Provided care and maintenance is preserved, garden hardwood decking could easily exceed 30 years of use. Although some wood species such as Teak boasts natural oils which help it cope with the elements, most types of garden decking will require on-going care and a thorough clean at least once a year. If you have children or pets playing on the decked area there’s also an important safety aspect for keeping your garden decking surface clean, as it will prevent the surface from becoming slippery. So roll up your sleeves, it’s time for a spring clean.
How To Clean Hardwood Decking:
Cleaning your garden deck isn’t very complicated and does not have to cost much as most of the tools and cleaning accessories you’ll need are probably scattered around the home. The cleaning steps below are meant to ensure that the decking comes out clean and that you do not damage the wood in the cleaning process. You should also ensure that the cleaning is done in the dry so that the wood has time to naturally dry.
- Start by making sure that the decking surface is free of any clutter and garden furniture. Place these far away from the deck so that the spray from the cleaning solutions or chemicals used (optional) will not penetrate them. Pay close attention to ensuring that you not drag any piece of furniture on the deck as you might damage the wood or it’s oiled coating. You should consider getting a helping hand for this step, especially if you have to move tables and chairs.
- Perform a basic cleaning of the deck by using a stiff broom and a pressure washer if you have one. Give the deck a thorough brush followed by jet wash using a pressure washer’s wash brush which nowadays comes as an extension with most pressure washers. Be sure to save water when you can by cleaning the deck in the shade and only use minimum water required. This step will help get rid of dirt and debris which has accumulated over the winter months. Do not use an industrial grade pressure washer (above 1500 psi/100 bar) as it might damage the wood. Pressure washers which are used as multi-purpose home and car cleaners will work just fine. If you don’t have one, use normal water jet from your garden hose.
- Now that the deck is free from any clutter and dirt you can focus on cleaning the wood using a dedicated cleaning product or soda crystals. To use the cleaning product, follow its instruction and be sure to pick one which works with your species of wood (teak, ipe, iroko etc). If you are unsure, then purchase a chemical agent which is multipurpose for any decking wood species, these are widely available from your local home improvement center. To use soda crystals, simply spray warm water over the decked surface and sprinkle soda crystals. Leave the decking for a few hours and once dry brush using a stiff broom. Stage three is the reason why the cleaning should be done in the summer when the decking has time to dry.
- To finish the cleaning process simply rinse the deck area completely to remove any trace of the cleaning solutions and chemical agents. Allow the deck 3 to 4 hours to dry completely before placing the furniture and other items back on.
On-going Care and Maintenance:
There is a lot of common sense when on-going maintenance is concerned. From time to time or when needed give the hardwood decking a thorough brush, always quickly clean up spills to avoid stains and refrain from dragging heavy objects around. On top of regular cleaning, some wood species which do not boasts natural oils might require the occasional top up. Contact your supplier for further details on this issue.
Enjoy the summer and your garden.
Tips by the team at hardwood decking sellers wood and beyond.