Weathered decks and concrete patios are like comparing apples to oranges; however, it is not rocket science. It simply requires preparation, some rental equipment, and sealant for the deck as well as the patio. It also requires perfect timing. Over the course of time, even the best wooden decks will become dirty and dingy from being out in the weather; however, never fear because it is possible to retain that former shine and brilliant color once again. All one requires is a high-quality pressure washer, which any machine shop in the area should rent by the hour or the day much like the way grocery stores rent out the heavy-duty steam cleaners. It might take a bit of hunting around to find a store that rents pressure washers but it is possible. Make certain to let the salesman that rents the pressure washers know that you plan to use the equipment to clean your wooden deck. Ask if the pressure washer has any attachments or adjustments to allow for a better spray to keep the cleaning lines more uniform in nature.
The next series of items required will include a quality wood cleaner. This cleaner is available at any home and garden business like Lowes, Home Depot, and possibly even Walmart. If your deck has any type of plants or bushes nearby, ask if the cleaner is safe for plant life. It would be a shame to lose plants one spent a great deal of time cultivating over the years when another product will do the same without damaging your plants. Pick up an industrial style broom with the wide end with bristles. This will allow a scrubbing surface and alleviate any need for getting on all fours with a scrub brush. It is important to pick up a high-quality wood sealant too. Follow the directions for the wood sealer as well to keep your wooden deck as nice and pristine as possible for as long as possible.
Next, it is time to remove any furniture from the deck. Mix the cleanser according to directions then dip the broom into the mixture or pour it on the wood directly before beginning to scrub the top coat of dirt from the deck. Scrub well and do not forget scrubbing any tall walls of wood if the deck has them. This is when you might have to resort to a scrub brush but at least it is possible to stand as best as one can to scrub the walls. Remember to scrub the outer walls as well if possible. If not, then the pressure washer should remove the dirt anyway. The cleaner is an additive to ensure the wooden deck is as clean as possible.
As soon as the top coat cleaning is done, it is time to rinse off the suds. Use a water hose to remove the suds but if this is not possible, then use the pressure washer. If you have never had a chance to use a pressure washer, ask the person where you rented the equipment to show you how to use it.
Begin pressure washing by sections so no area goes without a thorough cleaning. Adjust the nozzle to get the best coverage; however, if there is an area that is especially dirty, adjust the nozzle for a tight hard stream to remove the deep ground in dirt before turning it back to a wide cleaning spray. Remain vigilant about removing all the suds preventing residue when the time comes to apply the water seal product to protect the wood until the time comes to pressure wash the deck again. If necessary, pressure wash the deck twice to ensure all the suds from the cleanser is completely gone.
Follow the directions by waiting for the deck to dry before applying the water seal to the wood to seal in the clean wood.
Clean and pack the water pressure machine back in the same manner that you received it so you can return it to the store without any fear of losing a deposit or having to pay extra for scuffs or damage.
Now, if you have a concrete patio, the cleaning method is similar only this time you will use a pressure washer without water seal. It is highly unlikely to require any cleaning solution to clean a patio. Just as with the wooden deck, take the pressure washer and clean in sections to ensure a complete cleaning session.
If part of the patio has chipped away leaving a hole or indention in the concrete, it will require a patch kit, which is available at most home stores such as Lowes and Home Depot. It is important to follow the directions completely. While you might feel that it is best to repair a concrete patio in the middle of the summer heat, nothing can be further from the truth. If summer is upon you when the time comes to repair the patio, take time first thing in the morning before it becomes super hot outside to mix the solution and apply it using a trowel. Pay special attention to the degree of repair so the patio will be level or if in the area where water normally drains, be certain to follow the patio line to keep the drainage area slope even with the rest of the patio. Match the color of the patch kit to the patio after the pressure washer clean up. This way the patio patch will discolor with the rest of the patio instead of appearing mix-matched in color.
Do not allow anyone to walk on the patio or play in the area until the patio patch is completely cured and dry. The directions and time frame will be noted on the container’s directions. If you follow the directions precisely, it can save you a great deal of money. The do-it-yourself projects are much cheaper than hiring out a contractor company to provide the repairs for you. In addition, the directions include everything you need to know, which is exactly what the contractor company employees know. The only difference between you and a contractor is that you can perform the repairs for a mere pittance of what contractors charge. Repair to concrete patios when the damage is small is much easier and cheaper to do yourself. If the damage is considerable and well beyond your talents, then it is time to call in the big guns but not before.
Many homeowners are opting to take on more DIY projects. They are finding that it is worth the time and energy to learn to do the repairs rather than pay the exorbitant fees charged by companies that perform such a small amount of work for such a huge amount of money.