After a long summer that you hopefully got to spend lots of time in your outdoor spaces, now is the time to clean up around your home and get everything in good shape before the winter comes. Not only does the fall cleaning help your home look nice after the rain and heat of summer, but it can also help you in finding issues or damage that you’ll need to take care of as you winterize your home. Some areas that often need particular attention are the patios and decks.
Part of the reason for this is that most people use their patios and decks more in the summer than any other time of year. Various spills, grease spills from grilling, and assorted other messes can end up on the wood, while changes in weather can encourage the growth of things like algae and mildew. Knowing how to effectively clean these stains and other issues will not only make your space look better but can also result in them lasting significantly longer without needing repairs.
Deck Stain Removal
Effectively cleaning the various stains that occur on your deck or patio become easier when you know the source of the stain. Grease stains, sauces, and similar spills can usually be cleaned with a stiff-bristled brush and washing the area throughly before it starts drying again. Dish soap is a great way to remove stains from decomposing leaves if you allow it to sit 10 – 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing the stains away.
Other types of staining may require different solutions. Rust may need a soak of water and white vinegar or even a specialized acid cleaner to remove the discoloration. Tree sap can also be stubborn and difficult to remove, often needing dedicated deck or patio cleaners like liquid oil soap cleaners. Some stone patios may also require specific cleaners that won’t damage the type of brick of stone that’s used as well.
Dealing with Algae, Moss and Mildew
Discoloration caused by algae, mildew, moss and mold are usually a bigger problem that other stains, even though the other stains may be more common. The problem with algae, mold and similar growths is that they can cause damage to the wood or stone of your patio or deck and should be dealt with as soon as possible. Some growths like moss can be removed with soap, water and a stiff bristled brush, but things like algae and mold typically require a bit more.
Because these grow into the wood or stone and thrive in moist environments, you’ll need a cleaner that can actually kill them and prevent them from coming back. In some cases, a bleach/water mixture will do the trick, combined with some scrubbing and general cleaning afterward. Special deck and patio washes are also available and are formulated to kill mildew, mold and algae, helping to ensure that you take care of the problem without having to try out different DIY mixtures.
If you haven’t had much luck getting your deck or patio clean or simply don’t have the time to do it, there are professionals available to help get the job done for you. They typically use cleaners that are designed for the types of cleanup you need and may use additional tools such as a power wash sprayer to get into all the spaces that are hard to reach with a brush or broom. Depending on the service, they may apply new sealants or other protectants after your deck or patio is clean as well to help you weather the winter unscathed. If you need a professional to help with your patio or deck, please give us a call. We want to be your resource for all things real estate.