How To Clean Decking

The Decking is an arena for relaxation constructed with connecting timber woods, where one can bond with relatives or entertain friends. It can be built to any design and specification. A decking is capable of supporting weight, similar to a floor but typically constructed outdoors. In this guide, you’ll learn how to clean your decking and how to clean your decking without a pressure washer.

Deck cleaning is a household task that is very necessary to keep a clean environment. Some people hire a professional to clean the decking for them, but it’s a job that anyone can do by themself. If you are on a budget, then doing it yourself over hiring a professional saves you money too.

The decking is a part of the house that requires regular maintenance at least every season or month. Regular cleaning of the deck will ensure it is safe and conducive enough to stay. Also, regular maintenance ensures its longevity.

Reasons to clean the decking regularly

An unkempt and untidy environment tends to brood disease-causing germs. These are harmful to human health and can cause very significant damage to the body if proper care is not taken at the right time. So, cleaning the decking is essential because it is a place where anybody can stay to relax. It can also promote the excellent mental and psychological state of an individual. Leaving the deck unkempt for long can also cause household accidents due to moisture or accumulated algae. This makes the decking slippery. To prevent all this from happening, you should endeavour to clean your decking a least once a month or something in that time range.

Tools Needed

There are always a series of tools used cleaning in the house for effectiveness. For example, dishwashing. One needs a soap, sponge, water, and a towel for drying the plates. Likewise, in deck cleaning, there are things required to get the desired results, some of which we have listed below:

  1. Strong brush
  2. Bleach
  3. Pressure washer (You can use either the cordless pressure washer or the petrol pressure washer)
  4. Expandable garden hose 
  5. Patio Grout
  6. Screwdriver
  7. Hammer
  8. Putty knife
  9. Decking cleaner

Now we will go ahead to discuss the steps involved in cleaning the decking.

Steps involved in cleaning the deck

To get started, you’re advised to remove all the items/furniture like flower vase, chairs, tables, etc., out of the deck to avoid obstruction and thereby damaging them.

For a full list of precautions to observe, visit here.

There are a series of steps taken to ensure a safe and neatly cleaned deck. The steps are outlined below:

  1. Scrape using a knife

When left for long, debris and alga that accumulate on decking make up the most dirt. The first thing you have to do is to remove them with a putty knife or any other suitable tool. When scraping off the rough or cracked edges of the decking, please pay close attention to any hidden parts of the deck. These are where specks of dirt accumulate. Ensure you remove them using the putty knife.

2. Sweep the decking

Take a brush and give the whole decking a thorough sweep. Make sure to sweep away all the debris you scraped off in the previous step and adequately dispose of them.

3. Wash with water

Use a water pipe or a pressure washer to wet or moisten dirt on the deck’s surface. Turn on the pressure washer and choose the least pressure setting. Push the handle of the pipe or hose to start the water flow, then adjust the water stream properly by setting the dial at the top of the handle. Preferably, the water used should contain a bleaching agent or liquid wash to enable it to remove tough stains. Once the entire deck is moistened, let it soak for a while.

It is advised that the best time to clean the decking is on a humid day. The decking will be soft and relaxed, and the sun’s heat won’t evaporate the cleaning agents into thin air.

4. Scrub hard and rinse

Use the heavy or stiff brush again to scrub hard on the surface to remove the moistened dirt and debris dried up. Lastly, rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow the decking to dry very well.

5. Tighten or fasten the nuts, nails, and screws

Carefully inspect the surfaces of the decking that were fastened with screws and nuts, and tighten the nuts and screws that seem to be loosening or wearing out. Check loose boards, wobbly rails, or nails. Replace possible nuts and screws if need be as soon as possible to avoid/prevent accidents in the home.

6. Treat mould and algae

Use a disinfectant that is highly concentrated for decking treatment. This formula is used for germ removal and stops mould and blue-green algae re-growth from accumulating on the decking in the future. Apply the treatment to the affected areas and let it dry. There’s no need for pressure washing or scrubbing again, so it’s the perfect way to revitalize and maintain your decking with less effort than possible.

7. Decking coating or sealing

A successful cleaning of the decking without sealing is almost a waste of time, resources, and energy. So it is always a good idea to recoat the deck after you have successfully given it a deep cleansing.

Sealers protect and coat your deck by blocking UV rays from the sun and preventing moulds and mildew from forming and accumulating on the wood. It also protects the decking from water damage that makes the wood of the decking damp and soft.

Ensure that you sweep the decking one more time to remove any dirt or dust that may have accumulated and rested on the decking while drying. Then, apply the sealer generously on the decking’s surface according to the instructions given by the manufacturers on the product. Let the sealant dry thoroughly before moving furniture and accessories back onto the decking.

Ensure to wear precautionary and safety wears like gloves, a safety mask, and eye goggles when applying sealants. Most sealants can be dangerous and hazardous if proper caution is not taken. Also, be sure to keep the sealant away from fire as most sealants are highly flammable.

The stated steps above will ensure your deck is looking spotless and conducive for relaxation in no time.

To spice up the environment, you can use an air freshener of your choice or perfume to spray on the surrounding environment within and around the deck to make it extra conducive to inhabit.

How to clean wooden decking

As a disclaimer, wooden decking is a little bit different from other types of decking in that they are made of wood and require special care.

For wooden decking, you have to use a milder detergent solution to wash them. You can either use a mild soap to do the deed or walk into any nearby store to purchase a wooden decking cleaning solution to handle this.

How to clean slippery decking

Being slippery can make your decking feel like a skating ring and can cause injuries to you if you are not careful. The solution to having a slippery decking is to use anti-slip decking paint or use rubber foot mats.

How to clean decking without a pressure washer

The steps we outlined above are the same steps you employ to clean the decking without a pressure washer but if you want a more in-depth tutorial, watch the video below

Frequently Asked Question

What kind of sealer can be used?

There are various products in the stores out there, but you can go for decking oil, waterproof protection, clear sealers, gauze-like sealers, and solid or opaque sealants.

Can I do this as an individual by myself? 

Yes, as long as you have the required tools, and have time and patience, you will learn how to clean a deck in no time.

How long does deck cleaning take? 

Cleaning your decking usually takes a day to work on and at most two days because you need to let the coating dry very well.

Summary

It is necessary to take special care when cleaning the deck as it is an open place meant for fun and outdoor activities. If the decking is not properly taken care of, it might lead to avoidable injuries and whatnot. 

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