If you and your family enjoy long, warm days and evenings out on your deck, you will want to keep your deck clean and free of debris, dirt and mildew. A clean deck is better prepared to stand up against the elements. The wood will be safe and less susceptible to breaking when it is clean. You can keep the deck clean with regular maintenance.
Sweep the deck every few days. Especially after a storm or an event when your deck gets heavy use, use the broom to whisk away any dust and debris. Pay particular attention to leaves and trash that have wedged into corners and cracks. This debris can breed moisture if left unchecked. The moisture is a breeding ground for mildew, mold and rot.
Wear gloves to protect your hands.
Fill a bucket with one part bleach, three parts water and three tbsp. laundry detergent. Pour two cups at a time onto the deck and scrub with the deck brush, which you can find at hardware stores. Once you have scrubbed one area, move onto the next until you have scrubbed the entire deck. Spray the deck with the garden hose to rinse. Without rinsing it off, the cleaning mixture can eat the stain or wood.
Set up a power washer and give your deck a thorough washing once or twice a year. Spray the deck, concentrating on removing dirt and buildup. Use the power washer’s lowest and widest spray modes. Don’t concentrate a harsh spray to any one area as this can destroy the finish. Fan the sprayer at an angle across the deck, always moving right to left. Don’t stay in any one area too long.