How to Choose the Best Decking Material for Seattle Houses?

How to Choose the Best Decking Material for Seattle Houses?

I. How to Clean and Treat Stains on a Wood Deck

With the cost of timber increasing, it’s more vital than ever to keep your deck clean and stain-free.

1. Why Do You Need to Clean Your Deck?

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A deck may acquire permanent stains, splinters, and even mold and mildew if it is not properly maintained. Because wood is a porous material, it expands and contracts in response to changes in temperature. And with time, this expansion allows dirt and filth to work their way deep into the wood. Your wood deck may also distort and decay more quickly as a result of the dirt. Decks that have rotted are also unsafe. Fortunately, frequent cleaning will alert you if your deck is beginning to show signs of wear.ch are more technical.

How Do You Clean A Wood Deck?

Set aside a sunny afternoon to clean your home’s wood deck, whether you use a power washer or not.

Equipment and Materials You’ll Need:

  • A broom
  • Tarps to cover items below the deck
  • Bucket
  • Stiff scrub brush
  • Garden hose
  • Oxygenated bleach (Oxyclean is one brand)
  • Power washer (optional)

Inspect and Sweep

1. Remove everything off the deck and inspect it. This includes things like chairs, planters, barbecues, and toys. If you can’t get everything off, work in two sections, moving objects to one side of the deck while you work on the other.

2. Examine the building. Clean the external walls of the home where the deck is attached with your broom. Examine the flashing and ledger where your deck and house are attached. Replace any screws that have become loose with new decking screws if you notice them. If you see decay, a professional contractor may be able to rebuild only the affected area.

3. Remove any cobwebs or other debris from your deck’s railing with the broom first. Sweep the top of the deck after that. If the deck is on the second floor and you have access to it, clean the underside to remove debris that will gather moisture.

2. Getting Rid of Stains on Your Deck

1. Layout the tarps. Although the deck-cleaning solution you’ll use is safe for plants, you might not want it to go on other items around your deck, such as your grill or outdoor toys. If you like, you may cover them with tarps.

2. Create this deck-cleaning solution on your own. Stir 1 cup oxygenated bleach into 2 gallons boiling water in a bucket until thoroughly dissolved. Spread the cleaner on your deck in parts and leave it to settle for 5 minutes. As it works on the spots, it may bubble a little. Scrub the surface with the scrub brush, then rinse and go on to the next. Rep on the rails, stairwells, and so forth.

3. Rinse once more. Rinse your deck from top to bottom, including the rails, surface, and steps, once you’ve finished cleaning everything. Rinse any tarps you used to cover adjacent things so they don’t have a layer of filth on them after they dry.

4. Allow it to dry. Remove all items from your deck until it is totally dry. Because damp wood is brittle, lifting heavy furniture or grills might damage it. Putting things like outdoor rugs or chairs on damp wood can also lead to mold growth.

3. How to Clean Your Deck Using Power Washing

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Follow these procedures to powerwash your deck when there isn’t going to be any rain or freezing weather for at least a week. Because pressure washing penetrates your deck’s surfaces deeper than a hose, the wood will take longer to dry.

1. Start by cleaning and sweeping it. Perform the procedures above to examine and clean your deck before power washing.

2. It is preferable to have lower pressure. As it blasts away dust and discoloration, a power washer can make a worn deck seem new. However, too much pressure might harm your deck, so keep it under 1500 pounds per square inch.

3. Strokes that are constant and overlapping. If you’re not careful, even a 1500 lbs/psi setting can harm soft or composite wood. Don’t keep the power washer aimed at the same place for too long. Starting where the deck meets your house and going outward, use overlapping long, sweeping strokes.

4. Maintain a safe distance. Work in the direction of the wood grain with the pressure washer nozzle at least three feet away from the deck surface. To clean railings, lower the pressure to 1000 lbs/psi and spray them in overlapping rapid vertical strokes from a distance of at least three feet.

5. Remove any standing water with a sweeping motion. After you’ve finished power washing your deck, brush any remaining water puddles with a broom. This will aid in the drying of your deck and the reduction of splintering. Allow at least two full days for your deck to dry before reinstalling furniture or outdoor rugs.

4. In a few simple steps, learn how to clean your filthy deck using a pressure washer.

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Step 1: Take precautions.

First and foremost, consider your safety. Due to the high-pressure water streams produced by pressure washers, they can be hazardous to both you and your surfaces. Before you begin, keep the following safety recommendations in mind:

  • Never touch the spray from a power washer. Also, don’t direct it towards children or pets. Plants can be harmed as well, so exercise caution when spraying near flower beds and other landscaping.
  • Wear safety equipment. Shorts and flip-flops are not permitted. Safety goggles, work gloves, enclosed shoes (ideally steel-toed boots), ear protection (particularly with gas power washers), and trousers are all recommended.
  • There will be no ladders! Pressure washers can cause significant kickback, which might result in a dangerous fall. Instead, use extension wands to reach high spots. Alternatively, hire a professional cleaning.

Step 2: Set up your workspace

  • Remove everything off the deck, including furniture, barbecues, toys, plants, and other delicate items. Remove any loose dirt and debris, such as leaves and sticks, with a sweeping motion. Set-in dirt is much easier to notice, so you may focus on those areas while washing.
  • Close your windows and cover outside lights and vents. To protect surrounding plants and shrubs from the soap, drape a tarp over them
  • Look for any protruding nails, depending on how old or worn your deck is. They can be tripping hazards, cause foot injuries, and worsen wood warping. It’s the ideal moment to re-establish them. A drift pin (between $5 and $20) may be purchased at a hardware store. It’s a cylinder-shaped blunt instrument that allows you to hammer nails into the wood without causing dents. Simply place the pin over the nail and hammer it in place.

Step 3: Scrub down the wood

  • Isn’t that supposed to be the duty of the pressure washer? In a nutshell, yes and no. It depends on the state of the deck. You may generally skip this step if there is no mildew, tree sap, or other embedded dirt. It’s time to scrub your deck if it’s filthy.
  • To the pressure washer soap dispenser, add a deck cleaner. Make sure the cleaning you’re using is safe for your wood. Change the nozzle or setting on your power washer to a soaping nozzle or setting. Spray the cleaner all over the deck after turning on the machine. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to loosen the dirt, but do not allow it to dry
  • To remove the dirt, use a stiff synthetic long-handled scrub brush, paying extra attention to corners and other hard-to-reach places. For narrow places, smaller brushes may be required.

Step 4: Give the deck a thorough cleaning.

  • Change to a nozzle with a wide-angle (40–60 degree) nozzle. Anything more powerful will harm the wood. Spray from around 2 feet away from the deck surface. As required, move closer, but no closer than 6 inches from the surface.
  • Begin sweeping at the side of the deck nearest to the house and work your way outward. To hide the sweep markings, overlap each spray stroke. Make your way along the length of each board (with the grain). This will perform a better job of eliminating any cleaning residue, preventing the wood from deteriorating.
  • For consistent results, keep the distance between the nozzle and the deck surface the same. To prevent pushing dirt into corners, work from the inside outward.

Step 5: Sanding and staining

  • Allow 24–48 hours for the wood to dry. You should sand the deck with 60 to 80 grit sandpaper or an orbital sander before resealing it. Sweep away any wood dust, then apply the stain according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

II. Painting, Sealing, and Maintenance

Sweep your deck throughout the year to ensure that fallen leaves and other debris do not retain moisture, which might cause your deck to decay or mold. If you live in a snowy location, as you shovel the driveway, you should also shovel the snow off of your deck. Allowing snow to accumulate on your deck adds a significant amount of weight, and the melting snow can cause your deck’s wood to distort.

If you want to seal or paint your deck, you need first to clean it thoroughly with one or both of these procedures. Allow for at least a week of drying time before adding surface treatments. Sprinkle a quarter cup of water on the wood to see whether it’s dry enough for sealant. The deck is dry enough if it absorbs the water after 5-10 minutes. If the droplets remain on the surface for any longer, the wood is still moist.

When you’re ready to reseal, apply the sealer or paint with a pad or foam roller. Deep cleaning and sealing once a year is sufficient for most decks. If you wait more than three years to reapply sealant, the wood on your deck may begin to distort and break.

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