It’s that time of year when the deck is starting to poke its nose out from under the snow and saying “ Wouldn’t you love to be sitting out on me?”
As a Muskoka Realtor, I understand that a great deck is a wonderful feature of your home or cottage and giving it a good spring cleaning will add to your enjoyment of it and ultimately to its value. If you are planning to sell your property, having a great looking deck will definitely increase buyer interest and help in the selling process.
An easy and fast solution to clean your wood deck and allow you to jump into spring a lot faster is as follows.
Start by washing:
- Thoroughly wet the deck with plain water first.
- Use ½ cup of any kind of laundry detergent in a gallon of hot water. If using an ultra-concentrated detergent, use less. You may want to experiment with the concentration of water and laundry detergent to see what works best for you.
- Use a garden hose with a plant food feeder to apply a plentiful amount of the mixture.
- With a sturdy brush on a longer handle to save your back, scrub the deck and rails.
- Rinse with clean water.
- Apply a layer of oxalic acid (wood bleach) you can find this in many hardware stores. Sherwin Williams makes a good product. Sprinkle it on like applying dry rub to barbecue to work a lot better.
Consider your safety. Make sure you are using gloves and eye protection and wear a filter mask over your nose and mouth. You can get all of these safety items at your local hardware store.
- Brush the bleach over the wood and rinse the deck with plain water from time to time to keep it wet.
- After scrubbing for a short amount of time you will notice that the wood begins to look much cleaner.
- Follow this bleach and rinse process a few more times to complete the whole deck.
- Do a final rinse with fresh water and let dry for at least 2 days.
- Apply a wood preservative. Pigmented (coloured) varieties tend to last longer than the clear wood preservatives. Don’t use too much of the preservative. Avoid puddling and wipe away excess with an old cloth.
Be sure to use the correct type of preservative for horizontal surfaces (decks and furniture). This type is usually semi-transparent and is made for light applications.
Don’t use wood preservatives made for vertical surfaces (walls and fences). This type is usually very thick and opaque. It will end up being tracked onto the floors in your home and will wear down quickly.
- A normal garden hose or pressure washer can be used for the final rinse. A pressure washer isn’t always needed, but it makes the entire process much easier and the end result is often superior.
Once your deck is ready you can set out the furniture and call your friends to enjoy the beautiful Muskoka sunshine!