Maintaining Timber & Decking

How to clean decking

Before you do any DIY on your decking, you need to clean it first.

You can either do this using a chemical formula that quickly gets to work and doesn’t require too much work from you. But these cleaning solutions can be damaging to your plants so be sure to cover them up with some sort of plastic protection.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to use chemicals, a pressure washer, stiff wire brush and some elbow grease may be enough for accumulated dirt. However, we don’t recommend this method if you have mould as it can make the problem worse. You absolutely must treat and clean mould first.

Using a cleaning solution

1. Sweep the deck

Remove all the furniture and use a stiff wire brush to sweep away loose debris, leaves and dirt.

2. Protect the surrounding area

Cover your plants and grass to protect them from the cleaning solution.

3. Apply the decking cleaner

If you’ve got mould growing on your deck, some multi-purpose decking cleaners remove mould at the same time as cleaning your deck. It’s a quick way to take care of several problems and have your deck looking as good as new in no time.

Apply the cleaner directly to the surface of your deck and scrub it in. Wait 15-20 minutes for it to get to work and then for the best results, use a pressure washer to wash off the cleaning solution. But if you don’t have a pressure washer, keep scrubbing and use a hose to wash it off.
Remove all the cleaning residue and your deck will be good as new.

Using a pressure washer

If you choose to clean your deck with only a pressure washer, you still need to sweep the deck and protect the surrounding area just to make sure nothing gets damaged.

Test the pressure washer on a hidden area first to make sure it doesn’t damage the decking.

Use as wide a nozzle as possible to evenly distribute the water pressure.

Hold the pressure washer about half a meter (two feet) above the deck to begin with. Hold the nozzle at an angle and move closer to the deck but no closer than 15-30cm as this can damage the surface.

Move the nozzle in sweeping motions starting at one end of your deck and going with the grain of the wood. Make sure the nozzle is constantly moving in a back-and-forth motion to ease the impact of the pressure.

You might need to keep scrubbing with a wire brush to get rid of the particularly stubborn sections and stains.

Remember: If you have mould on your deck you have to treat and remove this first. Using a pressure hose runs the risk of spreading the spores and making it worse. Always treat mould first!