YOUR decking might not be at the top of your summer cleaning list, but it should be.
Despite what you might think, it's not as much as a chore to get rid of any dirt, debris and algae that might've built up over the colder months.
In fact, you can get your decking looking as good as knew with no scrubbing at all just in time for BBQ season.
Cleaning expert Arran Driscoll at Fitrite shared some simple tips you can try out for yourself.
He said: "After a long winter your decking may not be looking its best, but there are some easy things you can do to get it ready for the spring and summer sun, while also ensuring it stays in good condition – especially if you’re planning to host a BBQ on or around it."
Prepare the area
The first step is to make sure the decking is ready to be cleaned
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"I would always suggest giving the decking a thorough cleaning before you plan to use the BBQ, to remove any debris of dry leaves or winter mould, to reduce the risk of anything flammable being near the BBQ," Arran said.
Simply use a broom with hard bristles to sweep away any stray leaves, twigs and dirt before moving on to the next step.
Use cleaning products you already own
There's no point forking out for expensive cleaning products when you probably already have something you can use at home.
Arren suggested steering clear of products with chlorine bleach in them, "as this can damage the surface of the decking and cause it to rot over time."
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Instead, he suggested mixing laundry powder together with warm water and use a soft sponge or mop to remove dirt and grime.
You can also use vinegar, which has more than just one benefit for your decking.
The pro explained: "Vinegar is one of nature’s miracle cures, and not only will it clean your decking, but it will keep any unwanted ants and bugs away too!
"Grab a bucket of warm water and add one cup of vinegar and two tablespoons of washing up liquid.
"Sprinkle the deck liberally with baking soda and then clean with the solution before rinsing."
Vinegar is also won't damage your decking, unlike other potentially harsh cleaning products.
If you don't have any vinegar at home, the cleaning whizz also suggested using laundry powder to remove dirt, algae and more.
"Mix a little laundry powder with some warm water and use it to scrub the deck with a mop or sponge," he explained.
Remove algae and mould
If there's any algae or mould on your decking it's easier than you might think to remove.
Brian Bayse from Decks & Docks agreed vinegar is one of the best, not to mention cheapest methods to keep your deckling clear.
He said: "Unfortunately, there is no magic spell to cast on your deck to prevent algae growth, but there are some measures that can be taken to slow or prevent it."
Cleaning your decking either annually or biannually will prevent mould and algae from building up, but you can't also seal your deck using a water repellent.
"Algae needs moisture or standing water to grow, so keeping your deck dry is key," he added.
Prepare for heat
If you are planning on hosting any BBQs this summer, Arren said making sure your decking is prepared for the extra heat is vital.
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Arren recommended "a light spray with the hose to wet the deck area – especially where you plan to use the BBQ – to neutralise any awol sparks from the grill once in use."
If you want to keep your decking cleaner for longer, the pro suggested switching to a uPVC deck, since "it tends to be more durable and easier to keep clean than wood."
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