The outdoor area is the perfect place to entertain, relax and enjoy the natural elements of the home. Decking is one of the most popular choices for Australian homes, but it can be easily susceptible to the elements. It is important to keep your decking clean to ensure that it always looks attractive, clean and inviting.
Follow these simple steps to ensure that your decking is always ready to be enjoyed.
Most decks comprise of wood or composite materials, and need regular cleaning to maintain their charm and rustic appeal. Here’s how to keep your deck in tip-top shape:
- Ensure you prepare the deck by removing all debris and furniture, such as plant material. If you are cleaning a wooden deck, remember to scrap any debris from between its slats. Use a knife or screwdriver to get into the slats and remove any bits and pieces hanging around.
- Sweep the whole decking, ensuring that you bin any of the debris swept away from the deck. After all, there’s no point in cleaning the whole decking if the debris you swept away just gets blown back across it.
- Mix an environmentally friendly cleaner (safe for plants, pets, yourself etc.) with water. Ensure you choose a cleaning agent that is suitable for the deck material. It has to be appropriate for the kinds of stains you want to remove. Alternatively, you might want to use an oxygen bleach, noting the ratio of water to bleach before using. As opposed to chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach comes as a powder and is environmentally-friendly.
- Scrub your decking with a brush. The brush should have a long handle in order to reach al the nooks and crannies for scrubbing. For a quicker alternative, use a high pressure hose and add your cleaning agent to its tank.
- Leave the bleach or cleaner mixture on the deck for around 15 minutes to remove all the stains. Don’t allow the mixture to dry as it will leave behind a soapy residue.
- Rinse the deck with a pressure washer or a simple spray hose. If you are using a pressure washer, remember to use a pressure appropriate for your decking (1500 psi or 105.460 kg/cm2). Washing too close or using too much pressure can cause unwanted damage. You should usually hose a metre from the section of decking to avoid damage.
- Repeat the process if the stains are stubborn and remain after the first attempt.
- Allow your decking to properly dry before you return barbecues, furniture and plants to their original positions.
- It’s also important to consider sealing your wooden deck to ensure it remains attractive and waterproof, whilst furthering its lifespan. Furthermore, a well-sealed decking only requires cleaning twice a year, as opposed to once every month or so. Well-sealed decks are easy to remove any stains or debris and work as a protector against the elements.