Find A Builder
Order Sample
Where To Buy

Spring Deck Cleaning Tips — How To Keep Your Deck Looking Like New

Spring is the perfect time to rejuvenate your outdoor space by giving your deck a thorough cleaning, preparing it for the warmer months ahead. However, when it comes to spring deck cleaning, knowing where to begin and assessing the extent of cleaning required can be a challenge.

In this comprehensive guide full of spring deck cleaning tips, we’ll help you determine the level of cleaning and maintenance your deck needs and guide you through the process of getting it ready for the upcoming season.

Regardless of your level of deck cleaning and maintenance knowledge, our step-by-step instructions will ensure that your deck is ready for enjoyment and maintains its pristine condition throughout the spring and into the summer. 

A deck with seating surrounded by trees

How To Tell If Your Deck Needs a Spring Clean 

If you own a deck, chances are it will require some level of cleaning to prepare for the approaching spring and summer seasons. However, if you’ve protected the deck well through the fall and winter, it may not need cleaning or could just need a quick touch-up.

To help you decide how much work you need to do, here are some indicators suggesting it’s time to clean your deck for the spring.

1. Visible Dirt and Grime

If you see a layer of dirt, grime, or dust on the surface of the deck, you’ll need to clean it before using it for spring. You may be able to simply sweep the dirt away, but if it is still visible after sweeping, you’ll need to do a more intense clean with water and soap or another deck-safe cleaning product. 

2. Stains and Discolouration

Another thing to look for is visible staining or discolouration on the deck surface. This could have been caused by spilled food or drink that was not cleaned up at the end of last summer or be the result of mildew, algae, or other damaging sources.

If you see these issues, you’ll need to address them during your spring deck cleaning to avoid unsightly stains and ensure there is not a major issue with mold or mildew. 

3. Slippery Surfaces

If your deck feels slippery when walking across it, this could indicate algae, mildew, or moss growth. In this case, give the deck a deep clean, and if the issue persists, you’ll need to do further repairs or even replace the deck. 

4. Faded or Peeling Paint or Wood Stain

Those with wooden decks will want to assess the quality of the paint, stain, or seal on the deck. As you generally need to re-stain, re-paint, or re-seal a wood deck annually, there’s a good chance this will need to be part of your spring deck cleaning process.

You’ll also want to check over the deck for any other damage, a step that should also be done if you have a composite or PVC deck. 

5. Debris Buildup 

Checking your deck for debris and removing it is also important. You may find debris, including leaves, twigs, and other organic matter, strewn across the deck or collected in corners and crevices. No matter what type of deck you have, it’s crucial to remove this debris to avoid issues with mold, mildew, decay, or insect infestation. 

6. Musty Odours

Lastly, you’ll want to note if there are any musty or otherwise unpleasant odours around the deck. If so, it could be a sign of mold, mildew, or decaying debris. Removing debris and cleaning your deck thoroughly with warm water and soap detergent or another cleaning product should correct this issue.

A deck with a table and chairs under a pergola

10 Steps for Spring Deck Cleaning

Once you’ve decided you need to give your deck a spring clean, follow the steps below to ensure your decking is prepped and looking its best for use throughout the season.

1. Inspect for Damage

Before deck cleaning can begin, you need to inspect the deck for damage. During the fall and winter, your deck can be damaged by various factors like intense rain, snow, or ice.

If your deck has been damaged at all, you’ll need to repair it before cleaning can commence. Depending on the extent of the damage and the age of your deck, it may be necessary to decide whether you should repair or replace your deck

When you start repairs, also think about the issue and if there is anything you can do to prevent it from occurring again in the future. Doing this will save time when you come to clean the deck again. Depending on the type of damage, you may want to give the deck a deep clean before fixing issues, or repair the deck and then clean it.

2. Clear Clutter and Debris

Once your deck has been repaired (if needed), it’s necessary to clear any clutter and debris before a full spring deck cleaning can start. Firstly, remove all furniture and other accessories like planters. 

Next, sweep away debris, which can include fallen leaves, twigs, and clutter from repairs. Doing this before you begin cleaning a deck will give you more space to work and ensure that you can clean every corner thoroughly.

3. Give the Deck a Deep Clean

The most important step in spring deck cleaning is giving the deck a deep clean. This ensures that your deck will look the best it can for the spring and will help to fully clean away leftover debris and the like from fall and winter. To clean the deck most effectively, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Choose the Right Deck Cleaner

You need to first ensure that you are using a cleaning product that is appropriate for your deck material (wood, composite, PVC, etc.). A lot of materials, such as composite and PVC decking, can simply be cleaned with soap and warm water.

Both TruNorth Composite Decking and Clubhouse PVC Decking can be cleaned with a common dish soap like Dawn, which is notably good for removing grease spots. However, if you do want to opt for a cleaning product, check that it is made for the type of deck you have to avoid causing damage.

You generally want to avoid using any very harsh chemicals, as these can damage not only your deck, but also nearby plants. Those with a TruNorth or Clubhouse deck can consult the TruNorth Care & Maintenance guide to find some approved cleaning products.

Test the Cleaner

Even if the deck cleaner you’re using is approved for use with your deck, it’s always a good idea to test the product before using it on the entire deck. Apply the cleaner to a small and inconspicuous part of the deck and check that it doesn’t cause any damage, such as discolouration.

Scrub and Rinse

When you begin cleaning the deck, it can be helpful to use a soft brush or broom to gently scrub the deck surface. Doing this will effectively dislodge stubborn dirt that has accumulated on the deck surface. 

Whether you have wood, composite, or PVC decking, ensure you scrub in small sections and always scrub or brush with the grain, not against it. To rinse, use a hose or pressure washer to thoroughly remove all cleaning product as well as remaining dirt and debris.

Be Mindful of Water Pressure

If using a pressure washer when cleaning a deck, be cautious to not use too much pressure, especially on softer wood surfaces, as this can cause damage. 

With a TruNorth composite deck or Clubhouse PVC deck, only use dish soap detergent with a pressure washer. In addition, utilize the fan tip nozzle and wash in the direction of the grain. With TruNorth Composite Decking, use pressures less than 1,700 PSI. For Clubhouse PVC, use pressures less than 1,100 PSI at 10” above the deck surface.

A deck with multiple kinds of seating surrounded by grass and trees

4. Protect Nearby Plants

Another thing to keep in mind during the spring deck cleaning process is protecting nearby plants. As mentioned, remove any plants from your deck before you begin cleaning and repairing it.

However, you’ll also need to protect plants around the deck that cannot be moved. To do this, cover the plants with a tarp or plastic sheeting that will guard them from overspray and runoff from cleaning product.

5. Apply Fresh Paint, Stain, or Sealer

Those with a wooden deck will want to consider applying a new coat of stain, sealant, or paint after repairing and thoroughly cleaning it. This step not only safeguards the deck but also enhances its appearance.

Those with a composite or PVC deck won’t need to worry about this step during the spring deck cleaning process — one of the many advantages of choosing composite or PVC over wood decking.

TruNorth Composite Decking and Clubhouse PVC decking don’t need to be re-stained, re-sealed, or re-painted, and they keep their quality for 25 years or more! Simply give your deck a good clean at the beginning of spring, and it will look as good as it did last season.

6. Add Shade Elements

After cleaning your deck, you will want to think about how to protect it and enhance its usability through the spring and summer months. One of the top things to do is integrating shade elements. This could be in the form of sun umbrellas, pergolas, or other roof-type coverings designed for use over decks. 

Incorporating shade elements will protect your deck from direct sunlight, making it a cooler space to enjoy while also minimizing the chance of discolouration from sun exposure.

These shade protectors additionally act as a barrier against debris, such as falling leaves, decreasing the chance of debris landing on the deck. Consequently, this minimizes cleaning efforts and helps prevent potential damage caused by debris buildup.

7. Accessorize

Your spring deck cleaning plan should also include elements to make the deck ready for use as a functional and comfortable outdoor space. To do this, add outdoor furniture and accessorize with things like potted plants and outdoor rugs and cushions. 

You could even add elements like fire pits or furniture built from decking that complements your deck material, including planters or benches. Accessorizing a deck is also one of the best ideas for maximizing a small outside space.

If you’re looking to make the most of a small outdoor area during the spring, consider adding additional elements like outdoor mirrors and creating distinct areas by separating your space with tall plants or easy-to-install privacy screens like the TruNorth Slide & Go Fence System.  

A deck with chairs with red cushions next to a house

8. Sweep Regularly

Preparing your deck for spring by deep-cleaning it is just one part of the process; ongoing maintenance throughout the spring is also crucial. One of the most important maintenance-related deck cleaning tips is sweeping regularly. 

With leaves or tree blossoms potentially still falling onto the deck during the spring, prompt sweeping of the debris is essential to prevent it from causing damage and to keep your deck in a clean and usable condition.

Also ensure that you are removing debris from gaps between deck boards. You can use a plastic putty knife, or other plastic tools to remove debris from the gaps without scratching the boards.

9. Maintain Regularly Throughout the Season

As mentioned, after your initial spring deck cleaning is complete, prioritize maintaining the deck’s condition throughout the season. Along with regular sweeping, you’ll want to promptly clean up any stains that occur, like oil or grease spills from grills, and regularly inspect for other damage, undertaking any necessary repairs as soon as possible. 

Keeping your deck dry is also important, especially in spring when rain is likely in many areas. A deck covering can help with this, but if you don’t have one, manually dry the deck after heavy rain. 

Lastly, avoid spraying products like sunscreen on insect repellent while on the deck. These spray products can settle on the deck surface and the chemicals in them could react negatively with the decking material, causing staining.

10. Move Furniture and Accessories Around

An often-overlooked aspect of spring maintenance involves periodically rearranging furniture and accessories on your deck. During the warmer months, sun exposure can cause deck discolouration.

Even minor discolouration can be noticeable if it’s not consistent across the deck, and every decking material in the market will be susceptible to this effect to varying degrees.

If you have furniture, sun umbrellas, or plant pots on your deck, move them around every few weeks or months. Doing this will ensure that any sun bleaching or discolouration that does occur happens uniformly across the deck surface. 

Furniture and potted plants can also prohibit water evaporation, which may lead to staining of the deck (aka “environmental blushing”). Moving items on the deck around and drying underneath them if needed can help to avoid this problem. Opting for raised furniture and planters that allow airflow underneath is also a good idea.

A pool with red seating next a steps, a deck and a house

In Conclusion

By following these spring deck cleaning tips, you’ll be able to effectively prepare your deck for use and keep it looking new throughout the spring. Remember that consistent cleaning and maintenance throughout the season, including tackling dirt, stains, and debris promptly, are key to keeping your deck looking like new. 

As mentioned in the article, composite and PVC decking offer significantly easier cleaning and maintenance compared to traditional wood decking. These materials not only require less maintenance, but also provide enhanced durability, eco-friendliness, and resistance to common issues like cracking, rotting, warping, and colour fading.

If you’re considering upgrading to a composite or PVC deck, explore our TruNorth and Clubhouse offerings. For existing TruNorth or Clubhouse deck owners, utilize our comprehensive care and maintenance resources to ensure your deck remains in prime condition throughout spring and beyond!