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Why Spring is the Best Time to Clean Cedar Decking or Fencing

Spring BlossomsYou spring clean every nook and cranny in your home, but what about your outdoor living area? If your cedar decking and fencing is looking dingy, cleaning is the best way to recover its original brightness. One day of solid cleaning can augment year-round enjoyment of your cedar deck or cedar fence. Beaverton and Portland deck owners who would prefer to skip this day of maintenance can call on us for our deck resurfacing service.

Why is spring the perfect time to wash cedar decking and fencing? Because the temperatures are less extreme at this time of year. In the dog days of summer, cleaning puts more stress on the wood of your fence or deck. When heat bears down on wet wood, more damage is caused. In contrast, the cool days of spring are perfect for deck cleaning, since the lower temperatures will cause less extreme expansion in the wood of your cedar fence. Beaverton and Tigard homeowners can think of deck and fence cleaning as one more home maintenance task that should be included in their annual spring cleaning.

Cedar Decking and Fencing: Cleaning 101

1. Mix commercial fence and deck brightener with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Brighteners clean the deck while also removing mildew and mold. We suggest using an oxygenated bleach cleaner, since chlorine bleach brighteners are rough on wood and can cause lasting damage.

2. Apply brightener to cedar decking or fence, also per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

3. Wait for a few minutes until the brightener settles in and you can actually detect a lighter color coming out in the wood.

4. Rinse away the brightener using a pressure washer or a soft scrub brush and garden hose. Beware that this step can cause damage if the pressure washer is used on an excessively high pressure setting. Be sure to select a lower pressure setting, with a wide fan spray, and keep the nozzle about 12 inches away from the surface of the deck. If you are concerned that a pressure washer may cause damage (and they often do, when improperly used), consider using a garden hose instead to rinse the brightener off of your cedar decking or fence.

5. Extra rounds of cleaning may be necessary for especially stubborn grayness. If the deck or fence still doesn’t look clean, try sanding it down with an orbital sander.

6. Reseal cedar fence or deck with semi-transparent stain to protect the wood, preserve strength and prevent more graying down the road.

A seal will last for about three years in average sun conditions. That means you’ll have three whole years to enjoy the fruit of your cleaning labor. Or, if you’d rather enjoy a clean, bright deck without all the work, let us resurface your cedar decking for you. We often list these specials in our bi-monthly sales flier; you can also sign up to receive notices about our decking and fencing sales here.


[ Photo by: jnyemb, via CC License ]

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