During the fall season, everyone’s thoughts naturally turn to the same subject: What to do about all those leaves on the outdoor deck? They seem to come out of nowhere to take up residence all over the decking, the rails, the furniture, and every other part of the platform. It would seem to be a problem with a simple solution—but before you go about clearing off those annoying leaves, there are a few things you need to know.

Use a Garden Hose – It’s tempting to get out the pressure washing gear when you want to clean up around the house—there’s nothing quite like the feeling of blasting away debris and dirt. But as we’ve said before, pressure washing is a short-term solution that tends to cause long-term problems for your outdoor deck. The force of high-pressure water can damage the decking.

For clearing away leaves, all you need is an everyday garden hose and nozzle attachment. First, move the deck furniture aside, then spray the floor by starting at the end connected to the house and gradually walking to the other side as you hose away the leaves in a semi-circle pattern.

Dealing with Leaf Stains – One reason why it’s important to clear off leaves as soon as possible is the risk of getting ugly leaf stains all over your deck. These stains usually look like leaf silhouettes; they’re actually blotches of tannin oil that have leached off the leaves. Sometimes these stains naturally disappear after a few weeks, but they can be stubborn, which means you’ll need to get rid of them yourself. Old-fashioned soap and water often does the trick, but if this fails, you may wish to contact an experienced deck restoration professional before you try more abrasive cleaning solutions.

To prevent future occurrences of persistent leaf stains, ask the Deck Wizard team about our patented deck coating.