How to Clean a Wood Deck

How to Clean a Wood Deck

Learn how to clean your wood deck to keep it looking like new.

Wooden decks, despite the rise of composite decking, remain a highly popular choice when it comes to decking materials. Wood is a beautiful, natural material for outdoor living spaces. Even though composite decks are generally lower maintenance, nothing quite beats the look and feel of wood. Also, no type of deck will ultimately be maintenance-free. Whether wood or composite, your deck will need some routine TLC. Cleaning your wood deck is the minimum you will need to do to keep it as pristine as when it was first installed.

Remove Items From Deck

The first thing you will need to do to clean the deck properly is to remove everything from its surface. This way the cleaning will get to every inch. If you have plants around your deck, it is recommended to cover these with a tarp for protection.

Remove Debris

Take a good old broom and sweep excess dirt, leaves, and other debris from off the deck. If there is dirt between the boards, you can use a scraper or screwdriver to get between the cracks.


For just a light cleaning, a simple spray-down with your garden hose can work just fine to wash the dirt off your deck. You will want a deck cleaning product, either bought or homemade, and follow the directions for the cleaning product if purchased. While some forms of bleach are okay to use, like oxygen bleach, chlorine bleach is a big no-no when it comes to washing wood. Chlorine bleach will literally bleach and disintegrate the wood over time. 

You can apply the washing solution either with a stiff-bristled painting brush or a paint roller. After letting the solution soak into the wood for a period of time (as instructed), you can then rinse it off with a power-washer. Just make sure to not turn the settings too high so that the wood won’t be damaged.

Apply Sealer

Before you seal the deck, you’ll want to lightly sand it to get rid of any imperfections. Then, it is best to apply the sealer in one or two light coats. This is better than one heavy coat. Even though pressure-treated wood and even the wood itself (like cedar) will resist rot, termites, etc., sealing the wood once a year will give it an extra dosage of protection against the elements.

When to Clean the Deck

It is best to clean the deck on a dry, cool day, preferably when it’s cloudy. The fall is an excellent time of year to clean your wood deck. However, cleaning and sealing the deck will be a two-day job. Also, make sure that the deck is totally dry before replacing furniture, etc. on the deck and enjoying your outdoor space once more.

Call Mid-Atlantic Deck & Fence For Your New Deck in 2019!

Mid-Atlantic Deck & Fence has almost 30 years of experience in building beautiful custom fences, gazebos, screened-in porches, and decks throughout the state of Maryland. We have the expertise to design your dream fence or custom deck and have it installed in a headache-free process. Give us a call at 1-800-833-9310 or visit us online for a quote today! We offer many different styles of fencing and decking, in addition to custom options designed specifically to suit your preferences and tastes. To see examples of our work and get more tips on how to choose the right decking for your family, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Houzz, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

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