DIY Network

How to Clean and Seal a Deck

A deck is an investment that deserves proper maintenance.

More in Outdoors

Watch Video
  • Time

    Two Days

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Highlights:

Step 1: Sweep Deck and Clear Cracks

To clean and properly seal a deck, first sweep the debris — leaves, twigs, dirt — off the top. Pay particular attention to the spaces between boards. Leaves will rot in there and rest on the joists, eventually rotting the boards. Use a putty knife to clean the crevices.

clean crevices of deck in addition to the surface

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 2: Scrub the Wood

Clean the surface of the wood. There are several products on the market, or you can use bleach, cut half and half with warm water, and a scrub brush. This is ideal for small areas and will work wonders on algae and mildew and the like. (Straight, undiluted bleach is not advisable for a deck, and it should not sit there for any length of time.)

For larger areas, rent or purchase a pressure washer. Spray the bleach/water mixture on the boards first and let it soak in for a while before pressure washing. Make sure you cover up shrubs and plants before you start spraying bleach.

clean surface to rid decking of algae and mildew

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 3: Apply Stain or Sealer

Once your deck is clean, apply a redwood stain or a waterproofing deck sealer, which will repel water and make the deck last longer. To apply the sealer, purchase a pad with a little reservoir and brush it on. Or use a foam roller. Go over the entire deck surface with the sealer

go over entire deck surface with the sealer

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

All About…

More Topics

Was this project helpful?

Don't forget: Read comments and leave your own

Advertisement

Projects

COMMENT ON THIS PROJECT

    

Sign in

All fields are required.

E-mail Address:

Password:

Remember me on this computer

Signing in

Please enter your email address and we will send your password

E-mail Address

Your password has been sent and should arrive in your mailbox very soon.

Not a member?

Sign up with DIY Network to share tips with other do-it-yourselfers and comment and ask questions on projects.

It's free and easy.