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Deck Stain Reviews Ratings

Posts Tagged ‘Deck Cleaning Tips’

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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Failing Deck Stain
Deck Stain Failure

Old Deck Stain

Bringing an old deck back to life can be very rewarding. But like any rewarding venture, the task can be daunting. With the right knowledge however, it can be well worth the effort. A restored deck can give your home’s exterior a much needed facelift not to mention raise your home’s curb appeal and value.

Re-staining an old deck requires a few tools. A pressure washer is very helpful but a scrub brush can also be used. Pressure washers can be rented if you do not own one. Before re-staining an old deck, the surface needs to be clean. A good wood cleaner will go a long way in aiding the cleaning process. A quality deck cleaner will loosen dirt, grime, and graying making them easier to remove with the pressure washer or scrub brush. It will also rid the old deck of mold, mildew, and algae. The idea is to reveal clean bare wood so the new deck stain will perform properly.

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Moldy_Deck_StainLearning your deck has attracted unwanted mold and algae can be disheartening but it is not the end of the world. These contaminants can be removed to reveal a beautiful surface once again. How to remove mold and algae from decks is a common question asked by homeowners. But with the right knowledge it can be done over a weekend with no problem.

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New Cedar Wood

The first step in deck restoration and/or maintenance is to clean and prep the wood. This is the key to a longer lasting finish. Properly prepped wood will allow the deck stain to penetrate and perform to its full potential. So how dry does the deck need to be after cleaning it to apply the stain? Well that can be measured in several ways.

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What is Mill Glaze on Decking and How to Remove?

When using new wood to repair or construct a deck it is important to know that the wood will not stay new for long. When wood is exposed to sun and rain it quickly turns gray and begins to soften. The wood will have to be protected with a deck stain as soon as it seasons for a few months and dries out.

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Wood Fuzzies on Deck After Prepping? Why it happened and how to fix.

Before applying a deck stain or sealer you should prep the wood properly first. Prepping is the most important part to the deck stain’s longevity. When evaluating the prepping process you should look at two options. Does the wood need to be cleaned or does an old stain need to be removed?

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Deck Staining and Sealing Instructions and How To Tips for Best Results

The instructions for staining and sealing a deck will vary from product to product. It’s always best to follow the manufacturers suggested application instructions for the best results. There are however some basic tips and techniques that will aid in staining and sealing with any deck protection product.

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Moldy Deck

Moldy Deck

Black Mold and why it Grows in Certain Deck Stains

Exterior deck stains are subjected to the elements making them prone to natural contaminants. A deck stain is there to shield the wood from harsh weather and the damage it can cause such as rot and decay. In providing protection sometimes the deck stain itself can be compromised.

Black mold is one of the natural occurrences that can affect a wood stains effectiveness and longevity. There are several reasons why black mold can grow on or in a deck stain but here are the most common reasons.

Over Applying Deck Stain

When a deck stain is over applied to the wood it can affect the curing or drying time of the stain. When this happens the deck stain remains tacky for several days or longer allowing dirt and tree pollen to become embedded. Once these contaminants have intruded the stain they can attract and begin to grow black mold even after the stain finally cures.

Tips: To avoid curing issues by over applying a wood stain, work in small areas or one board at a time. Let the stain soak into the wood for several minutes then use a brush or a stain rag to wipe any excess drips or puddles.

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Deck Stain Stripping vs. Deck Cleaning

Knowing the difference between deck stain stripping and deck cleaning can be vital to your deck maintenance or restoration project. It’s important first to understand why cleaning a wood surface is necessary.

Besides the obvious of overall appearance and curb appeal, a wood deck should be cleaned and sealed every couple of years to prevent structural damage. Water and moisture wreak havoc on wood inviting mold and mildew which can lead to wood rot. The sun’s U.V. rays also damage wood fibers and turn them an unsightly gray. In colder climates freeze/thaw occurrences can warp, crack, and split boards ruining a deck in no time.

By cleaning the wood and protecting it with a quality wood stain, you are locking out moisture, blocking sun rays, and protecting the deck from the environment. This ensures a better overall appearance and a longer lasting wood structure.

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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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*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.