Step 1

Cleaning Your Decks Crevices

Cleaning Your Decks Crevices

Before staining your deck, it is important to make sure that your deck is clean. Be sure to sweep the debris off the deck, but don't forget to clear the spaces between the boards of your deck, as well. Use a putty knife to remove debris from these spaces.

Photo by: Lucie Rowe

Lucie Rowe

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.

Step 2

Cleaning Your Deck

Cleaning Your Deck

After sweeping your deck and clearing the cracks, it is important to clean the wood. To do this, you can either use a deck cleaner or bleach, cut in half with warm water, and a scrub brush. Either of these methods will work wonders on algae and mildew.

Photo by: Lucie Rowe

Lucie Rowe

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.

Step 3

Sealing Your Deck

Sealing Your Deck

Once the deck is clean, apply a redwood stain or a waterproofing deck sealer. This seal will repel water and give your deck a longer life. To apply the sealer, simply purchase a pad with a little reservoir and simply brush it on.

Photo by: Lucie Rowe

Lucie Rowe

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