Hardwood floors for the exterior are very popular: refined and natural, they are a feature in many gardens. As anyone who has chosen wood floors for the interior of the house knows that wood is a delicate material and, to enjoy its beauty for a long time, it must be maintained consistently. This is especially more true for exterior floors, which, if exposed to the elements, can become green, slimy and slippery if neglected. A prospect that is anything but exciting.
However, don’t despair, you can restore it to its original state with a little elbow grease and by keeping in mind 3 main steps: cleaning, maintenance and protection of surfaces. And it today’s article, we are going to give you tips on how to clean those wooden floors perfectly.
What Condition Is the Floor in?
To begin, we recommend that you conduct a thorough examination of your floor to assess its condition. This will help you determine the type of maintenance to be performed and the best product to use.
If the floor is new, we recommend that you allow it to breathe for at least 6 months before subjecting it to any type of treatment. This is to ensure that any pre-existing treatment is eroded, allowing new coats of paint or primer to penetrate and adhere to the wood.
Discoloration is the most common and obvious damage to wood. Any untreated wood will eventually turn gray. This happens in reaction to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, but can have many other causes: bird droppings, dust, fungus, mold, moss, and rust from metal parts, vases and furniture placed on the surface.
In this case, simply cleaning the floor will not regenerate the original color but will certainly contribute to making it more beautiful and healthy. On the contrary, a protective product will help to alleviate this problem caused mainly by the very fine particles of dirt that penetrate the microscopic pores of the wood.
Before proceeding with any type of treatment, the floor must be thoroughly cleaned. Let’s see how.
How to Clean Exterior Wood Floors
Cleaning is a fundamental step in maintenance: even the best products are useless if the surface is dirty.
Before starting the actual cleaning, remember to check the axles for damage, rot or breakage and replace them.
Remove everything on the floor, from carpets to bulky furniture, so that the surface is clear. Use a stiff broom (a garden broom works well) to remove the bulk of the dirt on the floor.
Before you start scrubbing the boards, you should get rid of algae, moss and other forms of fungus by using a basic fungicide. Also, check for any insects or pests lurking under the floor. You can eventually use a little insecticide to get rid of them, just make sure that it is not aggressive on the wood, at the risk of damaging it.
If your floor already has a coat of paint and you want to go back to a more natural look, this is a good time to sand it down. Keep in mind that this can only be done on smooth boards, not on boards with grooves. Once the match is complete, sweep up all residue and then move on to cleaning.
When cleaning, it is important to choose a quality product for optimal results. Read the instructions of the product you choose carefully to understand whether to apply it directly to the surface or dilute it with water and scrub the boards with a brush. Be sure to cover the entire surface for a smooth result. After waiting for any indicated application times, rinse with a garden hose, using a garden hose set to medium pressure, to remove any detergent residue.
With those tips, you should be able to keep your exterior hardwood floors in pristine conditions. And if you want to learn more, come back to check the second part of this article.