Composite Decks & Wood Decks
Summer is just around the corner and that means it’s time to get your wood and composite decks cleaned up for your outdoor lifestyle. And don’t forget those vinyl railings, too. Not only will you give your neighbors a case of “deck envy,” but you’ll be protecting the value of your largest investment – your home.
Composite Decks and Railings
If you have deck or railing made of vinyl or composite materials, chances are you made that choice because of their low maintenance compared to wood decks. But low maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance. Like everything exposed to outdoor weather conditions, foot traffic and spills, it gets dirty. Periodic washing will add longevity to your deck as well as keep it looking clean and inviting. And now that spring is here, it’s the perfect time to start.
Simple dishwashing detergent and warm water will work well for small areas or for cleaning up spills. A stiff-bristled brush or push broom on horizontal surfaces will make the job easier. Use a soft sponge mop on the vertical surfaces, like your vinyl railings. And there are many eco-friendly composite deck cleaning products available as well. Chomp Pro Gutter cleaner, Simple Green, Spray-and-Forget, and Pour-N-Restore are just a few of the many deck cleaning products that are friendly to the environment. Be sure to always check the manufacturer’s recommendations before using a product on your composite deck or railings.
Wood Decks and Railings
Wood decks must be treated a little differently since they are more easily prone to decomposition. The best solution for cleaning wood surfaces is a good oxygen bleach. Be careful. All bleaches are not the same. Chlorine bleach is the most common household bleach. Don’t use it on your wood deck. Oxygen bleach usually comes in a powdered form. Here again, simply scrubbing your wood deck and railings with a stiff brush is effective. But depending on the size of your deck, it can be a lot of work, too.
You can save time and exertion by using a pressure washer. When used correctly, it can really speed up the completion time and make your deck cleaning task much easier. If you don’t own a one, they can easily be rented from places like Lowes and Home Depot. If you feel uncomfortable power washing your deck, call a trusted professional company. The main thing to be aware of when used on any type of deck or porch railing, but especially with wood decks, is the amount of pressure and the type of nozzle you use. Too much pressure can destroy your wood, so it is wise never to use a high-powered nozzle under any circumstances. Make sure your pressure washer has variable settings and a selection of tips. (Or an adjustable tip.) A 25-degree to 40-degree nozzle should give you an effective spray without harming your wood, and always keep the tip at least 6” from the deck. Try it out on a small portion of your wood deck first to be sure it doesn’t damage the wood. Follow all directions carefully for a beautiful, clean deck for your next outdoor gathering!
Thinking of a replacing your deck?
If you are in the market for pressure treated pine decking or railings, composite decks and railings, PVC decking and railings, or exotic hardwood products such as Ipe, Tigerwood or Mahogany, Cedarbrook’s team of professionals can turn your vision into reality.