Looking for a place to relax and unwind without having to leave the comfort of home? Well, you can escape at home, of course. For a fraction of the cost, and in the time that you would spend travelling to most holiday destinations, you can fix up your own garden and create the perfect at-home getaway.

For many travellers, the main draw of a vacation is doing nothing but relaxing. But you can enjoy guilt-free relaxation at your own home. All you have to do is start by taking on those jobs you would usually procrastinate over.

Cleaning your deck is a simple, cost-effective job to start with. Decks enjoy a bit of TLC here and there, and a good clean preserves their surface, makes them safer, and provides an appearance with an aesthetic boost.

Addon Pergolas is here to provide you with five simple steps to clean up your outdoor decking and make it the ultimate place to find some serenity.

Step 1. Clean Your Decking

Regardless of the type of surface your deck is, the first and most important is step is to remove any furniture to see if you have any stains to remove or damage to fix. If you can’t find a place to store your furniture in the garden, compactly place it all in the corner of the decking.

Step 2. Sweep Your Deck

You can sweep organic material into the garden, but you want to put everything else in the bin. Your decking will already be looking much better, but there’s more to be done.

Step 3. Prepare Your Deck for Cleaning

Mix or purchase your own deck cleaner that is suitable for the deck’s surface. For timber decks, a solution of water and oxygen-available bleach (but not chlorine bleach) should suffice. You can find oxygen-available bleach in many laundry products at your closest supermarket

1 part bleach to 10 parts water is a good ratio. A tablespoon of trisodium phosphate (TSP) solution mixed in a bucket of water is effective and safe for all tiled surfaces. Before using this solution, however, test it on a small part of the deck before proceeding to scrub the whole thing. Pressure washing using plain water can be effective for paved areas.

If you are using a commercial cleaner, carefully read the instructions and test the solution on an inconspicuous part of the decking before covering the whole space. Deck cleaners can be toxic, so it is important to cover any furniture and plants that you want to protect with plastic sheeting. Protect yourself with covered footwear, long sleeves, long pants and rubber gloves.

Step 4. Let it Soak

Allow the solution to soak in the deck for 10 minutes before taking on those naughty stains.

Step 5. Scrub

Older stains will probably require a power washer or scrubbing brush. You can hire a power washer for a larger decking as this is a valuable investment that can save you time and money. You should ask to see the owner’s manual so you can find the correct nozzle and setting for cleaning the deck. If using a power washer, you should only hold the nozzle as close as necessary to clean the deck. When using a scrubbing brush, you should only scrub as hard as required to remove the dirt, using a bristle that is suitable for the cleaning solution and deck surface.

Rinse your deck with the garden hose or lukewarm water for pressure washings, allow it to dry and enjoy the fruits of your labour: a clean, rejuvenated decking.