Algae can be a real pain especially with wooden surfaces and often it seems impossible to restore your once beautiful deck back to its original condition. There are many different methods and products that ‘experts’ claim to be the magic formula for cleaning decks but for the purpose of this ‘how-to’ let's focus on the most effective, efficient, cost-effective way to clean those decks.
Here a quick guide on how to clean your deck the easy way using Sodium Hypochlorite.
Spray 2% Sodium Hypochlorite directly onto your deck and allow to sit for 15 Minutes. This will effectively kill the algae and your deck should brighten very quickly.
You're probably wondering why Sodium Hypochlorite is being suggested in this ‘how-to’ instead of Oxygen Bleach or Benzalkonium chloride. The reason is that it just works so damn well and there's no denying it! In high concentrations, Sodium Hypochlorite can damage woods so its important to keep the concentration relatively low, no more than 2%. Oxygen bleach can also work but the results are not nearly as effective and Benzalkonium chloride as we know takes months to work.
To use Oxygen Bleach, mix with water and apply to your deck. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and begin to scrub the deck with a brush or broom. You will need to do this quite thoroughly in order to achieve results you would be happy with.
It is important to wear gloves, goggles, protective clothing (that you don’t mind getting bleach) and a respirator when using Sodium Hypochlorite. Avoid getting any on your skin and if you do, wash thoroughly with water immediately.
Once all the black/green algae has been eliminated, wash your deck down with water and if needed re-stain for long-lasting protection from the elements. You may need to apply a second coating of chemicals if your deck is severely affected by algae growth.
Wash your equipment down with water.
When using Sodium Hypochlorite it is a good idea to wash your equipment ie sprayer down with water, especially if your sprayer contains soft metals such as aluminium. Sodium Hypochlorite can damage soft metals if allowed to sit for long periods of time.
If you think that handling Sodium Hypochlorite might be too difficult for your liking then you should use Oxygen Bleach instead, which is completely harmless.