Cleaning your decks and patios can be a lot of work because of their size and the fact that they exposed to outdoor elements year round. Decks and patios, whether they are made of synthetic materials, wood or cement can generally all be cleaned using similar techniques. The two most common ways to clean your deck or patio is by hand washing or pressure washing. While hand washing can take longer, it is a better way to clean because it requires more attention to detail. Pressure washing on the other hand is a lot quicker, but requires the purchase of a machine or a residential cleaning service. Whatever method you choose there are steps and procedures you can take to make your cleaning job easier and more efficient.
Step 1 Strategize: Having a plan of attack and setting goals is key for cleaning large areas. We recommend mentally splitting your deck up into different areas to clean. This way you can set a goal to clean one quarter of your deck in a session.
Step 2 Move Furniture: Before you start cleaning your deck or patio we recommend moving your furniture, especially if you are pressure washing. Pressure washers can be damaging to patio and deck furniture. By moving furniture out of the way you will open up space, making it easier for you to move around and clean. If you don’t know where to keep you furniture, move to an area of your deck that you are not cleaning.
Step 3 Sweep: Deck and patios are exposed year round and just like your yard sticks, leaves and debris accumulate over time. Before pressure washing or hand washing you should sweep any debris off your deck. If you are hand washing dirt and debris can make your job very frustrating as you will find yourself rinsing out your cloth or sponge very frequently.
Step 4 Clean: Once you have your plan of attack, the furniture is out of the way and small debris has been swept of your deck it is time to start cleaning. If you are hand washing you can use dish soap and water. For pressure washing you will want to use a deck cleaner that you can find at your local hardware store. When cleaning your deck it is important to focus on removing dirt and grime from the grain. Over time dirt and grime will build up in the grain of the wood and degrade it.
Step 5 Rinse: Rinsing is important because any soap residue left on your deck will dry creating a sticky surface that will attract more dirt and grime. Once you have rinsed off your deck or patio it is time to sit back and let it dry.
Step 6 Furniture: You can clean your deck or patio furniture by hand and with the same cleaning solution and with a dish soap and water solution just like your deck. Just remember to rinse away soap when you are done washing it and then you can let it dry.