September 6, 2020

Best Methods to Clean a Pool Deck | A Homeowners Guide

A clean pool deck is a must for any property! Neglecting needed pool deck cleaning can mean premature breakdown of the deck materials as well as unsafe walking surfaces. Pool decks also hold chlorine residues, creating bothersome odors around the pool, as well as sand, silt, and storm debris that then wind up in the pool, overworking the filter and creating dirty, unpleasant swimming conditions!

Use oxygenated and not chlorine bleach, or a diluted vinegar solution for wood and concrete decks and to kill algae, moss, and other growth around the pool. Add dishwashing soap for especially dirty decks, or pressure washing equipment for cleaning the pits and pores of stone, concrete, and brick.

Along with choosing the right solutions and cleaners for your home’s pool deck, it’s also vital that a homeowner consider the best tools and techniques for various pool deck materials. Harsh scrubbing might damage soft wood, for example, but a firm brush and a bit of “elbow grease” is often needed for paver stones and concrete.

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Before you put off needed pool deck cleaning yet another year, or risk damaging that deck with the wrong cleaners and tools, consider this handy pool deck cleaning guide. You can also discuss your exterior cleaning needs with a power washing contractor near you, to ensure a thorough clean you can count on!

Best Methods to Clean a Pool Deck

First note that you might need to adjust your pool deck cleaning methods according to the deck materials and condition. Older wood, for instance, might need a gentle touch so you don’t make small splits, cracks, and other damage worse. Cracked concrete, on the other hand, might need more scrubbing, to remove dirt and debris in those cracks. Note a few tips on the best methods to clean a pool deck outside your home.

  • Before cleaning your home’s pool deck, ensure you’ve rinsed and cleared it thoroughly. Use a stiff-bristled outdoor broom to clean away as much dirt, dust, and other debris as possible. This first step ensures that debris won’t dilute your cleaning solutions or get ground into your pool deck materials as you clean it.
  • Wood decks are notorious for holding mold and mildew! To kill these contaminants, mix a cup of white vinegar into a gallon of water and use a spray bottle or garden hose attachment to spray it over that growth.
  • You might need to let your vinegar solution soak for several minutes, to kill that mold and mildew and loosen its roots and spores. Use a soft-bristled scrub brush to then scrub away that growth.
  • For concrete, stone, and brick, use oxygenated and not chlorine bleach, as said. Add a cup into a gallon of warm water. If the pool deck is especially dirty, add a squirt of dish soap; ensure it’s dish soap and not dishwasher detergent, and choose a brand without added skin lotions.
  • Mix this solution thoroughly and spread it over the deck. Mix up more solution, as needed to cover your entire deck.
  • Let the solution sit for a few minutes so it dissolves thick dirt and mud, and seeps into all those pits and pores of concrete surfaces. After that, use an exterior scrub brush to scrub the deck thoroughly.
  • Once scrubbed, use a garden hose to rinse away the cleaning solution. Ensure you rinse it toward your driveway or walkway and not your beautiful lawn!
  • If rust stains remain, use muriatic acid, available at many home improvement or janitorial supply stores. Use caution and wear thick rubber gloves, a breathing apparatus, and protective eyewear when handling muriatic acid, and ensure you dilute it according to package directions.
  • For oil stains, choose a commercial-grade degreaser; these are also available at home improvement or janitorial supply stores. Follow the instructions on the package, as some need diluting and some are applied directly to the stain. Scrub the stain with a stiff-bristled brush as needed and then rinse.
  • For especially dirty decks or stubborn stains, check your local home improvement store for cleaning solutions designed specifically for that material. These can often be costly and are sometimes more potent than necessary, so try a vinegar or oxygenated bleach solution first!
  • To clean rust and other unsightly stains from metal railings and pool steps, use a fresh sponge dipped in lime juice and baking soda! This mixture helps remove corrosion, rust, and other such residues.

Added Tips When You’re Ready to Clean a Pool Deck

Note a few added tips for when you’re ready to clean a pool, so you ensure a thorough job and avoid some common mistakes along the way!

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  • When cleaning a pool deck, ensure you don’t let your cleaning solution dry on the deck surface before rinsing. Dried detergent can cling to the deck, leaving behind streaks and stains while creating a sticky residue that actually attracts more dirt than before!
  • Use a clean, outdoor scrub brush for pool deck cleaning. String mops are ineffective for cleaning concrete, wood, and patio pavers, and indoor brooms might simply spread the dirt around rather than scrub it away!
  • It’s not unusual for dirt and grime to cover cracks, chips, and other pool deck damage. If you notice this damage after you’ve finished your last rinse, address them as quickly as possible. The longer you ignore cracks in concrete and other such surfaces, the larger they become.
  • It’s also recommended that you apply a sealant after pool deck cleaning, to protect its surface from future damage. Choose a sealant meant for the pool deck material in particular.
  • Be mindful of weather conditions before pool deck cleaning! A light drizzle might not affect your cleaning efforts but moderate rain can rinse away your cleaning solution. Very cold weather can also cause rinse water to freeze, making it difficult to wash away.
  • Never use harsh cleaning solutions or scrub brushes on plastic or fiberglass slides, pool walls, and other surfaces. Choose a gentle cleanser meant for fiberglass pool accessories instead, to avoid damage.

How Often Do You Need to Clean a Pool Deck?

Most concrete, stone, and brick pool decks need cleaning every other year on average. Wood pool decks might need annual cleaning, to remove traces of mold, mildew, moss, and algae. Metal wood decks often require cleaning on an as-needed basis, to ensure a safe surface underfoot and provide a welcoming appearance for you and your visitors.

While these are typical schedules for many properties, your home’s pool deck might need more frequent cleaning for a number of reasons! For instance, if your house is located near open fields, you might find the pool deck covered in pollen and other irritants every summer. Homes near production facilities or busy roadways often see lots of extra dust and other such debris and need regular power washing services more often than average.

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Pool decks that see lots of added foot traffic also typically need more frequent cleaning. Children and large pets especially might tend to bring lots of added dirt and mud into the pool area, and annual or even semi-annual cleaning ensures the deck is safe and looking its best.

The Importance of Regular Pool Deck Cleaning!

Regular pool deck cleaning keeps that deck looking its best, providing a welcoming atmosphere for yourself and visitors. However, an improved appearance is not the only reason to ensure you schedule regular pool deck cleaning for your property!

One reason to keep a pool deck clean is that dust, dirt, leaves, twigs, and other residues on the pool deck get blown into the pool with every gust of wind. Not only does that mean an unpleasant swimming experience, but all that debris also makes the pool’s filter and pump work overtime. The more debris in a pool, the harder it is to pump water to the filter and the more often that filter needs cleaning and other maintenance.

Mold, moss, and other residues are also typically slippery underfoot. Pool decks are already somewhat dangerous when wet or if you’ve neglected fixing cracks and other such damage, so it’s vital that you keep them as clean as possible and free of slick moss and other debris.

Mold, pollen, and dust are also bothersome to anyone with allergies and other such health concerns. Even when in the open air by your pool deck, you might notice that your allergies and breathing disorders get triggered the more you ignore needed cleaning! Regular cleaning also removes unpleasant mold odors from the pool deck.

Related Questions

How do you address stains, discoloration, and other unsightly pool deck surfaces?

In some cases, a pool deck becomes so stained, faded, discolored, or otherwise damaged that it’s beyond cleaning. Note that paint and specialty stains can bring new life to wood, concrete, paver stones, and even brick pool decks, covering stains and making those materials look like new!

Is pressure washing bad for pool decks?

Improper power washing techniques and harsh detergents can chip and crack wood, concrete, paver stones, and brick. However, professional power washing and especially a soft wash cleaning is an excellent means of removing even the thickest, most ground-in dirt, dust, and other residues without damage. A power washing contractor can recommend the best pool deck cleaning method for your property.

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