We are currently living in the newest home that we have ever lived in, as it was built in 2007. Since the home we own back in Memphis was built in 1927, we can talk for hours about the shadow side of all that “charm” and “character” that old homes have. There’s definitely something to be said for a house that has standard sizing and that doesn’t have elements that are breaking left and right!
But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take care of the property! After moving in, we quickly identified an area where the previous owners were simply coasting and not doing proper maintenance: the deck. As far as we can tell, the deck has never been stained or sealed. Nope, not EVER. So we have a 5 year old deck of untreated wood. That’s a disaster waiting to happen, folks. It’s fine for right now, but rotting wood is in our future (trust us, we know!) if we don’t take action soon.
Also, the deck was absolutely filthy when we moved in. It had layers and layers of dirt on it. And this all relates to a theory I learned as an Urban Studies major in college that has always stuck with me (stay with me, I promise this tangent is relevant!). It’s called the Broken Window Theory, and the gist of it is that any blight (for example, a broken window) left unfixed will attract additional blight. An unkempt front yard will increase the likelihood that your neighbors might not take good care of their yard. And a filthy deck will not give the homeowners any pride, but rather, will somehow cause the owners to think, “It already looks bad, why not just add to it?!”
And that, my friends, is why our back deck has looked just like this for the past 3 months (I am so embarrassed….)
As if this doesn’t look bad enough, we also had a HUGE pile of broken down cardboard boxes sprawled about on the deck for a few weeks (ok…more like 2 months) as we steadily unpacked the house. It looked like we just didn’t care one bit. And I suppose, upon reflection, that we sort of didn’t. I mean, it already looked awful…how much worse could more crap make it look, right?
Well, first, let me say that throwing crap on top of a crappy looking deck IN NO WAY helps it look better. We could have at least had a dirty but spartan-looking deck rather than a dirty AND messy deck. But we just didn’t see the point.
Now we do, but in order to get to that point, we had to start having some pride in our back deck. And that meant we needed to clean it.
That’s where Thompson’s WaterSeal Oxy Foaming Action Exterior Multi-Surface Cleaner comes in. Tim applied this product to the deck using a spray nozzle and some elbow grease, and we went from this
The wood is actually a completely different color than we thought it was. How simultaneously gross and awesome is that?! One container will cover up to 200 square feet. I think Tim used about 1/3 of a container on the deck the first round, and then he used about another 1/4 later when he went back over the railings a second time. It took him about 1 1/2 hours to strip away 5 years of dirt and grime. I’d say that it was time VERY well spent!
This product from Thompson’s knows how to attack dirt, mildew, algae and fungus on a wide range of outdoor surfaces (wood and composite decks, roofs, outdoor furniture, fences, concrete, masonry, stucco, brick, siding and even some plastics such as vinyl and awnings. That makes it a fantastic cleaner to have in your arsenal! The product is biodegradable and oxygen-based, which makes it much more gentle than chlorine bleach-based alternatives.
And just to show how well that Broken Window theory holds true, you’ll be interested to hear that we haven’t put a single thing back on our deck since we cleaned it off. It is bare and beautiful…we can finally see that all that junk needed to get off our lovely deck!
Next week I’ll show you how we took steps to ensure that we won’t be replacing the wood on this deck in the next few years by sealing it with Thompson’s WaterSeal! There will also be a giveaway coming up and if you leave a comment on this post, you will get an extra entry! If you know you really need this product to help spruce up your backyard for the end of summer, click here to find your nearest retailer!
So tell me a little about the outside of your house. Can you think of something that could really use some Thompson’s Multi-Surface Cleaner?
Disclosure: I received complimentary products for review purposes. All thoughts, opinions, dirt and embarrassing photos are strictly my own.