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Top 5 deck cleaning mistakes

August 19, 2015

In order to keep a timber deck looking its best, it must be kept clean & well maintained. It is a good idea to inspect your timber deck at least annually to ensure that it is in good condition. The deck must be regularly maintained as it may become discoloured or affected by moisture & weather. Inspect the deck to replace loose boards & protruding nails or screws. Any loose or damaged boards should be resecured or replaced, loose nails hammered back in or screws refixed. Unfortunately many people make simple errors when it comes to deck maintenance.

Here are the top 5 deck cleaning mistakes that should be avoided.


1.    I’ll just wait for the summer storm season to start, so it can do the work for me.

WRONG: If you think that all of the wind & rain that Queensland’s extreme weather brings during the summer months will be enough to wash off all the grime & dust from your deck, you should think again. All that this will achieve is moving all of the dust & muck around potentially causing more damage, instead of removing it.

2.    There’s already dirt in the gaps so I’ll just sweep the rest in there as well.

WRONG: Allowing leaves, dirt, garden matter & goodness know what else to accumulate between the gaps of your deck can potentially lead to some serious issues. Leaving this type of debris instead of thoroughly cleaning means this matter will eventually decay will cause discolouring & premature rotting of your decking timber (especially soft woods like pine).

On top of this, you can experience pooling of water if it has nowhere to run off & therefore potentially causing your decking to warp & twist.

3.    Let’s turn the power washer on full throttle to get this job done faster.

WRONG: Timber decking, no matter what species (Spotted Gum, Merbau & even Composite varieties), is not glass or steel. Prolonged use of a power washer on high command & with the wrong connections can cause damage to your decking boards.

4.    Oh the deck doesn’t look that dirty, so I’ll just oil over it without a decent clean.

WRONG: It’s deck oiling time & you’ve researched & purchased the best oiling treatment but failed to take the time to read the directions for use section on the tin properly. So, instead of giving your deck a well-earned, super-duper clean, you simply sweep off some of the leaves & dirt with an old dusty broom & move straight ahead to applying the oil.

Your deck’s looking schmick & ready to roll…….Great job…..Eh, WRONG again!

After a while marks will start appearing on your deck surface. Not because the oil didn’t do its job, but you didn’t do yours. Unless your deck is thoroughly cleaned prior to oiling, the finishing solution will not have a chance to sufficiently adhere to the timber grain & protect it.

The use of a professional deck cleaning product such as Feast Watson’s Woodclean, is recommended to ensure the surface is clean enough for the oil to effectively soak in.

5.    I’ve got plenty of time to get the deck oiled before this afternoon’s rain.

WRONG: Check the weather radar, forecast & take note of the required drying time noted on your chosen decking oil, otherwise……

You get your deck cleaned & oiled in record time one Saturday morning. Again, it’s looking a treat & you can’t wait to show off your good work to your mates at your Sunday BBQ. Sunday morning comes around & your deck is still looking the goods, but then the rain comes. All still appears ok, nothing to worry about, until a few days later when the finish on your newly coated deck starts to look uneven & has all these spots appearing on it. What the???

Your decking oil didn’t have enough time to fully dry & settle into the timber - so it’s back to square one.

Protective Oiling Service Brochure: 

Protect Your Deck: 

Maintaining Decking & Outdoor Timber Finishes: 

Feast Watson The Power of Pre-Coated Decking: