How To Clean Your Deck After A Long Winter
After a long winter of heavy snow and freezing temperatures, homeowners have an endless list of maintenance and repairs to attack before enjoying the warmer seasons. Those with wooden decks have extra steps to take. If not well-maintained, a wooden deck can be costly and time consuming because of repairs. Barak Brodni, owner of New Again Deck Renewal, recommends routine maintenance to ensure your deck withstands the elements for a long-lasting, like-new appearance for years to come.
Brodni started New Again Deck Renewal in 2008 in Minnetonka. His extensive knowledge and experience with a five-star hotel has helped shape his business practice providing a positive customer experience. The customer is No. 1, Brodni says. Many companies can pressure-wash and work hard, Brodni says, but its the personal attention that counts.
Colleen Szot, a client of Brodnis, has been especially impressed.; In this day and age, it is far too rare to find a service company that takes such pride and care in their business, Szot says.
Brodni encourages his clients to continue regular upkeep, and is happy to be a resource and provide input on how to protect deck wood from common issues. Regular maintenance can make a significant difference in whether or not a deck will need extensive repairs, and small changes can be the key. Our grill is on our deck, and suggested using a grease catcher, Szot says. That alone saved us time and money down the line.
How To Clean Outdoor Teak Wood Furniture
In some severe cases, you should call in the big guns to clean teak. Doing this includes using a commercial cleaner from a store instead of making one yourself at home. While this option is fine to use regularly, it is considered a much more aggressive agent than the other DIY alternatives.
As a result, hold off on using it straight off the bat until youve exhausted all other options. Some of the best brands to look for include Star Brites Teak Cleaner and Iossos teak cleaning products. One particular ingredient to look out for when choosing the right type of cleaner is oxalic acid.
This chemical also acts as a rust remover and is highly effective at removing stains from wood. When cleaning or rinsing, avoid using a pressure washer, as this may also damage the wood.
Cleaning Your Deck Without Using Chemicals
The first step to restoring your deck is to clean it, so it can absorb a new finish. Traditional cleaners such as Clorox and TSP arent at the top of the list for environmentally friendly products.
This is for good reason. Sodium hypochlorite produces dioxin and TSP releases phosphates into our rivers and streams. You may be wondering what you can use to get your deck clean if you cant use these common cleaners or one of the commercial deck brighteners.
You may be surprised at how easy it is to clean your deck with environmentally friendly ingredients. Some of these cleaners are probably already in your kitchen.
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How To Remove Green Algae From A Wood Deck
Green algae is an unsightly yet common eyesore that can build up on your deck over time. If your deck is looking green after a long summer of humid weather or winter snowfall, read on to learn the best ways to clean it off and prevent regrowth.;
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And how do you tell it apart from moss, mold, and mildew?;
Algae is a slimy, green film that grows on wood in wet, dark conditions. Moss is also green and grows in similar conditions, but is soft and fuzzy to the touch. Mold is a fungus that appears on wood as greenish-black streaks. Untreated, mold spores can pose a health risk to people and pets when inhaled.
While algae, moss, and mold are different, they are all equally harmful to your deck and should be treated right away.;
Wash Your Furniture With Warm Soapy Water
Start with a gentle clean
When it comes to cleaning your outdoor wooden furniture, start gently. For teak especially, ‘The best way to remove dirt, moss and lichen is to use mild soapy water and plenty of elbow grease,’ says Peter Tyrie, Managing Director of Barlow Tyrie.
Peter adds that it’s better to avoid using strong chemicals, as this can damage the finish of the wood and impact its visual appeal. However, if you feel more comfortable using a ready-made product, there are lots of wood-friendly cleansers available to buy. Just use in conjunction with a soft cloth to wipe away grime, as The Home Depot explains in their video on patio furniture. But, check the instructions on the label before you begin. It’s also a good idea to test new products in an inconspicuous area of your furniture first, to make sure it won’t effect the overall look.
If you’re tempted to speed things up and are already reaching for the best pressure washer, you might want to reconsider. ‘Youll find video after video on the internet of members of the public recommending the use of a jet washer to clean teak and other wooden furniture. We cannot stress enough that this is not recommended,’ says Peter Tyrie.
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How To Clean Outdoor Patio Screens
Well, if you seem your outdoor patio screen is ugly and disgusting, now is the time to clean it up and make it glow like ever before. Im sure thats one of the reasons why you searched how to clean outdoor patio screens. Dont worry, we have all the tips that you need to get started with cleaning your patio screen enclosure.;
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Patio screens are lifesavers during the spring period. Instead of taking a walk outside your house, you can just decide to enjoy the warm breeze by simply sitting down on your cushion in the patio. Its that convenient and quite fascinating to enjoy the outdoor view.;
Backyard Paver Patio With Garden Accessories
Garden Backyard Paver Patio with Chairs Umbrella Plants Pots Trees and Decoration
Patios take a beating over the years. You keep the floors of you house clean, so keep your patio clean as well. Spring is a good time to clean so youre ready for peak patio season. Heres how to clean a cement patio.;
Move plants, furniture and other accessories off the patio. Sweep the surface to remove dirt and debris. Remove the weeds that may have grown along the edges or between the cracks in the pavers.
For a lightly soiled patio, you can remove dirt with a cleaner and a stiff brush. You can use bleach mixed with water. Add 1/8 cup of liquid dishwashing detergent to the solution and put into a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the surface, let sit for a few minutes and then scrub with a stiff nylon-bristled brush. Dont use a metallic brush because it can leave metal bits on the concrete that rust and stain the patio. If you have flowerbeds surrounding your patio, protect them as well. Bleach will harm the plants. Rinse the bleach off with the hose. Oxygen bleach is a safer option. Dilute with water and spray on the patio, then rinse off. For tough stains, mix;oxygen bleach with water to make a paste the consistency of peanut butter. Apply to stained areas and let sit for an hour. Scrub with a nylon-bristle brush.
You;can also make natural, eco-friendly cleaners from ingredients in your kitchen.;
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Quick Way To Clean Teak Furniture Using Soap
When it comes to performing regular cleaning of your teak furniture, just like when you clean patio wicker furniture, start with the mildest cleaning solution first, as this is usually enough to get the job done.
If cleaned often enough, soap and water are all thats needed to clean a teak table or chair. Clean your patio furniture out of direct sunlight to prevent the cleaning agents from drying too quickly throughout the process and leaving water and soap spots on the furniture.
- 6 drops of dish soap
- 2 cups of water
Start by mixing the water and dish soap in a small bucket. Dunk a soft bristle brush into the soapy water and scrub the surface of the wood. Scrub as much of the dirt and gunk away as possible.
Once finished, use a sprayer or garden hose to rinse off the soap and allow the wood piece to dry. It may take up to about 24 hours for the item to dry completely. If you still notice a few spots or stains after cleaning, repeat the process as necessary.
Keep Bugs Away Naturally
Now that you have this awesome hang out and entertaining space, who needs pesky bugs staking territory?
You can plant citronella or lavender around the yard to repel them.
Mosquitoes also hate the smell of rosemary. If youre barbecuing, throw some on the coals.
Or just keep them away with a mosquito net or gazebo.
When youve finished cleaning the floors, replace furniture and backyard accessories in their rightful spaces and store, donate or toss anything you dont want nor require anymore.
Enjoy! And when you have your first barbecue, let me know. I enjoy steak!
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How To Clean A Deck Or Patio
After taking a beating all winter long, your could use a little tender loving care. Whether you have a wood, vinyl or composite deck, or a concrete or natural stone patio, heres how to spiff it up:
- Clear off furniture and planters;
- Sweep up loose debris;
- Repair any rot or cracks;
- Choose a cleanser made specifically for your type of surface;
- Reseal or refinish, if needed;
- Let dry;
How To Clean Plastic And Hard
Use these tips to remove stains and built-up grime on plastic patio chairs and tables. Make your own mild cleanser by mixing 1/2 cup baking soda mixed with 1-gallon warm water, or 3 tablespoons dishwasher detergent and 1 gallon of warm water. For colored plastic, mix 1/4-cup vinegar with 1 quart of warm water. It’s best to avoid using chlorine and bleach on white plastic furniture because they eat away at the material.
For stubborn stains, dampen a clean rag with white distilled vinegar and wipe down the piece. You can also sprinkle baking soda on a wet sponge to create a mild abrasive that will peel away stains but won’t scratch surfaces. Avoid abrasive cleaners, which will scratch plastic outdoor furniture. After washing your plastic furniture, protect it with a coat of automotive paste wax.
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How To Clean Wood And Wicker Outdoor Furniture
Rescue dull, dirty wood or wicker furniture with these easy cleaning strategies. To remove grime, use a mild oil-base soap, such as Murphy Oil Soap, mixed with warm water. For a DIY cleaning solution, mix 1/4-cup ammonia, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, and 1 quart of warm water. Commercial wood cleaners are also effective for cleaning patio furniture, but be sure to read directions carefully. Wicker and painted woods might require diluting the solution.
To protect your patio furniture, regularly wipe down wood to remove dirt, debris, and excess water. For hardwoods, consider annually sanding and applying a fresh coat of protective finish, such as oil, stain, or a polyurethane coating. Hose down wicker every few weeks to prevent dirt buildup in crevices.
Maintenance Sealing And Painting
Keep your deck swept throughout the year, so fallen leaves and other debris dont trap moisture that can make your deck rot or develop mold. If you live in a snowy area, you should also shovel snow off of your deck whenever you shovel the driveway. Allowing snow to build up adds an enormous amount of weight to your deck, and the melting snow can also cause your decks wood to warp.
If you plan to seal or paint your deck, first give it a deep clean using one or both of these methods. Then, let it dry for at least a week before applying surface treatments. To test whether its dry enough for sealant, sprinkle a quarter cup of water on the wood. If the deck absorbs the water in 5-10 minutes, its dry enough. If the droplets stay on the surface longer than that, the wood is still too wet.When youre ready to reseal, use a pad or foam roller to apply the sealant or paint. For most decks, deep cleaning and sealing once a year is enough. Dont go longer than three years without reapplying sealant, or your decks wood may begin to warp and split.
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Are Sealers And Stains The Same Thing
No, not all sealers include stain.
- Clear sealers are perfectly clear. They do not include stain which allows the wood grain to show.
- Semi-transparent sealers have a light tint. The wood grain will still show, but the tint covers imperfections and gives the deck a uniform appearance.
- Solid stains almost always include a durable and long-lasting sealer. They cover like paint and completely hide the wood grain.
How To Clean Patios And Outdoor Surfaces
- Working Time: 2 – 4 hrs
If you have greenish-black stuff on your concrete patio, it’s probably mold, mildew, or moss. Damp or moist conditions from rain or humidity can encourage mold and mildew to grow in those nooks and cracks of concrete pavers or bricks. It’s important to find a sure way to remove it that won’t destroy nearby landscaping and harm the environment with a blast of harsh chemicals. This method uses natural, super-versatile ingredients in most homes, such as vinegar and Borax. These cleaners should be able to tackle most cases of mold or mildew.
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Tips To Prevent Mold And Mildew On Patio Furniture
Eliminate Moisture: Make sure that there is a positive flow of air. If your patio furniture is placed inside a sunroom or enclosed space, you may want to get a dehumidifier or have a fan blow air out of the room to reduce the amount of moisture in the room.
Sunlight: Dark, damp, and humid conditions are the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. Move your furniture outside of the shade or lower your patio umbrella to allow more sunlight to reach your cushions. Nows the time to trim up that old tree that youve been meaning to get to!
Furniture Covers: If the furniture is placed under a cover, make sure your patio covers have vents and are made of breathable materials like these.
Teak: I wrote a guide on teak furniture here. You should look at this if you want to learn more specifics on mold and mildew as they relate to outdoor teak furniture.
Regular Care and Maintenance: The more often you clean your outdoor furniture, the more likely youll be able to prevent it from popping up again. I recommend light cleaning 3-4 times a year just to keep the cobwebs out.More Tips to Clean Outdoor Furniture:
Remove Water Stains With Heat
Water stains are common in outdoor furniture. If you have teak tables, these spots appear in the form of water rings that develop on the surface over time. Luckily, removing rings from furniture is relatively simple when you apply a little heat to the situation.
The first solution involves using a hairdryer to dry out the excess moisture trapped inside the teak wood. When using this strategy, ensure that the hairdryer is on a low setting and does not directly blow over the surface of the furniture piece.
The second technique available requires the use of an iron. Since too much heat damages the wood, do not press the iron directly onto the furniture.
Instead, lay a soft cloth over the water ring first, then gently apply the iron over the top. Leave the iron over the towel for approximately five seconds at a time. Check beneath the cloth periodically to gauge the progress.
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Rinse Your Wooden Outdoor Furniture
Take your water hose and rinse your table, chairs, etc. with it. Just like I have mentioned before, you do not want your furniture to get dry while the soap is on. So if its really sunny and warm outside, make sure to do this in a shady place or wait until the evening or the next morning to do this. Again you should make sure to get all the soap of.
How To Clean Patio Furniture Cushions
First, you want to check if the covers can be taken off and washed in a washing machine. You can see if they are by checking for buttons or a zipper. If that is the fact for you, just check the label to see how to wash them and get the job done but if they are not then you will have to clean them in another way.
You can clean them yourself in two ways; either with a pressure washer or by hands. If you have a pressure washer, it is always smart to keep your distance .
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Pressure Or Power Washer
In case you’ve never noticed, some people just love their pressure washers. Crank it up and blast it with the pressure washer, and what a thrill it is to watch the paint peel off the facade of your house or the dirt melt from the fence between your house and the neighbor. It’s all that firefighter/action hero stuff re-enacted in your own yard.
If you don’t own a pressure washer or can’t borrow one from a friend or neighbor, they can be rented from a local hardware store, usually by the day. Once you’ve read the instruction manual, start at the center of the deck and direct the spray to both ends, hitting all areas. This should be done prior to applying a cleaner or brightener.
Top brands include: