Cleaning Your Deck: Algae and Fungus Removal

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What You'll Need
Oxygen bleach
Rubber gloves
Scrub brush
Garden hose
Acid or bleach-based deck cleaner

Over time, algae and fungus can develop on wooden decks that will need to be cleaned and removed using the right products. If your home has a deck with algae or fungus, it's important to clean it properly to save yourself the trouble of having to replace the entire thing when the boards rot away. However, removing algae and fungus is not difficult at all, and it's something that you can do yourself in a couple of hours. This handy how-to guide that will show the necessary steps for cleaning and remove algae from your wooden deck like a pro.

Clear the Deck

Before you begin, remove any furniture or fixtures from your deck. This is especially important if you have wooden deck furniture as the acid or bleach-based deck cleaner could damage the finish on your furniture.

Sweep Debris

Take a regular straw broom and sweep the deck thoroughly to remove as much dirt and dust as possible.

Prepare Bleach Solution

Take an empty bucket and fill it about 3/4 of the way full with warm water. Then, add about two cups of quality, oxygen-based bleach.

Scrub and Rinse the Deck

Whenever you work with any type of chemicals, remember to protect your skin. In this case, a pair of rubber gloves will be suitable. Then, using the scrub brush and bleach solution that you just made, scrub the surface of the deck thoroughly. Allow the bleach solution to set in for about 15 to 30 minutes. This will begin to kill the algae and fungus that have developed on your decks surface.

After the solution has been allowed to sit for a while, use a garden hose to thoroughly rinse the wood.

Use the Deck Cleaner

Refer to the instructions on the acid or bleach-based deck cleaner you have chosen to cleanse your decking more thoroughly. In most cases, you will simply need to mix the cleaner with water and apply it to the surface. Then, you will have to allow the cleaning agent to set for the prescribed period of time in order to kill the rest of the algae and fungus. Once the cleaner has had time to set, and seep into the pores of the wood, use the scrub brush to work the solution in and scour away the remnants of the debris.

Rinse Again

Take the garden hose and again thoroughly rinse the surface. Make sure to remove any leftover acid or bleach-based cleaner, and don't forget to rinse handrails or stair rails that may have been doused with the solution.

Sweep the Deck Again

Take your broom and sweep the deck once more. This will help to remove any water buildup or puddles that may have developed when rinsing. Afterward, allow the deck to dry in the open air.

Put it all Back

Once the deck is dry and you’ve verified that the cleaning was successful, you can return the furniture and fixtures back in their proper locations. In order to prevent future buildup of algae and fungus, you should clean your deck at least once a month with a mild bleach and water solution.