As pool owners, we know that having a clean pool deck is essential for safety and enjoyment of the pool area. Over time, pool decks can accumulate dirt, debris, stains, mold, and mildew. Regular deck cleaning and maintenance keeps the deck looking fresh, ensures proper drainage, and prevents slick and hazardous conditions.
In this comprehensive guide, we will walk through all the steps and best practices for cleaning your concrete, paver, or other type of pool deck.
Why Regular Cleaning is Crucial
Cleaning your pool deck may feel like a chore, but it brings many benefits that make it worthwhile:
- Prevents Slip Hazards: A clean, algae and mold-free surface provides better traction when the deck is wet. This prevents slippery conditions that could cause falls and injuries.
- Enhances Appearance: Regular pressure washing, sweeping, and stain removal keeps your deck looking like new and enhances the aesthetics of your pool area.
- Extends Lifespan: Letting stains, mold, and other buildup set in can actually begin deteriorating concrete, pavers, and deck coatings over time. Keeping the surface clean preserves its integrity.
- Improves Water Quality: Debris getting tracked into the pool or blowing into the water can diminish water cleanliness. Keeping a clean deck reduces contamination.
- Allows Proper Drainage: When dirt, leaves, and other debris accumulate, it can clog drains and prevent water from properly flowing away from the deck after rain or overflow.
Depending on factors like the decking material, amount of use, and environment, we recommend cleaning anywhere from once per week to once per month or seasonally.
Cleaners and Tools You’ll Need
Gather the proper equipment before starting your pool deck cleaning to make the process smooth and efficient. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Dish soap
- Laundry detergent
- Concentrated deck cleaner
- Concrete cleaner
- Scrub brushes
- Garden hose
- Pressure washer
- Plastic deck scraper
- Clean buckets
- Rubber gloves
- Eye protection
- Face mask if using strong chemicals
- Non-slip shoes
- Sponge or soft cloth
- Stiff scrub pads or brushes
- Wet/Dry vac
The right cleaning solutions and tools depend on the type of material your pool deck is made from and the extent of buildup needing removal.
Step-by-Step Cleaning Process
With the proper supplies in hand, you’re ready to thoroughly clean your swimming pool deck:
1. Remove Furniture, Decorations, and Pool Toys
Start by clearing the deck of any removable items like patio furniture, potted plants, decorations, pool floats, etc. This allows for unobstructed cleaning access to all deck surfaces.
2. Sweep Away Debris
Use a stiff outdoor broom to sweep up and dispose of any leaves, dirt, sticks, pet waste, and other debris resting on top of the deck. Sweeping away this loose buildup first makes the remaining steps more effective.
3. Pressue Wash the Deck
In most cases, you’ll need to power wash your concrete, stone, or paver pool deck to really deep clean and remove stubborn stains. Pressure washers use high-powered water jets to break up residue and debris at a molecular level.
When pressure washing:
- Use broad, even strokes across the surface
- Overlap strokes to cover all areas
- Adjust nozzles for wider or more concentrated spray
- Take caution not to damage more delicate deck features
4. Apply Cleaning Solution
After debris is cleared away, apply your cleaning mixture. What you use depends on the deck material and types of stains or growths needing removal.
Concrete pool deck:
- Dish soap + bleach: Removes everyday dirt and brightens surface
- Concentrated deck cleaner: Designed to break down matter embedded in concrete pores
- Concrete cleaner: Removes rust, calcium, or efflorescence stains
Paver or natural stone pool deck:
- Mix dish soap + laundry detergent: Breaks down oils, dirt, and grime on paver surfaces
- Paver cleaner: Specialized formulas to brighten color and avoid abrasion
Wood or composite pool deck:
- Dish soap, oxygen cleaner, or deck cleaner: Cleans without stripping protective coatings
Apply the cleaner liberally across the wet surface using a bucket and soft cloth or scrub brush. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
5. Scrub All Areas
While cleaner sits, agitate dirt and stains using a stiff scrub brush, deck scraper, or scrub pads attached to a broom. Apply elbow grease to all deck surfaces. This helps lift residue from pores and etched areas.
Pay extra attention to high-traffic zones around pool ladders, drains, and corners where buildup accumulates most.
6. Rinse Cleaning Solution Away
The next step is to rinse away all the lifted dirt, debris, cleaning chemical residue from the deck surface. Use a garden hose or pressure washer on a more concentrated setting to thoroughly rinse.
Rinsing flushes the gunk away down into drains and off the surrounding yard area. Repeat rinsing until bubbles and cleaner are completely removed.
7. Squeegee Away Excess Water
Once rinsed, use a squeegee on poles or a push broom to wipe all standing puddles and pools of water off the deck. Wiping water away with a squeegee prevents pooling and allows decks to dry faster.
You can sprinkle cat litter or baking soda on extremely slick areas to soak up standing water. Rinse away either product once dry.
8. Let Deck Fully Dry
After squeegeeing, allow your deck to completely air dry before using. This may take 1-3 hours or longer depending on sunlight exposure and deck size. Lack of moisture prevents future mold and hazardous slick spots.
You may need to periodically sweep up debris that drains to the side as the deck dries.
9. Inspect and Spot Treat any Remaining Stains
Once dry, closely check over the entire deck for any remaining dirt, stains, or buildup. Spot treat these areas by reapplying cleaner, scrubbing, and rinsing. This might take multiple cleaning sessions for stubborn stains.
If stains remain after multiple attempts, you may need to either strip and refinish the cleaning surface or have it professionally cleaned.
10. Reapply Protective Sealants or Coatings
For concrete, exposed aggregate, stone, and some wood deck surfaces, reapply specialty waterproof sealers after cleaning. These protective layers prevent future staining and damage from moisture exposure.
Choose sealants compatible with your pool deck material. Reapply every 1-3 years or as directed.
With these comprehensive cleaning steps completed, your pool deck should now look fresh, sanitary, and invite backyard fun! Just be sure to stay on top of debris removal and regular quick cleanings between deep cleans.
Tips for Ongoing Pool Deck Care
Cleaning your pool deck thoroughly is hard work. But taking steps between deep cleans to keep dirt, leaves, and other matter from accumulating helps make those heavy-duty cleanings less frequent and intense.
Here are some useful tips for keeping your pool deck cleaner on an ongoing basis:
- Dry sweep daily or as needed
- Use door mats, potted plants, decor items to block wind-blown debris and dirt
- Remove solid pet waste immediately to avoid staining
- Prevent dirt track-in with a small bin for shoes near the pool entry
- Check for debris after high winds or storms
- Apply rejuvenating deck cleaner monthly or quarterly
- Reseal or apply protective treatments routinely
- Address spills, oils, lawn treatments on deck right away
- Adjust pool chemicals at proper levels to avoid excess algae growth
- Trim back trees and bushes hanging over the deck
Staying vigilant removes dirt before it has a chance to settle in. And catching stains early increases the chances of removal.
When to Consider Professional Cleaning
For severely neglected or heavily stained pool decks, professional cleaning may become necessary.
The average pool deck needs a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning every 2-3 years by service professionals with industrial equipment. This deep cleans what do-it-yourself attempts cannot.
Consider hiring professional concrete, stone, or brick patio cleaners for pool decks with:
- Years of noticeable buildup
- Pervasive oily stains
- Etched lines of calcium or rust
- Gum stains
- Mold or mildew spread over large areas
- Heavy staining between brick pavers
- Discoloration that affects structural integrity
Many pool cleaning companies offer add-on deck cleaning services. Or search for specialized firms in power washing or masonry and deck restoration.
Professionals have high-powered hot water blasters, commercial-grade cleaners, and tools to flush soils from the deepest pores, cracks, and pits across deck materials.
How often should I clean my pool deck?
Ideally, sweep your deck weekly and perform a thorough cleaning every few months or as needed.
Can I use bleach to clean my concrete pool deck?
Yes, but dilute it properly and rinse the area well after cleaning.
Is a pressure washer necessary for cleaning a pool deck?
While not necessary, a pressure washer can provide a more thorough cleaning, especially for concrete decks.
Maintain a Pristine Pool Deck Year-Round
With the right cleaning process and regular care, your pool deck can look freshly poured and pristine at the start of each pool season.
Take time up front each year to deep clean the entire deck and surrounding pool area. Then once open for summer, stay on top of daily and weekly maintenance all season long. Establish a routine that keeps your deck free of hazards, eye-catching, and a clean space for pool fun with family and friends.
Contact Sullins Suds to help you clean your pool decks!