Spring is here and it’s time to clean your caravan decking and get rid of any dirt that’s built up over the winter.
One of the best ways to keep your decking in tip-top shape is by keeping on top of the cleaning throughout the year. Regularly sweep your deck, particularly getting rid of leaves and dirt as they can leave marks on your decking and make it slippery when wet.
Here’s our caravan decking cleaning video guide to get your holiday caravan’s outdoor space ready for the season ahead:
Caravan decking cleaning kit
- A long handled sweeping brush with hard bristles
- A handheld scrubbing brush
- A water source
- A garden hose or jet washer (on a low setting)
- A bucket or garden sprayer
- A mop or long-handled soft brush
- Specialist decking cleaner
- A squeegee type mop
Plus, a bit of time, some elbow grease and a dry, fine day!
Caravan decking cleaning top tips
- Don’t use household or chlorine bleach to clean your decking. It will damage your decking and will not prevent or get rid of mould.
- Always use a specialist decking cleaner
- Avoid cleaning your decking in bright sunlight. It’s best to clean it in the morning or late afternoon/early evening
- Don’t use a high-pressure jet washer on your decking. If using a jet washer make sure it’s on a low-pressure setting. Also, be careful not to point the jet directly onto posts and fascia boards as the pressure from the jet can cause delamination over time. As a general rule, the nozzle should be no closer than 12in to the surface. Using a pressure washer on timber decking can force algae and mould deeper into the timber, so keep the pressure setting low.
- Don’t use paint as a sealant on any type of decking
- Clean your decking regularly to keep it in a good condition and to prevent algae and moss from accumulating
- Remove any stains like tree sap, bird droppings or grease and oily food spills as soon as you see them. You can use an all-purpose cleaner for these or some washing-up liquid. For more stubborn stains you might need a more abrasive decking cleaner
Step 1: Prepare your caravan decking
Remove all outdoor furniture, pot plants or barbecues from your decking so you have a nice clear area. Start by using your brush to sweep away any dirt, leaves and debris and then hose down to get rid of any excess or loose dirt.
Now is a good time to inspect the decking to make sure none of the boards have come loose. For wooden decking it might be as simple as driving another screw in to secure the plank. If plastic or composite decking, contact the company who installed the deck or speak to your park operator.
Caravan decking cleaners
There are plenty of specialist cleaners to clean and revive your decking and get rid of dirt, mould, and algae.
- Composite or uPVC caravan decking
In our how-to video we clean caravan decking made of composite and used two cleaning products:
DeckMAX Deck Cleaner is eco-friendly and can be used to clean wooden, composite or uPVC decking to help eliminate any mould, mildew and oxidation that has built up over time.
Mayfield Decks also recommends Washbomb to clean your decking.
This is non-foaming, doesn’t contain solvents that could harm the environment and is anti-microbial to help prevent algae growth. Its unique, environmentally-friendly formula will remove dirt and grease from caravan decking. Simply add the contents of the sachet to a bucket of water and use either a mop, soft brush or cloth to apply.
- Wooden decking
For wooden decking, you can use a specialist cleaner, like the DeckMax Deck Cleaner or Ronseal decking cleaner.
Step 2: Clean your caravan decking
Follow the instructions on your decking cleaning product, adding it to a bucket or water sprayer, and diluting as directed.
Starting from a straight edge against your caravan or decking fencing work in a line away from your caravan. Using a long-handled brush or mop, apply the cleaning solution to the decking, scrubbing as you go and going in the direction of the boards. Try to use long sweeps which overlap each other.
Use a hand brush to get into those difficult to reach areas underneath and around your ballustrades and for stubborn stains, you might need to go over again with a hand brush and the cleaning agent.
Don’t forget to clean between the boards as this is where debris can gather and mould can thrive. Also, make sure these gaps don’t get blocked with debris and dirt so air can flow between the decking boards.
Some decking cleaning solutions are best left for 15 minutes to half an hour to work their magic before rinsing.
If your deck has got some stubborn food stains on it, such as grease or oil, particularly from a barbecue, try applying some concentrated dishwashing liquid directly onto the stain and brush with a stiff decking brush in line with the grain. Rinse with hot water and brush again. Keep repeating until the stain is removed. It’s best to remove food spills when they happen by rinsing them away with hot water.
Step 3: Rinse the decking
Once you’ve applied the cleaning solution, rinse off the residue with fresh clean water from the hosepipe.
You can dry it off quickly and get rid of excess water and dirt with a sponge or squeegee-style mop.
Finish, protect and restore
- Composite decking
When your decking is clean and dry, to keep it looking its best you can use a decking revitaliser.
This will give it some extra protection from the weather and use. Some protectors will also help to restore your decking if it’s looking a bit dull. Mayfield recommends DeckMAX’s E2 PVC Deck Revitaliser, which will help to restore your PVC decking’s colour and eliminate fading. This can be applied after cleaning your decking.
- Wooden decking
For wooden decking there are different kinds of decking oil, protector, or stains to restore your deck and protect it from the sun and rain for the season ahead. Again this can be applied after cleaning.
When leaving your clean uPVC or composite decking for extended periods, make sure you remove any items that might rust, such as barbecues or furniture, as the staining is very difficult to remove and even proprietary cleaners don’t always work.
If attempting to remove rust staining, you should choose a solvent-free plastic cleaner and it’s good practice to test a small area out of sight first to see if the cleaning agent reacts with the surface. Always read the manufacturers’ instructions.
A huge thank you to Ribby Hall Village for letting us film at their holiday park and clean one of their owners’ decking.
Over to you…
Do you have any tips on how to clean a caravan decking that you’d like to share? As always, please comment in the box below.