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Deck Cleaning

Deck Cleaning2019-06-21T09:48:31-05:00

Cleaning Your Deck

To maintain the look and finish of your Blue Chip Deck, regular cleaning is always recommended. From decks built of all-natural wood products to low-maintenance composite decking, all projects will require regular cleaning to ensure your Blue Chip Deck looks great for decades.

Deck cleaning is not a major chore, but it is essential for maintaining your Blue Chip Deck and protecting your investment. If done semi-regularly, cleaning your deck is not an especially time-consuming task and can be completed in a few hours.

Recommended Tool

Except for a pressure washer, the tools required for a good old-fashioned deck cleaning are common household cleaning items such as:

  • Soft cloth
  • Pailfor water
  • Stiff natural fiber deck brush
  • Medium nylon bristle brush (for stubborn stains)
  • Melamine foam sponge (e.g. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser)
  • Floor Squeegee
  • Pressure washer*

*Please exercise extreme caution when using any kind of pressure washer (especially gas powered), as it can damage your deck’s finish. NOTE: Do not use any nozzle with a spray angle lesser than 25 degrees or a pressure washer that exceeds a spray pressure of 3100 psi.

Deck Cleaners and All-Purpose Cleaners

We recommend avoiding the use of any harsh chemicals to prevent discoloration and staining of your deck’s finish. It is preferred to start with mild cleaner such as a mixture of warm water and dish detergent (e.g. Dawn Ultra).

For stubborn stains, an all-purpose cleaner (diluted by AT LEAST 50%) such as Fantastik, Mr. Clean Cleaner, and Simple Green are safe options.

Blue Chip Tech Tip: Test any prospective all-purpose cleaner on a piece of scrap decking or on a small, inconspicuous area of your deck to make sure your deck’s finish is not damaged. Allow test cleaning area to set for 24 hours.

Please read your decking manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly before using any cleaning product.  

Deck Cleaners and All-Purpose Cleaners

Start by removing all non-permanent deck items such as patio furniture, mats, barbeques, etc. This makes the cleaning process much easier and yields much better results. Clear any loose dirt or debris off your deck with a garden hose or broom.

Cleaning Your Deck with a Pressure Washer

SOAK

It’s time to get wet! For the initial soak the goal is to gently move the dirt and water AWAY from your house. Start by lightly washing your deck at your house while gradually moving away, finishing towards the back of your yard.

SUDS

It’s time to make some bubbles! Some pressure washer cleaners will need to be applied directly to the deck, others will be poured into the pressure washer’s soap reservoir.

Wash each board individually, moving the pressure washer in the direction of the grain pattern to avoid damaging the surface of the board. Hold the nozzle at a consistent height and overlap areas previously washed every time you ‘sweep’ the pressure washer. Try to break up the deck area into sections and wash systematically to prevent areas from drying before being thoroughly rinsed. Film and soap scum will occur on a deck surface that is not thoroughly rinsed.

Blue Chip Tech Tip: When pressure washing, use only a fan-tip nozzle with a spray angle of at least 25-degrees. Do NOT exceed a spray pressure of 3100 psi. Keep spray-nozzle at least 8” from the deck surface.

RINSE

When cleaning a deck, the rinse cycle is key! Maintain an even spray pattern and thoroughly rinse all deck components. Focus on the deck boards themselves – soap residue accumulates here! After the deck is rinsed, try to remove any standing water with a floor squeegee or a push broom. Removing standing water will help reduce water spots and soap residue.

Blue Chip Tech Tip: To decrease water spots, avoid rinsing your deck with hard water. Dark colored composite decks are particularly sensitive to water residue.

Cleaning Your Deck without a Pressure Washer

A pressure washer makes cleaning your Blue Chip Deck a breeze, but you can obtain the same results with a simple deck brush, some cleaner and a garden hose.

SOAK

The trusty garden hose to the rescue! A simple garden hose with a pressure fitting is a great way to get your Blue Chip Deck sparkling. Again, for the initial soak the goal is to gently move the dirt and water AWAY from your house. Start by lightly washing your deck at your house while gradually moving away, finishing towards the back of your yard.

SCRUB and SUDS

Wet a deck brush with your diluted cleaning solution. Pour some diluted cleaning solution directly on your deck boards and scrub in the same direction as the decking pattern (clean with the grain). For especially stubborn stains, you may lightly brush perpendicular to the grain. A melamine foam sponge is also very effective in removing stubborn stains and for spot treatment.

Blue Chip Tech Tip: When purchasing a deck brush or broom for scrubbing, opt for a brush with a solid wood handle. Cheap handles break easily when scrubbing down a deck surface.

RINSE

After scrubbing down your deck make sure to RINSE IT THOROUGHLY! Once you feel that you have adequately rinsed your Blue Chip Deck, please rinse it some more! Even small amounts of dirty water left to dry will leave a light film on the deck surface. After the deck is rinsed, try to remove any standing water with a floor squeegee or a push broom. Removing standing water will help reduce water spots and soap residue.

Blue Chip Tech Tip: To decrease water spots, avoid rinsing your deck with hard water. Dark colored composite decks are particularly sensitive to water residue.

Maintenance and Care

Apart from the occasional cleaning, there are a few other tips and considerations that will help to keep your Blue Chip Deck in tip-top shape!

Food spills and Grease

To maintain the best look for your Blue Chip Deck, oil and grease stains need to be cleaned up as soon as possible. This is especially important if your decking is in direct contact with greasy or fatty foods and/or barbeque residues.

Blue Chip Tech Tip: Make sure your BBQ is in good working order and has an effective grease catcher at the bottom of the grill body. Make sure the grease catcher is cleaned regularly!

Natural Organics

While the newest generation of composite decking is mold/mildew resistant, organic debris such as leaves, branches and tree seeds should be regularly removed from the deck surface and in between the deck boards to prevent any discoloration or possible long-term growth.

Deck Accessories

Accessorizing a deck is great way to create a dream outdoor living space. However, there are a few accessories that will need a little extra attention.

Blue Chip Decks does not recommend placing any thick plastics or rubber materials directly on your composite or PVC deck for an extended period of time (approx. 1 to 2 weeks). The plasticizing solvents in these materials may slowly seep out and discolor or fade your deck’s surface. Products to avoid placing directly on a composite deck for extended period of time are:

  • Rubber
  • Latex
  • Vinyl
  • Garden Hoses
  • Inflatable Toys
  • Kiddie Pools

Blue Chip Tech Tip: To further prevent discoloration or uneven fading on the deck surface, rotate furniture, planters, BBQsetc. to different positions on the deck or purchase more natural based (wicker or fiber) deck accessories.

Aerosols

*Warning*

DO NOT USE ANY COMPRESSED AEROSOL SPRAYS OR CLEANING PRODUCTS ON YOUR COMPOSITE DECK. THIS INCLUDES OTHER AEROSOLS SUCH AS MOSQUITO SPRAY AND SPRAY-ON SUNSCREEN.

Spray-on insect repellants and sunscreens contain chemicals that can react negatively with your composite or PVC deck boards. Please avoid spraying or applying these products while on your Blue Chip Deck.

If contamination occurs. Clean the affected area immediately!

A melamine sponge such as a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser has been shown to be effective alternatively a quick wash with a garden hose will also be effective.

Deck Snow Removal

We recommend the use of plastic shovels when clearing snow off your Blue Chip Deck. The use of any type of metal shovel blades, scrapers or rakes will likely cause damage to the deck’s surface. When shoveling, always shovel with the decking pattern.

Deck Ice Removal

Calcium chloride-based ice melting products may be used if they do not contain any colorants or dyes that may stain the deck surface. Calcium chloride will leave a white residue on your deck however, this may be easily and safely rinsed off in spring. Please be aware that sand and/or synthetic abrasives may also harm your deck surface.

*For use of ice-melts and abrasives on composite and PVC decking, please consult the manufacturer for further instructions.

Consult the Manufacturer

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