Home & Garden

Revive your deck; start with a good cleaning

Right now, your deck or patio might look grungy from winter leaf and debris stains, mildew and aging.

Give it a good cleaning with a solution of 1⁄3 cup of powdered laundry detergent to one gallon of hot water. Scrub vigorously with a stiff nylon brush or bristle broom and thoroughly rinse with fresh water. Add one quart of liquid chlorine bleach to the solution if mildew is present.

If your deck or patio still looks dingy, consider using a deck cleaning or brightening product to restore the appearance of the natural wood. Use a concrete cleaner to remove oxidation on concrete and restore the appearance of your patio. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.

Finish the job by repairing damaged decking, securing fasteners and applying a fresh coat of deck finish. Although not necessary, a concrete sealer can improve the appearance of your patio and protect it from freeze-and-thaw damage if you live in a cold climate.