Outdoor wooden decking is not the usual backyard solution for the average UK home due to a number of reasons – first and foremost weather – Britain is not the ideal backyard fun nation and we all know that so a patio is the more common alternative. Secondly the average UK home (at least in urbanised parts of the country) is not as large as the houses in places like Australia, New Zealand and North America where a wooden backyard decking might make more sense. However, if you do have some sort of decking as part of your property, then chances are you would like to keep it looking and feeling better for longer. Deck maintenance and reconditioning is a specific procedure usually carried out by commercial painters, this article however is about cleaning the decking, not restoring it. To some extent the cleaning process for the decking overlaps the cleaning process for the patio.
The necessary tools
For a quick and easy decking clean-up, organise and equip yourself with the following things:
- Oxygenated bleach, household grade product, nothing stronger;
- A decent sized spray bottle which works properly;
- Sturdy, sufficiently sized stiff bristle brush – don’t go for a steel brush;
- A scraper and a butter knife (or similar bladed tool);
- Access to the garden tap/hose or go with a jet wash if you have one and can use it safely;
Cleaning a decking involves a certain amount of common sense, so the below instructions are kept basic as possible in order to spare you the ‘captain-obvious’ advice.
- First up – clear the entire deck of all furniture, pot plants or whatever else there may be, like said – common sense.
- Scrape off any mould/moss and other organic growth (which might be plentiful depending on when the deck was last cleaned) using the scraper.
- Perform the same exercise between the deck planks, this time though use the butter knife (or the similar bladed tool from the list above), careful not to scratch or chip the planks while doing so. Obviously sweep all the growth you scraped off the decking.
- Next prepare the cleaning solution – since you are using oxygen bleach consult with the manufacturer’s instructions on the label and always keep the bleach solution away from garden plants, including the lawn.
- Fill up the spray bottle with cleaning solution and apply evenly across the entire deck surface. Be generous as long as the bleach ends up where it should and not on your rose bush or the neighbours’ washing.
- Leave the cleaning product (bleach or other) on the deck for as long as the label instructs, then put on some decent rubber gloves and scrub away any stains and small bits and pieces which the scraper missed.
- Once satisfied with the results, use your jet wash or garden hose nozzle to rinse thoroughly the deck off any leftover cleaning solution and grime.
If you have recently moved to a house with backyard deck which needs proper cleaning, one of the quickest and easiest way to deal with the situation is to call back your movers – how come? Well most removal companies like do offer professional cleaning treatments in combination with their moving solutions and quite often the rates are much more bearable than the dedicated cleaning companies.