Cleaning Your Deck: Algae and Fungus Removal
Over time, algae and fungus can develop on wooden decks and will need to be cleaned and removed using the right products. If your home has a deck with algae or fungus, it's important to clean it properly to save yourself the trouble of having to replace the entire thing when the boards eventually rot. However, removing algae and fungus is fortunately not difficult at all, and it's something you can do yourself in a couple of hours. So, here is a handy how-to guide that will show the necessary steps for cleaning and remove algae from your wooden deck.
Step 1 - Clear the Deck
Before you begin, remove any furniture or fixtures from your deck. This is especially important if you have wooden deck furniture as the acid or bleach-based deck cleaner could damage the finish on your furniture.
Step 2 - Sweep Debris
Take a regular straw broom and sweep the deck thoroughly to remove as much dirt and dust as possible.
Step 3 - Prepare Bleach Solution
Take an empty bucket and fill it about 3/4 of the way full with warm water. Then, add about two cups of a quality, oxygen-based bleach.
Step 4 - Scrub and Rinse the Deck
Whenever you work with any chemicals, remember to protect your skin. In this case, a pair of rubber gloves will be suitable. Then, using the scrub brush and bleach solution that you just made, scrub the surface of the deck thoroughly. Allow the bleach solution to set in for about 15 to 30 minutes. This will begin to kill the algae and fungus that has developed on your deck surface.
After the solution has been allowed to set for a while, use a garden hose to thoroughly rinse the wood.
Step 5 - Use the Deck Cleaner
Refer to the instructions on the acid or bleach-based deck cleaner you will be using to cleanse your decking more thoroughly. In most cases, you will simply need to mix the cleaner with water and apply it to the surface. Then, you will need to allow the cleaning agent to set for the prescribed period of time in order to kill the rest of the algae and fungus. Once the cleaner has had time to set and seep into the pores of the wood, use the scrub brush to work the solution in and scour away the remnants of the debris.
Step 6 - Rinse Again
Take the garden hose and again thoroughly rinse the surface. Make sure to remove any leftover acid or bleach-based cleaner, and don't forget to rinse handrails or stair rails that may have been doused with the solution.
Step 7 - Sweep the Deck Again
Take your broom and sweep the deck once more. This will help to remove any water buildup or puddles that may have developed when rinsing. Afterward, allow the deck to dry in the open air.
Step 8 - Put it all Back
Once the deck is dry and you’ve verified that the cleaning was successful, you can return the furniture and fixtures back in their proper locations. In order to prevent future buildup of algae and fungus, you should clean your deck at least once a month with a mild bleach and water solution.