Cleaning, I always use a leaf blower too. I never or very rarely use a hose. I have only cleaned under the deck a few times once just a few months ago when I changed the belt. Not much grass but I do think it improved the mulching. My mower looks well used a few surface rust issues but not worried. Remember this thing has been under water twice. I have a thing about keeping my stuff instead of buying new every few years so I maintain all my equipment more so than anyone else or close to it. I am dying to install the sealed bearings but so hot here in upper 90's and very humid plus all is working well. Between all of us here we will find a fix and it is nice that all of us has done something different and reporting their findings.Regarding cleaning - I use my leaf blower to blow it off. I wash it every few years... maybe. As long as you’re not mowing in the rain it gets it pretty clean. I don’t worry about the underside of the deck. I’ve not had any rust issues. Mild surface rust at worst. And no problem- I’m hoping we can get this thing sorted. I love civics ball bearing option, but mine is still doing great with the needle bearings. I’m on the fence if I should run to failure or tear down and inspect at the end of the season. Leaning towards running it to failure, but at some point it’s probably good to regrease it... so I’m not sure.