How to Clean Your Backyard Deck

backyard deck with chairs and table

Keeping your timber deck clean is not only going to make sure that it looks great, but it will also help you to ensure its durability. Over time the deck is exposed to risks from the elements and if you fail to keep the deck clean you will end up with plant growth in the cracks which can actually damage the integrity of the materials. You should look to clean your deck at least once every couple of weeks, and here is exactly how to go about it.

Sweeping the Surface

The first step is to take a hard bristled brush and give the timber decking a good sweep. What you should be looking to do here is to get rid of all dust and debris which has accumulated on top of the deck, and get into the cracks between the beams so that anything which may have taken root will be disturbed. If you have treated your deck properly you should have no worries about any potential scratches, as the seal will be strong enough to resist the pressure from the bristles.

Power Wash

Sweeping the deck regularly will ensure that you don’t have loose debris on the deck, but to give it a proper clean you will need something a little bit more forceful. A power washer is the best option here, which will blast water through all parts of the timber to make sure that all deposits are  removed from above and below the timber decking. Start off with the pressure on medium to ensure that you don’t strip any paint away from the timber deck. These machines can be very powerful so be sure to take care when washing in this way.

Scrub The Deck

Once you have swept and power washed the deck, you will find that a lot of the unsettled debris sits once again on top of the timber deck. Use a scrubbing brush to give the deck the once over, removing any loose pieces and giving the deck a final clean. If you wish you can use a deck cleaning solution at this point, which will both clean and protect the materials. If you are in any doubt speak to a decking expert who will be able to identify the right cleaning solution for the type of timber which you have on your deck.

Morning Clean

The timber will take some time to dry out which is exactly why you have to perform the deck clean in the morning. This will give your deck every opportunity to dry throughout the day in the sunshine. If you clean the deck at night then it can actually cause damage, as the cooler temperatures will mean that the moisture stays in the decking, which can lead to humidity that can often cause bacteria to build up and compromise the quality of the timber.

It is always best practice to sweep your deck at least 2 or 3 times per week, just to make sure that any debris is cleared away regularly. If you perform this kind of maintenance then when the time comes to clean the deck down, it will be much easier and require less hard work to remove anything which has built up.