Not only does a proper deck cleaning and staining help to maintain the new and attractive appearance of your deck, but it also contributes towards reducing the amount of maintenance you will have to perform while adding to the durability of your deck. Listed below are tips on how to effectively clean and stain your deck.
Since it might take hours for your deck to completely dry, it is important to ensure there is no rain foreseen for the day.
Clear and sweep the deck
Start by moving your furniture, grill and any other outdoor accessories off your deck to allow for easy access to the wood. Use an appropriate outdoor broom to sweep all the debris and loose dirt out of the deck and remember to use a trash can for all the inorganic material you sweep off the deck.
Since most deck cleaning solutions are toxic, place plastic sheeting over the planters on your deck to protect the plants inside. You should also wear long sleeves, rubber gloves and long pants to protect your body.
Mix the cleaning solution
Commercial deck cleaners are the most common cleaning solutions used on decks, most of which will be available at your local home improvement stores. Carefully examine the package to confirm it is appropriate for the grime you intend to remove as well as the type of wood your deck is made of. Eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaners are safer than all the other alternatives. Two cups of oxygen-based bleach and a gallon of water can also be used to clean your deck effectively.
Apply the cleaning solution
Use a garden sprayer or broom to apply the solution to your deck if you intend to scrub by hand, and if you are power washing, apply the cleaning solution by simply adding it to the washers tank. Ensure you coat all the surfaces of your deck including stairs and railings by moving in rows, allow the solution to sit for about ten minutes. Be sure to use the correct settings and nozzle when using a power washer, hold it close to the wood to avoid damages.
Scrub or power wash
Apply some elbow grease using your power washer or a hardy scrub brush, ensuring you get the entire deck. Concentrate more on the heavily soiled areas and remember not to scrub too hard as this might scratch or splinter the wood.
Fill the power washer with clean, warm water or use an ordinary garden hose fitted with a sprayer nozzle to rinse your deck, making sure you rinse out the entire surface area of the deck. Remember to clean the plastic sheets covering your plants.
Let your deck dry
Allow the deck enough time to be thoroughly dried by the sun. Do not put anything, including your furniture and grill, back on the deck until all the water evaporates and the surface is completely dry.
Seal your deck
Take the necessary time to seal your deck once it is clean and completely dry. The most suitable type of stain or sealant to use depends on the kind of wood the deck is made of and the results you would like to achieve. It additionally depends on whether or not there is a stain or sealant on the deck, and if there is, you need to start by stripping it off, which is easy if you have a power washer. Hire a contractor or seek professional help if you are unsure about how to strip sealant off the deck.