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Give Your Deck a Spring Cleaning

port orford cedar deckThe spring sun may be calling you outdoors, but if you’re like many homeowners, a winter’s worth of moisture and grime has probably made your deck an uninviting place to be. Follow these tips to spruce up your cedar deck for spring:

Surface cleaning

  • Clear all furniture and potted plants off your deck, and cover any nearby shrubs or plants with clear plastic sheeting to protect them from chemicals.
  • Sweep your deck clean of debris, and use a putty scraper to remove any built-up organic matter between the deck boards. If you’re thinking about pressure washing, brush up on the dos and don’ts of pressure washing your deck.
  • To remove any dark stains on your cedar deck, which are usually caused by tannin bleeding, clean the spot with detergent and water. For stubborn stains, use an oxalic acid-based wood cleaner.
  • Tackle mildew with a solution of three quarts water, one quart oxygen bleach and 1/4 cup of ammonia-free liquid dishwasher detergent, suggests the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association. Apply liberally and allow it to set for 10-15 minutes, then rinse the surface clean. On tougher mildew stains, apply the solution with a soft bristle brush.
  • Now is the ideal time to perform a deck safety inspection.
  • After thoroughly cleaning your deck and allowing it 2-3 days to dry completely, reapply deck stain if needed.

Deck accessories

  • Prevent staining from planters and pots by setting them on top of 2″x2″ blocks of cedar. This will allow moisture beneath the plants to evaporate, and the cedar will resist deterioration, rot and decay.
  • Give your deck furniture a good hosing or scrubbing, if needed.
  • Prepare your grill for spring with these easy grill clean-up tips from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association.

Now that the work is done, pour a glass of lemonade and head outside to enjoy the sun!

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One Response to “Give Your Deck a Spring Cleaning”

  1. Dayne says:

    It’s amazing what a good cleaning will do for an old deck. It’s important to steer clear of high pressure cleaning… I’ve seen too many bad pressure cleaning jobs on old decking.

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