A wooden deck can expand the usable living space of your home. Since a deck can be a sizeable investment, regular maintenance is recommended to keep your deck healthy and strong for many years of use. There are simple steps homeowners can undertake themselves. It is recommended that you clean and seal your wood every two years. If your previous application of sealer continues to bead water, cleaning and sealing may be postponed. The best time of year to do this is the summer.
* Application tools (sprayer, roller, or mop)
* Scrubbing brushes
* Cleaning chemicals (a specific deck wash or a bleach/water [50/50] solution)
* Gloves and eye protection
Cleaning and Sealing the deck
* Begin by removing furniture and plants from the deck
* Use a pump-up sprayer (best method) to apply the deckwash or bleach solution. Generously coat all areas.
* Continually reapply the solution to keep the area wet while you let the chemicals do their job (10-15 minutes).
* Use a scrub-mop or brush on any areas that are particularly moldy or mildewed.
* After 10-25 minutes, thoroughly rinse the solution. Make sure to do this several times to completely dilute the solution, preventing any plant damage.
* Wait 24-48 hours for the deck to dry.
* Apply a sealer once the wood is completely dry. (In the case of a new pressure treated wooden deck, wait at least 30 days for the wood to dry. A sealant will not adhere to “green” wood).
* For quick and easy results, use a pump-up sprayer*, although a mop or brush can also be used to apply the sealer. Wait at least 24 hours to test the surface. If it is dry and beads water, it is ready for use. If needed, another coat of sealer can be applied at this time.
*Make sure any previous chemicals are thoroughly cleaned out of it. The mixing of household chemicals can create toxic fumes.