The Complete Guide to Removing Stains + Maintaining Decks, Patios + Walkways

A spotless deck or patio heightens outdoor living enjoyment and elevates the aesthetic of your entertaining space. But after constant exposure to the elements, any surface, no matter how resilient, begins to lose its good looks.

Whether your outdoor space is made of wood, composite, brick, stone or concrete, Joe is here to guide you on how to remove specific stains and perform routine maintenance on your surfaces to ensure they always looks as good as new.

Wood Decking

It is inevitable that your once gleaming wood deck will eventually turn grey from sun exposure.

North American woods (pine, cedar, redwood) benefit heavily from annual sealing to help prolong their rich color, and protect them from the elements.

Tropical woods (mahogany, ipe) are more dense and oily, which means they do not require regular sealing.

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To maintain North American woods, refinish and seal them yearly.

  • Start by sanding off any existing finish
  • Apply a clear water repellent preservative or absorptive semi-transparent stain (the latter protects better)
  • Neither product will require sanding during your next yearly cleaning
  • Products with a UV protectant may slow the graying process, but will not prevent it
  • Follow the directions closely; do not apply more coats than directed (can lead to rot)

Investing in a good pressure washer is essential. Sun Joe has several models with varying PSI and tons of attachments such as the rotary brush wand to assist you in refinishing projects, or routine cleaning.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is comprised of a mixture containing wood and plastic. It is not recommended to paint, seal or stain this type of material.

The best way to maintain this surface is a simple cleaning with regular use of a broom, and gentle cleansing with a pressure washer. Sun Joe’s feather bristle utility brush provides gentle scrubbing action perfect for use on composite surfaces.

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Stain Removal Remedies For Wood + Composite Decking

Courtesy of the experts at Better Homes & Garden.

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Brick

While brick is a generously durable material, it’s still best to clean it gently.

A masonry cleaner will do the trick. Simply mix per directions, and scrub with a stiff bristle brush or broom.

Sun Joe offers several pressure washer attachments such as the power scrubbing broom, and patio attachment that have coarse plastic heads gentle enough to be used on brick patios and walkways.

To maintain the efflorescence, avoid calcium-chloride deicers, refrain from using a sealant, and be vigilant to remove any plant growth that could loosen mortar joints.

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Concrete

Perhaps the most durable and forgiving material,  concrete still has a kryptonite-like weakness to strong acids, which damage the smooth surface and cause roughness.

To maintain this surface, consider sealing. It will improve stain resistance and make it easier to clean. If you opt for this, choose a penetrating sealer. A silicone-based water repelling sealer will work well to keep your patio in good shape. If you want to also enhance the color, consider glossing with an acrylic-based sealer.

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Be careful to avoid deicers containing ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate – they contain the acids mentioned earlier which will destroy concrete.

Snow Joe ice melt is environmentally friendly and does not contain ingredients that will harm your concrete walkway or patio.

Stone

Stone can be categorized based on porousness. Siliceous stone, shown below on the left, (granite, sandstone, slate, bluestone, brownstone) is durable and dense. Calcareous stone, shown below on the right (marble, limestone, travertine) is more delicate and porous, making them susceptible to staining.

If you are unsure which type of stone you have, place a drop of vinegar in a discreet spot If it fizzes, your stone surface is calcareous.

Similar to wood, stone too can lose its lustrous color from the weather.  A stone enhancer will increase the saturated look (think how it appears when wet) and add stain resistance if you apply one that contains a sealer, and will not need to be reapplied from 3-5 years.

When cleaning, use a stone poultice.

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Stain Removal Remedies For Brick, Concrete + Stone Patios/Walkways

Courtesy of the experts at Better Homes & Garden.

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