John asked: How do I clean a platform under our deck? Half of my deck is on a flat, concrete platform. For several years, we have cleaned the surface. The only access to the platform is the small gaps between the strips of wood. How do I clean the platform under my deck which is very bad up close? Thank you.
When trying to clean under the deck, you’ll have to work through the deck. Fortunately, with a little extra power, you’ll be able to utilize those small gaps to reach the dirt and build up that lie underneath. Unsightly dirt and grime between and below deck boards won’t stand a chance when you put this technique to work for you.
You Will Need:
- Pressure washer (available for rent from many home improvement centers)
- Cleaning solution for pressure washer (optional)
- Garden hose hooked to running water
- Eye protection
Steps to Remove the Dirt:
- First, remove all extra objects from the deck and surrounding areas. This includes lawn furniture, grills, plants, etc. If something cannot be moved, cover it with a heavy tarp to protect it.
- Read all use instructions on the pressure washer before you begin. Be sure you’re familiar with basic operation and know how to turn it off. Always wear eye protection while the machine is on.
- Once you understand how to use the machine, set it to the lowest pressure setting. You can always turn it up, but if you start with too much pressure you could easily damage the decking.
- If you’re not familiar with the use of a pressure washer, make a few practice passes on an unimportant surface to get the hang of it.
- When you’re comfortable, start on the deck. You will likely have to wash the entire deck because getting only between the cracks will be impossible. Spray at a distance, working at least 2-3 feet in front of your position rather than straight down. If necessary, you can gradually increase the pressure until it is cleaning effectively without damaging the wood. The water will easily penetrate the spaces between the cracks and blast away dirt.
- Work in a sweeping motion to help avoid damage to the wood. You may need to finish with a rinse from the regular hose to remove loosened dirt and grime.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Make sure any nearby electrical equipment is covered before you begin. This includes heat and A/C units, electrical meters, outdoor electrical sockets and outdoor lighting fixtures.
- If the lowest pressure setting is too much for your deck, increase the distance between the nozzle and the section you are spraying by aiming further away. Another option is to stick with a low-powered machine.
- Do not pressure wash painted surfaces unless you want to remove the paint.
- After pressure washing your deck, you can finish it with a fresh coat of stain or water protection. It’s the perfect time to freshen the whole thing.