Prepping Your Wood Deck – Cleaning
Exterior wood decking when left neglected oxidizes from the Ultra Violet rays from the sun. This will patina the exposed layer of wood cells turning the deck gray. Cleaning the deck first will a deck cleaner will remove this layer of graying wood cells while removing accumulated dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and algae.
Prepping your wood deck is the singular most important step when it comes to getting maximum performance out of your deck stain. Failure to prep and your stain will fail faster then it should and will not give the wood it’s natural beauty.
This article will go over the needed steps to properly clean your deck prior to applying the stain.
- Make sure that the deck is clear of all furniture and grills prior to starting.
- Decide first if you should use a deck cleaner or a deck stain stripper. Use a deck cleaner if the wood is gray and dirty. If you have am old deck stain that needs to be removed then you should use a deck stain stripper as the deck cleaner is not aggressive enough to remove stains.
- Pre-wet the deck first before applying the deck cleaner. Take precautions to wet all vegetation and the surrounding house. The majority of deck cleaners will not harm plants as long as you pre-wet and rinse off any residual cleaner that comes in contact with the plants.
- Wait about 5-15 minutes to let the cleaner activate. If needed, mist the deck with water to keep the cleaner from drying on hot days.
- Using a stiff scrub brush, starting agitating the deck until the wood comes clean. Using a pressure washer at 1000 psi or less will speed this process up.
- If any stubborn areas persist then repeat the process.
- After deck is thoroughly clean make sure to rinse the house, deck, plants, etc to remove all of the loosened grime.
- Using a Wood Deck Brightener will give the wood and added boost in appearance. The brightener neutralizes the deck cleaner and “brightens” the wood to a more natural state.
- Let wood dry a minimum of 24-48 hours before applying a deck stain or sealer.
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