Deck cleaning can be a daunting task; many homeowners are unsure of the best way to accomplish this often-time-consuming task and then simply avoid doing it altogether. A home improvement program on television show a homeowner completing a deck washing project with no problems-and quickly too. However, is this real life or just a fantasy on television? Just a made-for-TV idealistic vision that rarely holds true, unfortunately.
Unless you are a trained professional in deck washing, you may want to think again about dragging out the power washer and going to town cleaning your wood deck. Often, high-pressure streams of water can erode the soft, light-colored wood found between the darker bands of wood grain in lumber. When the water breaks down and washes away the soft wood, the remains are splintery and sharp, sometimes leading to cuts and gashes.
Never use chlorine bleach for deck cleaning, even though it may be found in commercial deck cleaning products. Typically listed as sodium hypochlorite, the chlorine bleach does just that – bleaches out the wood, demolishes the natural glue – lignin – that holds the wood fibers together, kills any surrounding landscaping and usually corrodes the metal fasteners and any components that bind your deck together.
Try instead products that utilize oxygen bleach. This is a product that is mixed with water and releases non-toxic oxygen ions that kill mildew and algae, while removing surface dirt, grime, and stains. The oxygen bleach is not harmful to you, your family, your pets, or your precious landscaping you work so hard to maintain each year.
The foaming action of the oxygen bleach can be applied liberally, and then is simply scrubbed away with a brush or push broom. Rinse the cleaner and dirt away with your garden hose and your deck cleaning project is done.