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Essential Tips for Cleaning and Preserving Wooden Decking

Cleaning Wooden Decking: How to Clean Wooden Decking Quickly and Easily

A patio offers numerous advantages, especially during the summer months. It serves as a retreat to relax and soak up the sun, or as a space to gather and enjoy the company of friends and family. Wooden decking is particularly popular due to its warm, natural appearance, transforming outdoor areas into cozy living spaces. However, unlike concrete or stone, wood can be sensitive and requires regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it looking its best. Here are some tips on how to clean and maintain your wooden decking effectively.

When Should Wooden Decking Be Cleaned?

Outdoor areas, whether made of wood, stone, or concrete, are exposed to various weather conditions. Wind, rain, and sunlight can all take a toll on a wooden deck. Persistent moisture during autumn and winter can make the wood porous, while summer activities can lead to scratches, cracks, stains, and discoloration. For optimal care, it’s recommended to do a basic cleaning twice a year—once at the start of the gardening season in spring and again in autumn to prepare for winter. Always clean your wooden deck in dry weather to ensure it can dry thoroughly afterwards.

Why Regular Cleaning is Important

Regularly cleaning your wooden decking offers several benefits:

  • Reduces or prevents greying
  • Maintains the wooden patio’s appearance
  • Removes green deposits such as moss
  • Eliminates slippery spots
  • Prevents waterlogging or damp spots caused by dirt accumulation
  • Inhibits the growth of harmful fungi

Preparations Before Cleaning

Before you start cleaning, remove all garden furniture and planters to access every corner of the patio. Sweep the entire area with a broom to remove leaves and debris. A battery-powered leaf blower can speed up this process. Ensure the deck is completely dry before replacing any furniture, using the drying time to clean the furniture as well.

Best Ways to Clean Wooden Decking

Basic Cleaning for Light Soiling

For light soiling, such as leaves or minor green deposits, manual cleaning is usually sufficient. You’ll need:

  • A broom with strong bristles or a hand brush
  • Warm water
  • Soap

Scrub the decking with these tools to remove dirt effectively.

Cleaning Stubborn Deposits

For more stubborn deposits, a patio cleaner with roller brushes for wooden surfaces is ideal. This tool cleans gently yet powerfully, using minimal water. The brush rollers loosen dirt, while water nozzles rinse it away. Adjust the water supply via a valve based on the degree of soiling. This method is effective for both wood and smooth stone surfaces, thanks to interchangeable brushes.

Tip: Hold the patio cleaner at a shallow angle, close to the ground, to reduce the effort needed.

Using a Pressure Washer

A pressure washer can also be used to clean wooden decking, but it must be used with the right settings and accessories due to wood’s delicate nature. Here’s how:

  1. Apply Cleaning Agent: Use a wood cleaner with UV protection and natural wax. Apply it with a Vario-Power jet pipe, let it sit for 2-5 minutes.
  2. Scrub the Decking: Attach a power scrubber to the pressure washer. Scrub in the direction of the grain, using the fine bristles to clean grooves.
  3. Reapply Cleaner: For added protection, reapply the wood cleaner using the jet pipe and flat jet nozzle.
  4. Rinse Off: Rinse the deck with the flat spray nozzle, keeping a 30 cm distance from the surface.

For a gentle clean, use a surface cleaner with an integrated rinsing function.

Removing Coarse Dirt and Grey Discoloration

Coarse stains and grey discoloration from weather and use are inevitable. Spray the deck with water, then scrub with a broom or hand brush. For grey discoloration, use a special wood cleaner, leaving it on for several hours before rinsing with clean water.

Removing Green Deposits

Green deposits from moss can make decking slippery. A mixture of warm water, cornstarch, and bicarbonate of soda can effectively remove moss. Apply the paste to the deck, scrub, and rinse thoroughly.

Other Home Remedies

Diluted washing-up liquid or liquid soap can help with simple stains. Apply, scrub with a brush or broom, and rinse with clean water.

Maintaining Wooden Decking with Oil

To protect the wood and seal it against future dirt and moisture, apply a special wood oil after cleaning. This helps retain the wood’s color and seals cracks. Some wood cleaners already include protective components, negating the need for additional oil treatment.

By following these steps, you can keep your wooden decking clean and well-maintained, ensuring it remains a beautiful and functional part of your outdoor living space.

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