Something that spends its entire life outside, subjected to the elements, is going to collect dirt and mold over time. Deck railings are certainly no exception to this rule, even if they are specially treated to keep them as clean as possible. To make sure your investment looks as nice as it did the day the contractors were finished, you'll need to perform some maintenance every now and then. Rain and various other weather conditions will take their toll, leaving your once pristine patio covered in dirt and possibly even mold. If you want to restore that glow you remember from the early days, here are some tips you can use to do so. |
Dry Scrub If you have deck railings that have turned black (or green) from mold and dirt buildup, it's a good idea to start with a dry scrub. Simply take a stiff scrubbing brush and start putting some elbow grease into it. Remove all of the loose dirt and mold you can from the surfaces. This will make it easier when you introduce cleaning solutions into the mix in the next step.
Bleach Oxygen bleach is your best friend when it comes to getting rid of persistent dirt and mold that wouldn't come off with the dry scrub. 8 to 10 ounces of the bleach mixed with a gallon of hot water should give you a good mixture. Spray down your deck railings with water, saturated them before you bring the bleach into the equation. Once this is done, return to your bleach solution and spray it onto the surface. Let it sit there for ten minutes or so, letting it soak into the dirt. If it is dripping off too quickly, you may want to go back over it with a second coating of the solution.
Scrubbing After you've let the oxygen bleach do its work, it's time to get back to the scrubbing. This time, you can use a softer brush. Some homeowners find a toilet brush is perfect for this application, as it can get into the twists and crevices that deck railings often have. The dirt and mold should come off fairly easily after being soaked with the bleach solution.
Rinse Once you've finished scrubbing, douse your entire patio down with water once again, getting rid of all the loose dirt and mold and removing the bleach suds from the surface. If you still notice that you have black marks left, you can repeat the process or go after them again with the dry scrubbing brush.
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