Spring time has us all longing for those dazzling backyard parties times, food and time spent watching the kids, running through the sprinkler. Before you start sending out the invitations to your first backyard bash of the summer, you might want to know how to wash your patio/deck to get it festivity ready! Your deck or patio has been through a rough winter and entertaining outside is enjoyable. Getting your patio or deck patio/deck ready is one of the 1st steps to savoring your outdoor space. We at Crafty Beaver in Chicago and Skokie can help you get your deck ready for some fun!

Items You May Need:

  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Trash Bags/Recycled yard bags
  • Long handled scrubbing brush with stiff bristles
  • Garden Hose with Sprayer
  • Pressure Washer (optional)
  • Bucket
  • Slender stick or tool
  • Commercial Deck Cleaner (optional)
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Liquid Bleach (optional)
  • Deck Preservative (optional)

Sometimes even though a polished deck/patio can be a elegant, attractive area, it can just as well be a hideous eyesore if the deck, isn’t protected. Most people who own a deck recognizes that it is more inviting when it’s bright and clean. Cleaning your deck will not only provide a natural look, but also help maintain the integrity of the wood, making your deck last longer. It can also polish up the pavers/cement of your patio, if you have one.

Watch this video for additional tips and info:

Step 1 – Remove Any Clutter

First, remove all patio furniture + plants from the space. Sweep up the dirt, leaves, and stick that have made its way onto your outdoor space during the cold months. Collect any large sticks and such and place in trash or yard bags.

Step 2 – De-grime Your Deck or Patio

de-grime deckRinse the full deck or patio with an outdoor hose that has a spray attachment and handle any stains and waxy spots with a wood deck cleaner. Using a stiff broom or scrub brush, give the stains and spots a sizeable scrub and then spray/rinse away any left-over debris.

Tip: If you determine you need to use a pressure washer, it is important that you learn how to do so accurately, an unsuitable style can actually hurt your wood. If you hold the nozzle too closely to the deck, you might gouge the wood, Leave a 6-8 inch space in between the spray nozzle and the deck. Use a sprayer fan nozzle for the perfect effect. If you don’t have a pressure washer, inquire with your local hardware store to see if you can rent or buy one.

Step 3 – Prepare the Suds

Put together a blend of sudsy water using a laundry detergent or read the guide lines on the professional cleaner. Start Applying the solution you are using for the cleaner to the deck or patio. Use a long-handled brush with stiff bristles or a push broom to scrub. Begin at one end of the deck and work your way over the full exterior area. Clean the entire deck with the lawn hose to clear the cleaning soapy compound. (It is not necessary to use a pressure washer at this stage.)

Step 4 – Time to Bleach (if needed)

Bleach parts of the deck or patio that have moss, mildew, or algae growth. They should be cared for with a solution of 1 part bleach and 4 parts water. Pour the mix on the space with spouted growth. If the growth appears recent, allow the solution to sit for about 5 minutes. If the growth appears to have been there for a while, allow the bleach solution to stay for an additional 15 minutes. Use a long handle brush with stiff bristles or push broom to scrub the area. Wash the spots clean and allow to dry.

Sometimes repeating the process is necessary if the spots still remain. It might be best to allow it to thoroughly dry before treating it again. In addition, scrub and cleanse the area for the full time the mix is applied to the area. Once you are satisfied with the cleanliness of your deck or patio, completely rinse it and allow it to altogether dry before applying a sealant. This might take as long as two or three full sunny days.

Tip: Be careful not to squirt the bleach onto your plants, skin, or clothing. Use gloves to protect your hands, especially if you have tender skin. Concentrated bleach might sometimes discolor the wood or surface area, to help that, use an oxygen bleach cleaner to make the cleaning solution.

Step 5 – Time to Re-seal

re-seal deckWant longer lasting results? Purchase a wood sealer for the deck. Be sure to view all of your options. Some sealers might include a waterproofing agent or disinfectant that offers your deck year-round protection. Not sure which kind is best? Stop into Crafty Beaver in Chicago and Skokie and let our service associates help you find the best sealer for your wood deck or patio. Don’t forget to check the label for the correct instructions.

Step 6 – Cleaning Outdoor Furniture

Washing off your patio furniture is a great idea when it comes to preparing your deck/patio for the party season. Separate any cushions or textiles from the chairs and lounges and wash them according to their specific manufacturer’s instructions.

Replace or Restore any outdoor furniture or cushions that are not getting clean, have ripped or are broken. For something different, refresh the face of aged furniture with outdoor spray paint. It’s reasonable and cheap! For all your spring or summer cleaning activities visit us at Crafty Beaver in Chicago and Skokie to ask the pros for advice.

Get your grill out and start the party!