How to Clean Between Deck Boards

Maintenance of a wood deck takes more than just power washing, you’ll also need to remove leaves and other debris from between the boards. To do this, screw an “L” hook to the end of a broom handle, then use it to remove debris. Watch this video to find out more.


  1. I am redoing a deck with 1 in space between boards and multi layers of paint/stain. removing boards is not an option (unfortunately) and power washing failed to remove the coatings. i need to resort to sanding/ paint removal liquids (I guess). would prefer to sand but am at a loss for “tool”. my dremel would work I guess but 40x 20 just makes me shudder.
    any suggestions
    bob orr
    crofton bc canada

  2. Our deck is in good condition b/c we stain it almost every summer. Quite a few boards have no spaces between them b/c of layers of paint filling them in. We want the rain & melted snow to to drop under neath the deck. What type of saw or tool could we use to shave back the edges of the deck boards? It is not leaf debris; it’s layers of paint that block the space between the boards.

  3. You could try using a dado saw blade or attach two carbide tip blades to your skill saw (check out a “how to” on doing this) which should give you about 1/4 inch cut. Screw down an 8′ 2″x4″ board for a fence to guide the saw along. Space the fence so that the saw blade is centered over the gap. If its just paint, you might be able to use the video suggestion, but attach a wider “L” screw

  4. what a simple great tip. Had a grout removal tool but a worker walked off with it and cant find a replacement so your suggestion is an inexpensive perfect option. Thank you

  5. Swollen cedar deck boards have closed the joints between the boards. Deck is under trees/minimal sun so will likely not dry out to shrink the boards. How do I clean the joints? Prefer not to powerwash as just more moisture, nor do I want to pull-up all the decking. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  6. Removed water based semi transparent stain that was peeling off the deck boards. Plan is to apply oil based product. Gaps are relatively tight because contractor used ‘camo decking screw system’. Have already tried power washing. Any recommendations for removing residual stain between the gaps/floor boards?? Any products out there that could be beneficial??


  7. We are repainting the deck and, as always, there is debris between the very narrow cracks. This is exactly what we needed, thank you!!!

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed this content, Matt. Please feel free to share it with friends — that’s how we’re able to create similar content. 🙂


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