniture, barbeque, etc. or letting pets and traffic back on to the deck.