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Cleaning Patios and Decks for Summer

The anticipation of summer means it’s time to enjoy the backyard. And not just during the summer holidays either. Who doesn’t long for the chance to quietly relax out on the patio or deck, taking in the sun and sounds of the season – whether it’s in quiet solitude, with that special someone, or while entertaining friends with a backyard barbeque.

To make sure your patio or deck is ready when it’s time to relax this summer, Harper® offers these simple tips:

Post-Winter Cleanup:

Sweep or rinse the entire patio or deck. Remove any dirt, debris or leaves that may have settled during the fall and winter months. To really sweep the surface clean, make sure you select the right broom type -- corn broom or push broom -- and the right fiber -- natural fiber or synthetic fiber. Every Harper broom is “Pro-Perfected” – built for the specific debris and surface.

Remove any embedded dirt that may be left behind after sweeping, using the following directions for the surface being cleaned:

  • Wood decks:
    • Pre-wet the deck surface with a garden hose.
    • Scrub the surface with an all-purpose scrub brush and a solution of oxygen bleach. If using a power washer, use a low-powered nozzle. Too much force can destroy the wood.
    • If difficult stains remain, spot treat them with oxygen bleach and scrub with a wire brush.
    • Rinse the deck thoroughly using a garden hose or pressure washer [using a low-powered nozzle].
    • Allow to dry 36-48 hours before moving patio furniture and other items back onto the deck.
  • Composite decks:
    • Pre-wet the deck surface with a garden hose or power washer.
  • Apply an environmentally safe cleaner or an all-surface deck cleaner as recommended by the deck manufacturer. Follow the manufacturer's dilution and application instructions.
  • Gently scrub each deck board with a soft bristle scrub brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly with a garden hose or pressure washer.
    • Use a Floor Squeegee to remove any excess water. A film can form on deck boards if dirty water is left behind to dry on the surface.
    • Allow to dry completely before moving patio furniture and other items back onto the deck.
  • Concrete patios:
    • Clean with a solution of water and bleach, brown (lye) soap or an environmentally safe cleaner.
    • Next, scrub with a deck brush
    • Rinse the surface with a garden hose and use a floor squeegee to remove excess water. If a bleach solution was used for cleaning, let it sit overnight. Then rinse with a garden hose and squeegee.
  • Stone patios:
    • Make a mixture of one cup of brown (lye) soap and water and pour it on the patio surface. NOTE: Before using any soap or detergent, check that it is safe for use on patio tiles; a special cleaner may need to be used on some stone materials.
    • Scrub the patio vigorously with a stiff bristle scrub brush and let it sit for a few minutes.
    • Rinse the patio carefully; make certain not to allow the soap solution to seep onto the lawn or into flower beds.
  • Outdoor Furniture:
    • Wood and Wicker. Clean with a soft bristle scrub brush and mild dish soap.
    • Wrought Iron. Remove algae with a brush and a strong disinfectant.

Weekly/As Needed Maintenance:

  • Regularly sweep. Make a habit after your weekly lawn cutting to take a broom designed to clean your patio or deck surface and brush away any leaves, grass or twigs from the surface, from around any outdoor furniture as well as outdoor planters. Leaves and other yard debris can easily trap moisture, a perfect environment for mold. Also, the tannins in wet leaves can stain concrete patios and wood decks.
  • Squeegee the patio or deck surface. Remove excess water after a rainstorm with a good floor squeegee.
  • Clean patio furniture weekly. Use an all-purpose scrub brushto prevent any long-term staining from leaves, tree berries or birds.

No matter how tough the cleaning challenge, there’s a hardworking Harper tool that will help you overcome it and do it efficiently. For more than 115 years, Harper® cleaning tools have been the favorite for home and industrial use. In addition to brooms, brushes and mops, we offer a wide range of cleaning accessories, too. Whether it’s a wet or dry job, you’ll have the bucket, dustpan or other miscellaneous cleaning tool needed to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Each product is manufactured in the USA, and is purpose-built to provide you with the right tool for the job.

Things you may need:

  • Brooms (corn and push broom)
  • Scrub Brush (soft all-purpose and stiff bristled)
  • Deck Brush
  • Squeegee
  • Garden Hose
  • Power washer
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Bleach
  • Brown (lye) soap
  • Disinfectant
  • Environmentally safe cleaner
  • Disposable nitrile gloves
Harper®, the Harper® logo and Harper® graphics are the service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks owned by The AMES Companies, Inc. All other service marks and trademarks are the property of their respective owner.

© 2017 The AMES Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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