Whether it is outside dining or stargazing, your deck or patio contribute greatly to the enjoyment of your outdoor space. For many, just being outside after a busy day not only gives you a refreshing feeling but also a dose of energy from simply being outdoors. Homeowners love their patios for these very reasons and cherish them for their relaxing and private experience. Unfortunately, the luxurious rest you get from your patio (or deck) can be frustrating with a cluttered and dirty space.

Unclutter the Space

Whereas a neat patio or deck can instill a comfortable feeling of a private vacation getaway, a messy patio evokes memories of your grandparents’ garage. To effectively clean your patio, you need to unclutter the space and get a full view of its current condition. Oftentimes, the coffee stains and ugly marks are hidden a few inches away from your patio furniture. Thorough cleaning demands you removing your patio furniture, recycling those dated magazines, and throwing away any trash and clutter that might be in your way. As you move those patio tables and chairs around, spend a few minutes to wipe down dusts and cobwebs to give everything a polished look.

Careful Sweeping

It’s without a doubt that your patio has collected things like twigs, leaves and even pine cones. Begin your cleaning project by sweeping your patio to rid it of dirt, dusts and other unwanted debris. The smart folks over at DIY.com recommend using a push broom to maximize your dust and dirt collection efforts. If there is ice or snow, using a shovel will enable you to effectively remove them without damaging your patio. On the other hand, if the ice or snow is excessive, feel free to try ice-melting products so long as you remember to immediately remove the puddles to avoid incurring unnecessary damages.

Thorough Cleaning

Before you turn on your hose, examine the stains caused by spills, mold and minerals. Normally, these stains cannot be removed if you plan to do a gentle and regular garden hose run through. For mild treatment, mix dish soap with water and give the stains a nice scrub. Mold stains can be tricky, but mixing water with up to 10% solution of chlorine bleach and using a stiff-bristle brush will definitely get the job done.

When choosing between pressure/power washing and a standard garden hose treatment, keep in mind that:

  • While pressure washing can remove those tricky spots (such as mold stains) without you doing the hands-and-knees scrubbing, improper use can leave you a damaged deck (and maybe a bruised ego).
  • Pressure washing is not necessary when stains can be easily removed by a few simple scrubs.
  • When used properly, pressure washing can effectively remove many types of staining and discoloration using just plain water. Some even said that pressure washing not only can safely strip old finishes, but also “open wood pores to allow deeper penetration of the deck stain or finish.”

A Patio (or Deck) That Shines

At the end of day, the attitude for cleaning your patio is the same as when you will clean your kitchen floor, or anything for that matter. Planning ahead, doing background research of potential chemicals and methods and tackling the project with energy are some keys to a successful patio cleanup.