What is the best way to clean our deck?

A. Ensure you have inspected your deck and made any necessary repairs to make your deck safe. Clear the deck for any furniture or toys and cover all fragile plants. Next, sweep the deck of larger debris.

The deck and all dirt and build-up must be cleaned prior to applying sealant. Sweep leaves and other debris off the surface, and make sure to clean in between each board (where leaves can get stuck) with a putty knife. If the deck is small, scrub the wood with a cleaning product meant for wood decks. Use a deck cleaner made specifically for cleaning a deck; read all instructions so you learn how to dilute and apply the cleaner correctly. The solutions can usually be brushed onto the deck using a broom or it can be sprayed on with a power washer under low pressure. After waiting the directed length of time for the chemicals to do their work, thoroughly rinse the deck.

If the deck is larger, pressure wash it to remove mildew and algae. When using one, be sure to keep the pressure stream moving, otherwise, you could gouge the wood. Sweep the nozzle along the wood grain at a slight angle about 8 inches from the deck surface. Always move the nozzle while the trigger is engaged Allow the deck to dry for 48 hours before applying a sealer.

The deck cleaning should be completed prior to sealing the deck. Next week we will feature additional insights on sealing your deck.