Deck Cleaning Tips

Blog entry by Mike Blank, CGR CAPS posted 02-08-2012 06:00 PM 12398 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Lancaster County, PA homeowners are often curious the best way to keep their new deck or porch looking beautiful for the long term. Different types of decking material need different types of techniques to be cleaned properly. First things first, inspect your deck before cleaning it. If something looks amiss structurally, call a contractor to take a look!

Here are some tips for cleaning a Wood, Composite or Cedar/Redwood deck:

Using that Power Sprayer – A power sprayer is a huge time saver when cleaning a deck; but before you hook it up and dial in a laser beam of water consider that you may do more harm than good. Using a narrow, high-pressure stream of water can wash off paint, and even gouge the wood so badly you couldn’t even hide it with a new coat of paint. It can also ruin the surface integrity of composite materials. By breaking the surface you are inviting mildew and grime.

It is best to hold the nozzle about 2 feet above the deck surface while swinging the nozzle back and forth like a pendulum. You may not be able to remove every stain with the power sprayer – and that is ok! Leave them to be finished later with a deck cleansing solution and a small brush.

Cleaning a Wood Deck – Make sure you first get all the needles or other debris out from between the deck planks. You don‘t want to be sealing in those needles and the moisture that can come along with them. You can usually just use a hose or power washer to clean out hard to reach places. For what the water doesn’t get, a putty knife or other thin blade is usually your best bet.

To clean the wood there are multiple deck cleaners out there. Always read carefully to make sure you have the correct cleaner. Don’t forget to cover all that stuff you have under the deck, like plants and your lawn furniture.

Cleaning a Composite Deck – Despite their well-deserved reputation for being low-maintenance, composite decks are not completely maintenance free. The good news is dirt and debris usually wash away easily with a garden hose.

However, a deck cleaner will probably be needed to get rid of stains and heavy mildew. If you’re not sure where to start, you can contact the manufacturer of the decking material. Usually their websites provide cleaning tips and advise you as to which cleaners are best. When using a deck cleaner, the usual procedure is to spray it on (you can use a cheap hand pumped sprayer), let it sit for about 20 minutes, then wash it off with a garden hose.

It is not recommended to sand composite decks to remove a tough spot or stain.

Cleaning a Cedar Or Redwood Deck – Cleaning a cedar or redwood deck is similar to cleaning a composite deck in many respects. Cedar and redwood, and most treated woods, are decay resistant, and also have less of a tendency to harbor mildew, although in areas receiving heavy moisture, mildew can still be a problem.

Cedar is a soft wood and could too easily be damaged if you attempt to power wash it. There are specific cleaning solutions in stores for cedar decks. Consider applying a brightener after everything has dried to help restore the natural wood look.

-- check out our blog at http://MBCremodeling.com/blog

View Mike Blank, CGR CAPS's profile

Mike Blank, CGR CAPS

37 posts in 4931 days

Here I will share Tips & Tricks for all things Home Remodeling!

View Blog Archive
Subscribe to blog entries (RSS)

By subscribing to the RSS feed you will be notified when new entries are posted on this blog.

4 comments so far

View RackLoon's profile


7 posts in 4261 days

posted 02-12-2012 02:49 PM

Thanks for the tips, man have I learned the hard way with going too hard with the power sprayer!

-- http://thedinosaurwalk.com/bunk-bed-plans/

View CaptRandy's profile


2 posts in 4609 days

posted 02-14-2012 08:45 PM

Don’t forget deck that a sealed with a different sealer MUST be stripped for a new sealer to be applied. Just because it absorbs water does not mean the sealer has worn off. Strippers must be neutralized after being used to get the ph of the wood back to normal.
Composites are best cleaned with 12% bleach to kill the mildew deep in the fibers.

View Mike Blank, CGR CAPS's profile

Mike Blank, CGR CAPS

37 posts in 4931 days

posted 02-14-2012 08:48 PM

Thanks for reading and sharing your tips!

-- check out our blog at http://MBCremodeling.com/blog

View UltimateCarvercom's profile


5 posts in 4233 days

posted 02-21-2012 12:36 PM

One of the best mold and mildew cleaners is a product made by the WD-40 company called X-14 the stuff is amazing. NO scrubbing. It really destroys mold and mildew.

-- Steve Groeneweg, www.UltimateCarver.com

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: All views and comments posted by members are not necessarily those of HomeRefurbers.com or of those working on the site.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

LumberJocks.com :: woodworking showcase