If you have a wood deck, then you should know you will need to take the proper steps in order to ensure the deck will remain in place for years to come. By proper care, you should plan on having your deck cleaned at least once a year and at least every other year to have it sanded and stained. But the most important thing to do is to ensure you clean your deck or you will soon see signs of fading and wear.
For those who clean their deck once a year or more, this task will be easier to complete. The ideal person will sweep debris, such as wet leaves and dirt on a weekly basis in between the annual deep cleanings. For those that back up to woods and might have more of nature’s elements landing on their decks, a biannual cleaning might be in store in order to effectively preserve the life and look of the deck. It is important to keep the surface free of debris so there isn’t a build-up of dirt or grime. This can eat into the wood and demand a sanding in order to level the deck. Most importantly remove sand immediately after use since sand can get ingrained into the wood grain and sand certain spots of the deck, which would cause it to become unlevel. It would also open up holes for dirt and grime to get stuck to and slowly dissolve the wood underneath.
In order to effectively clean your wood, you might want to consider purchasing a power washer to keep at your house. While this piece of machinery can set you back $350 or more, it beats paying somebody over $100 a year to come and clean the deck. This also opens up the possibility for you to clean vinyl siding of your home, child’s playsets, and so much more. However, do ensure that you buy the proper deck cleaner specifically designed for wood. Otherwise you might find yourself with a wood deck with discoloration. Do remember to clean the deck of any loose debris before turning on the power washer so you can focus on cleaning the deck itself.
For those who have gotten behind in cleaning their deck, you might see green algae or mold on your deck. It is important to remove all discoloration and bacteria or you will find it quickly spring up again after washing. For this reason, you might want to pretreat these areas to let it soakl before taking the power washer to it. It might also mean scrubbing these areas or taking a sander to it to effectively remove it. Do note that while using a power washer makes the job of cleaning easier, it can only do as good a job as you have it do. If you rush through the job, you won’t see the results you would like to see.
To effectively clean a 200 square foot deck, plan on it taking you at least an hour to effectively clean the deck. This means effectively removing all loose debris before taking the powerwasher to it, otherwise it might be twice as long in cleaning the deck. Go over the deck completely once through from railing to the floor boards. Go over each board seperately to ensure every square inch of that deck has been properly cleaned. Then go underneath the deck to clean the other side. After all, many loose debris get stuck between the wood slats or don’t fall all the way to the ground so going on the underside will ensure you have a thoroughly clean deck.
Once doing a once through, go over for a final washing. This won’t take as long as the first time since it is just fine tuning the art of deck cleaning. But you might find a couple spots that you missed the first time. Once the deck is clean, give it sufficient time to dry off before staining the deck for preservation. This will mean even on the hottest day to give it at least 24 hours to thoroughly dry to ensure all your hard work pays off. Staining will help preserve your deck and give it that final touch to effectively clean and preserve your wood deck.