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Posts Tagged ‘Deck Cleaners’

Bleach Is Bad For Wood

In this article, we are going to cover what actually is “Wood Deck Cleaner”. We will compare the different types of deck cleaning options available and what are the positives and negatives of each.

Wood and Deck Cleaners

Exterior wood and deck cleaners are designed to clean and prep your exterior wood prior to an application of a wood stain. These cleaners come in many different concentrates with different ingredients. The main purpose of deck cleaners is to remove contaminants such as dirt, oxidation (graying), mold, algae, and in some cases, a very deteriorated stain that has failed. Deck cleaners are typically made up of caustics soaps that will aid in the scrubbing or pressure washing of your wood during the prepping process. Most deck cleaners will raise the pH balance of the wood resulting in a neutralizing acid (deck brightener) application to cancel the caustic of the cleaner, leaving the wood in a neutral state.

Note: Deck cleaners are not designed to remove old stains. You would need a deck stain stripper for this.

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CLEANadvicetipsROLLOVER

How to prep and clean your wood deckExterior 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.

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Restore A Deck Kits

Restore A Deck Kits

Restore A Deck Kits

Important Note: This is our 2nd Review of the Restore A Deck Kits. See Here for First Review: Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener Kit

Restore A Deck cleaner is a specifically designed two-part system that is best used to clean and prep a wood deck prior to staining it. The Restore A Deck cleaner system consists of a wood cleaner that will remove dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and grayed wood fibers. Step 2 is a wood brightener that corrects the pH of the wood and brightens/lightens it up prior to applying a wood stain or sealer.

Restore-A-Deck comes in a powdered concentrated formula. Each 2 lb container makes 5 liquid gallons and can clean and brighten up to 1000 sq. feet. Simply pour each into a five gallon container and add water to dissolve the powder concentrate.

The Restore a Deck Step 1 Cleaner contains an EPA registered ingredient that helps in the removal of mold, mildew, and algae.

Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener Scores (1-10)

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 9

The Restore-A-Deck Step 1 Deck Cleaner works wonders at removing dirt and graying. The active ingredient creates a slight foaming on the wood once applied. Once the graying and dirt has softened, we find it best to use a pressure washer at a low setting of 1500 PSI to “lightly wash” off the dirty slime.

Cost Per Square Foot: 10

Powdered deck prepping products are the way to go. Cheaper and more effective than bleach-based solutions. We have found that the Restore A Deck Kits are the best on the market today when it comes to price. Cost to clean and brighten an average 800 square foot deck is less then $.07 a foot.

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Bleach and Wood Decks. Is it a good idea?

Bleach Is Bad For Wood

Bleach Is Bad For Wood

There is a lot of debate as to whether or not bleach or bleach-based products can be used to clean a wood deck. After all, bleach is cheap and readily available and has always been known as a household cleaner. To better understand this dilemma, let’s take a look at what bleach is.

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Restore-A-Deck Cleaner Kit

Restore-A-Deck Cleaner Review

Restore-A-Deck Cleaner Kit

Restore-A-Deck Cleaner Kit

Restore-A-Deck is the only product on the market that offers both a Step 1 Deck Cleaner and a Step 2 Deck Brightener in the same kit. Restore-A-Deck comes in a powdered concentrated formula. Each 2 lb container makes 5 liquid gallons. Simply pour each into a five gallon container and add water to dissolve the powder concentrate.

Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener Scores (1-10)

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 9

– The Restore-A-Deck Step 1 Deck Cleaner did very well at removing general dirt and grime. The deep cleaning formula made it easy to break down the gray wood cells. All mold was removed as well. The Step 1 Deck Cleaner did not remove some rust stains from the furniture but the Step 2 Brightener did.

Cost Per Square Foot: 10

– The best on the market today. Cost to clean and brighten an average 600 square foot deck is less than $.07 a foot. Since Restore-A-Deck comes in a powder we liked that you only needed to mix as much as you needed. Very little waste.

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Gemini Restore-A-Deck Kit
Gemini Restore-A-Deck Kit

Gemini Restore-A-Deck Kit

Gemini Restore-A-Deck Kit ReviewRestore-A-Deck Cleaner and Brightener system is a powerful “eco-friendly” two-part restoration system. 100% Biodegradable Concentrated powder formula. Prep wood surfaces for re-coating with a wood or deck stain and restores weathered gray wood to natural color.

Note: We tested Gemini’s Restore-A-Deck Kit on a heavily gray and dirty fence that was neglected for 8 years.

Gemini Restore-A-Deck Kit Scores (1-10)

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 9

– Gemini’s Restore-A-Deck Kit worked very efficiently to remove the graying from the fence. Even though the fence was severely neglected, the cleaner and brightener restored the wood to 90% of its original look.

Cost Per Square Foot: 10

– Excellent! Gemini’s Restore-A-Deck Kit is a powdered concentrate that is hard to beat when it comes to cost. The kit can clean and brighten up to 1000 sq. feet. You would need 3-5 times as much if purchasing a liquid packaged cleaner or brightener.

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CLEANadvicetipsROLLOVER
Uncleaned Dirty Deck

Uncleaned Dirty Deck

The correct answer is – not if you want the deck stain to last as long as it should. The number one reason a deck stain fails prematurely is because

the wood surface was not prepped correctly. Even a high-quality deck stain will not be as effective or protect like it should if the wood deck was not been washed first using the right deck cleaners.

A good deck cleaner should be used to remove gray wood fibers, dirt, mold, mildew, and other pollutants that are deep down in the wood. In some instances, a deck stain stripping agent is required to remove an old failing deck stain. It’s vitally important to remove all remnants of an old deck stain so the new stain can penetrate the wood. More times than not, most deck stains will not adhere to each other. When a deck stain is applied over an old failing stain it will start flaking and peeling within a year or so making an even bigger mess.

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EFC 38 Wood Cleaner
EFC 38 Wood Cleaner

EFC 38 Wood Cleaner

EFC-38’s unique formulation provides the strength necessary to clean gray wood, mold, mildew and heavy accumulations of grime. EFC-38 contains sodium percarbonate and additional surfactants that boost the overall effectiveness. EFC-38 was designed to clean and prep all exterior wood.  EFC-38 is safe to use and makes an excellent tool for wood preparation prior to applying a wood coating.

EFC-38 Wood Deck Cleaner Scores (1-10)

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 9

– EFC-38 is very effective at removing graying wood cells and algae. The wood surface looked 90% or better when done with the cleaning. All algae and mold were removed from the fence.

Cost Per Square Foot: 10

– Cost to clean the 1000 square foot fence was less than $.04 a foot. The powdered formula makes 5 gallons of liquid wood cleaner for 2 pounds of EFC-38

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Pressure Washing A Deck
Pressure Washing A Deck

Pressure Washing A Deck

Wood restoration can be one of the most misunderstood services and one of the toughest for do-it-yourself homeowners. One thing to keep in mind is that the main reason a new deck sealer will fail prematurely is because the wood was not cleaned properly beforehand.

When wood becomes weathered, it needs to be cleaned prior to sealing. Cleaning a wooden deck can be a difficult task for a homeowner that is uneducated about the process.

Using a pressure washer can be an effective method. You must also use the proper cleaners to get the dirt and grime out that is deep down in the wood. Most people make the mistake of using too much water pressure when using a pressure washer. Wood is actually pretty soft and can damage easily from excessive water pressure.

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Cabot Problem Solver Wood Cleaner

Cabot Problem Solver Wood Cleaner

Cabot® Ready-to-Use Problem Solver® Wood Cleaner is specially formulated to remove mildew stains, mold, algae, dirt and other foreign matter from all painted, stained, unfinished or weathered wood surfaces. Use for routine cleaning and for properly preparing all surfaces prior to staining or painting.

Cabot Problem Solver® Wood Cleaner Scores (1-10)

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 6

– Cabot Problem Solver Wood Cleaner is a sodium hypochlorite “bleach” based cleaner. It removed the mold but did a poor job on removing the graying and dirt.

Cost Per Square Foot: 7

– In general, we are not fans of liquid based wood cleaners. You are mostly paying for water in a bottle with a small amount of chemicals added. It is much more cost effective to purchase a powdered cleaner. Cabot Problem Solver Wood Cleaner is fair priced for a liquid deck cleaner.

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*This is first and foremost a help site from our experience as wood restoration contractors. All stain and prepping manufacturer directions were followed with our reviews and ratings. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.

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