Deck Cleaning Time

We’ve had an unbelievably mild autumn so far. The fall foliage color show has been spectacular. The trees in our yard turned Cheetos orange and Doritos yellow, though now they are Ho-Ho brown and strewn all over the grass, our porch and our neighbor’s deck.

If you haven’t winterized you deck yet, then this is the month to do so, especially if you live in the Upper Midwest like we do. It could snow tomorrow and those leaves will be even harder to remove.

To begin the process you need to clear your deck. If the weather is still mild where you are, then keep just the necessary furniture and grilling equipment on hand. Pack up any additional furniture or decorative items that may have made their way on to the deck from inside your house during the course of summer entertaining.

Next, find a durable outdoor broom and sweep your deck from end-to-end. An industrial broom should loosen up leaves, dirt and other debris that may have adhered to the deck during rain or wind storms.

Once all the dirt, grime and large pieces of junk have been removed from the surface of the deck, then it is time to give it a good cleaning. There are a number of reputable commercial deck cleaners on the market, but many are extremely harsh to the environment. I prefer Jomax deck cleaner, as it does not contain a litany of powerful chemicals. When you use deck cleaners that feature harsh ingredients, you will have to protect the trees, plants and bushes around your deck prior to cleaning, as you don’t want residual cleaner to kill vegetation.

The downside to using Jomax is that you will have to employ a bit more elbow grease than you would with other deck cleaning solutions that feature large amounts of undiluted bleach. The makers of Jomax say that their product is a “no-scrub cleaner,” but you will likely find that deck mold comes off a lot quicker if you soak a scrub brush in Jomax, and then vigorously rub the product on the affected parts of the deck. Just remember to rinse your deck thoroughly before calling it quits for the day.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.