Get Your Backyard Barbecue Ready by Cleaning Your Deck

Tips for Backyard Enthusiasts

Perhaps you are a homeowner who enjoys the outdoors and having friends and family over for barbecues. You want to be sure you have a clean, attractive deck before you invite anyone over. Deck maintenance can be a fairly simple task with the proper products, equipment and know-how. If you have a deck-and-pool combination in your backyard, you might want to look into pool cleaning as well.

Deck Cleaning Products

In order to properly carry out the task of deck cleaning, you should make sure you have the right tools. Check your local home supply store and ask a professional what type of deck cleaner is right for you. You should be able to provide information such as whether or not you have treated wood.

Typically, cleaning a deck is easier with a pump-style applicator. This comes with a tank that usually holds a few gallons of cleaner. Once you have your cleaning solution in the tank, adjust the nozzle for wide spray and begin slowly pumping the cleaner out onto your deck.

Of course, different types of cleaners have different benefits and drawbacks. Conventional, powerful outdoor cleaners are often extremely toxic, leading to environmental damage and even health issues for your family. Luckily, one type of cleaner will get the job done without sacrificing health or safety, and that's oxygen bleach. Made up of hydrogen peroxide and soda ash, oxygen bleach powder reacts with water to create oxygen bubbles. These bubbles help to break up the grime and dirt, and with the help of a scrubbing brush you can have a spotless deck without harmful runoff or damaged wood.

Deck Pressure Washing

Pressure washing can get rid of dirt with force rather than chemicals, which can reduce both the time and the mess considerably. However, be sure you understand how to use the pressure washer for good results: if the stream is too concentrated, the nozzle is too close to the deck or the pressure is too strong, you risk stripping the top layers of the wood. An alternative to strong pressure washing is combining a non-toxic cleaning solution with gentler pressure from your washer.

Once you have applied the cleaning solution to your deck, it is time to begin deck pressure washing. Take a pressure washer and adjust the pressure down in order to avoid damaging the wood or stripping the paint or stain off the deck. Then, using a sweeping motion, rinse the cleaner off of your deck.

Seal After Cleaning

After you have finished washing your deck, you will want to apply a sealant. Sealing your deck after cleaning will lock in the color and brightness of the wood while protecting it from damage due to weather, temperature and various other environmental factors that can harm the look of your deck.

Wait at least 24 hours for the wood to dry before applying any deck coating. Applying stain or sealant to wet wood may do more harm than good. Once you have cleaned, washed and sealed your deck, you are ready to send out the invitations for a barbecue. The look of your newly cleaned deck will have your guests both pleased and amazed. Or, you can sit and spend a quiet moment alone enjoying the fresh, clean look of your deck.

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