Pro Tips for Pool Deck Cleaning

March 12, 2019

Proper pool deck cleaning preserves the decks' concrete, timber, or patio stones, reducing the need for unnecessary repairs and ensuring a safe surface for foot traffic. Keeping a pool deck clean also means cleaner air around the pool and a more attractive area for sunbathing or entertaining guests.

Use a bleach and soap solution and an exterior brush for regular pool deck cleaning. A professional power washing removes grit, grime, sand, silt, chlorine and other pool chemicals and prepares concrete and timber for a fresh coat of sealant.

Keeping a pool deck clean is necessary for all pool owners, to protect those surface materials and allow you to enjoy your outdoor space better. Note some pro tips for cleaning swimming pool decks and some advantages of calling a professional power washing company as needed, so that every inch of your home's exterior is spotlessly clean and always in good repair.

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How to Clean Your Pool Deck

To clean a pool deck, you'll need standard household bleach, dish soap, an exterior scrub brush meant for concrete, a bucket, and lots of water. Follow these steps for a quick clean:

  • Fill the bucket with water and add a cup of bleach and a squirt of the dish soap. Wear gloves or use the handle of the scrub brush to mix together these materials.
  • Spread the solution over the pool deck. Mix additional buckets of bleach and soap as needed, to cover your entire deck.
  • Use the scrub brush and brush the deck thoroughly. Be sure to take extra time over the expansion joints, or the indented trenches between sections of concrete, as dirt and grime tend to settle into these areas.
  • After scrubbing the entire deck, use a pressure washer or garden hose with a pressure nozzle and rinse the water thoroughly.

To ensure you don't damage your property's lawn or contaminate the pool's water, rinse the soapy solution toward the home's driveway and into the street. Note, too, that you don't want to use too much bleach or soap in this mixture. These materials need to dissolve completely in the water, or they might leave a residue on the pool deck. Use even less bleach on a timber deck, to avoid drying the wood and leaving unsightly marks and spots.

How to Treat Spots on a Pool Deck

Leaving metal furniture, a grill, and other such items on a pool's deck can result in rust spots and similar stains; food and beverages like tea and coffee can also leave behind stains on a concrete deck. To treat these spots, use a bit of tri-sodium phosphate or muriatic acid, available at most home goods, hardware, and cleaning supply stores.

When applying such spot treatments, remember that these chemicals are typically strong and can damage a pool's deck if left too long or if misused. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and use the products as directed. Do not mix these materials with other chemicals, to avoid dangerous reactions.

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How to Repair a Cracked Pool Deck

After cleaning a pool deck, you might realize that there are some cracks and chips in need of repair. If the crack is so small that you cannot see the ground under it, you can typically fix it with store-bought materials. A professional contractor, however, should patch deeper cracks, chips, missing concrete, and other such significant damage.

To repair small cracks in a pool deck, ensure the deck is cleaned thoroughly, and remove any loose pieces of concrete from the damaged area. Mix concrete patching powder in a bucket, according to the package directions. Use a trowel to apply this bonding agent to the crack, smoothing its surface as you go. Wipe any excess mixture with a sponge and allow the repair to dry thoroughly before walking over it.

Why Hire a Professional to Pressure Wash a Pool Deck?

Regular professional pressure washing of your home's pool deck is essential, even if you clean that deck yourself on a consistent basis. Homes in tropical areas or near any beachfront may especially need professional power washing more often than others. Note why you want to consider professional power washing every year and even more often, as required, for homes in tropical areas:

  • Sand, silt, grit, and other residues that wash in from nearby beaches get ground into the pits and pores of the concrete and are difficult to extract with everyday cleaning tools and detergents. This gritty residue can etch away at concrete and stone, leading to cracks, chips, and other damage, and creating a slick and unsafe walking surface.
  • A simple bleach mixture may not sufficiently wash chlorine and other pool chemicals from the surface of the concrete. These chemicals can dry out your home's pool deck, making it brittle and prone to cracking. Chlorine and pool chemicals can also dry out painted concrete, leading to peeling and chipping.
  • Overuse of bleach and other such substances can be harmful to concrete and its sealant and other coatings. A soft wash cleaning system or other effective yet gentle process used by a professional power washer ensures that your deck and pool are clean and damage-free.

A professional pool deck cleaning contractor can also note any spots and stains that you cannot remove with over-the-counter chemicals and cleansers. Professional pool deck cleaners often have access to specialty surfactants and other detergents that quickly and easily remove rust, food stains, paint splotches, and other areas of damage from your pool deck.

Is a Soft Wash System Good for Above Ground Pool Decks?

A soft wash pressure washing system uses specialty surfactants to gently but effectively dissolve thick, caked-on dirt and grime from exterior surfaces. These surfactants also seep into pits and pores of exterior surface materials, including asphalt, brick, patio pavers and stones, and concrete. Once the dirt is dissolved, a low-pressure rinse is all that's needed to wash it away.

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Soft wash systems are an excellent choice for cleaning a deck around a pool, and especially if you've neglected this cleaning for some time, as these surfactants will reach and dissolve thick grit and sand ground into a concrete deck's pores and crevices. Soft, low-pressure rinsing won't strip paint or sealant from the surface of the concrete, so the deck is spotlessly clean and free of damage.

Tips for Keeping a Pool Deck Clean

A pool deck needs regular professional cleaning no matter what you do to protect it, but note some tips on how to keep that deck as clean as possible and reduce otherwise unnecessary cleaning:

  • Consider a glass or other solid panel fence around the pool deck, versus a chain link or mesh fence. Solid panel fencing stops dirt, sand, grit, and other debris from blowing onto the pool's deck.
  • Avoid metal patio furniture, to reduce the chances of rust stains on the pool deck.
  • Be careful about eating on the deck, and use caution when drinking coffee, tea, and other beverages that cause stains when spilled. When planning pool deck ideas, invest in an outdoor dining table or side tables for the deck area and ensure that family and guest use them for eating and drinking!
  • Have the concrete, stone, or wood of a pool's deck sealed on a consistent basis. Sealant protects concrete from absorbing moisture that leads to cracking and chips. A sealant also keeps sand, grit, and other such dirt and grime out of the pits and pores of concrete, for added protection.

Note, too, that a quick rinse with a garden hose on a consistent basis is not as effective as scrubbing the concrete with a bleach solution or hiring a professional power washer to clean the deck around your home’s pool, but rinsing will remove sand, silt, dirt, and other residues, reducing how much of that grime gets ground into the concrete.

When to Have Your Home Power Washed

Power washing a home's exterior will remove damaging mud, dirt, sand, grit, moss, mold, and other debris that you cannot rinse away with a garden hose. This debris holds excess moisture against a home's bricks, siding, roofing shingles, and concrete surfaces, leading to cracks, chips, and other damage. Motor oil and other fluids will break down asphalt driveways, leading to potholes and chips.

Don't wait until you see a buildup of dirt and grime outside your home, as small layers of residual grit can be damaging to its exterior. A home typically needs power washing every year, even if it looks clean, to keep it in pristine condition. Homes in tropical areas or near a beach may require more frequent washing, to remove residual sand and grit. Schedule to have your pool deck cleaned at the same time as residential power washing, to ensure your property's exterior surfaces are clean and protected from premature damage.

Related Questions

Can you use bleach to clean a timber pool deck?

Bleach will remove moss and mold from a timber deck, but be cautious about using undiluted bleach on wood. Too much bleach will dry out the timber of your home's decking, causing that wood to cup, bow, crack, or otherwise suffer damage.

Can you power wash a painted or stained concrete pool deck?

A painted or stained concrete pool deck can be power washed but note that too much pressure can chip that paint. Rely on an experienced, professional power washing contractor to clean painted or stained pool decks for you.

What's the difference between renting a pressure washer and hiring a pro?

Professional pressure washing contractors have access to high-powered machines and strong detergents not available to consumers. A professional will know the best cleansers for pool deck cleaning and have the know-how to ensure every surface of your property's exterior is clean and free of damage.

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