Warm, sunny days are finally here and that means you’re ready to spend more time outside. While you’re getting your yard ready for summer, don’t neglect your deck. For maximum safety and enjoyment, you should give it a thorough cleaning and inspection.
This is important to make sure your deck looks great and stays secure throughout the summer and beyond. First, remove all furniture and planters. Sweep away leaves and debris and look for dark green or slippery areas, which can indicate algae and fungus. Now is a good time to also check for deck stability and the integrity of the wood.
Next, your approach to cleaning will depend on the kind of deck you have.
A treated wood deck can handle a detergent or oxygen bleach (a.k.a. sodium percarbonate, which is different from chlorine bleach). Remember to protect your hands by wearing rubber gloves. Fill a bucket two-thirds full of water then add a cup of the oxygen bleach. Scrub the deck thoroughly then let the solution sit for about 20 minutes to kill any additional algae or fungus. Then rinse thoroughly.
Remember: NEVER use a power washer on a wood deck (treated or untreated). The force of the water can damage the top layer of wood, inviting mold and insects to settle there.
If you have a composite deck, you can supplement the previously mentioned methods with a gentle pressure washing (no greater than 3100 psi). Be sure you use the right cleaner. For example, acetone or other solvents is harmful to certain composite materials. Some composite brands have their own cleaning solutions, so check with the manufacturer. And finally, make sure you give your deck a thorough rinsing, otherwise any dirty water that remains may cause a film when it dries.
Since the cleaning and inspection process gets you up close and personal with your deck, you’ll be able to tell which parts have decayed or splintered and need to be replaced. Do this as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration. If you are interested in a professional opinion of the safety of your deck, visit our contact page. We will schedule a time for our team to visit and assess your deck. You want your deck to not only look beautiful but also be safe for the fun ahead this summer.