Looking back when your deck was first installed and officially commission for fun under the sun; it looked great and everybody loved it– it seemed. Friends, family and neighbors couldn’t get enough of soaking up fun, food and relaxation on your deck. It couldn’t help but make you feel good seeing your favorite people laughing and enjoying life on your brand new deck.
Now that time has past and a few years have come and gone since your deck was installed; it’s hard to believe that this is the same deck that you had just a few years ago. How can it be? Mildew, mold, dirt, cooking grease, black spots, compost, twigs, leaves, and of course–bird droppings have all but covered it up. Man! its enough to make you want to throw up your hands and holler. Your beloved deck has gone the way of ‘ghost towns’ back in the 19th century.
But just hold on a minute there–not so fast, your deck, as bad as it is can be given a new lease on life and you can give it that new lease of life yourself. I have been cleaning decks now for over a decade and I have spent a considerable amount of time examining them as well as cleaning; sealing, repairing, and studying them. And I’m going to share with you the best of what I have learned to help bring your old back back to life once again. So let’s get started kid.
Examining Your Deck
Before you even think about doing something to your deck you should first take a few moments to look your deck over thoroughly and make a mental notation of all its irregularities, damaged/rotten boards and posts. Take a closer look at areas that have succumbed to funguses; mildew; mold and compost, also, look for obvious spots that have faded due to ultra violet rays that comes directly from the sun. It’s just a good idea to see what you’re up against before you commence to cleaning your deck…at least that’s how I do it and if I need to write this observation down on paper for future reference; then so be it.
Preparation: Step One
The first thing I like to do on my deck restoration project is to get a large push broom and a regular sweeping broom and remove all debris off the deck. Leaves, twigs, grass, tree branches and whatever else might be there; I sweep them up and put them in large contractors’ trash bags to be discarded later. Make sure the deck is free of all debris before you proceed to the next step. At this point if you see any damaged or rotten boards now is the time to remove them and replaced them with similar boards, and the same goes for posts and railings if applicable. It would be inconceivable to think of refinishing your deck without removing/replacing damaged and rotten boards that are not only unsightly but down right dangerous as well. So make an all out effort to locate and remove damaged boards that are not suitable and sound enough for continued use.
Preparation: Step Two
With the deck free of all debris and all the rotten/damaged boards have been repaired or preferably replaced, we are ready to begin step two of our deck preparation project, which brings us to pressure washing. I wholeheartedly believe that in order to do a very good job cleaning your deck you must have a best electric pressure washer that can deliver about 1500 psi (pounds per square inch) all the while delivering about 3.5 to 4.0 gallons per minute. A good quality pressure washer like this can be rented from your neighborhood rental store. Or you might be able to find a machine like this at a nearby home improvement center that rents pressure washers also. If you’re uncomfortable using a machine like this then by all means hire a contract cleaner to do it for you. Prices are ever dropping lower and lower these days, so call a few up in your area and have them to come over and give you a free quote on cleaning your deck. But if you are of the persuasion “I’ll do it myself” genre then let’s continue on.
Before you begin pressure washing your deck make sure all and I mean all safety rules and regulations are in observance. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to operating their equipment. If you’re unfamiliar with the correct way of operating the pressure washer then don’t hesitate to ask the rental personnel for assistance…and if they can’t assist you call the manufacturer and speak to a representative there that can help you. Pressure washers can be a deadly weapon that maim and destroy life within a blink of an eye. So make sure you get all the information and instructions on how to operate the pressure washer safely and correctly.