Deck Stain Reviews Ratings
Deck Stain Help Articles
Deck Stain Reviews Ratings

Exterior Wood and Deck Restoration Help Articles

Deck Staining Advice and Tips Deck Cleaning Advice and Tips Deck Brighting Advice and Tips Deck Stain Stripping Advice and Tips

Category: Wood Deck Cleaning

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

New Cedar Wood
New Cedar Wood

New Cedar Wood

When a deck is brand new usually the lumber is still very “green” and has a high moisture content. That is unless the lumber is KDAT lumber meaning, “kiln dried after treatment.” This type of wood is dried before it is sold. But for the average deck being built, regular cedar, redwood, or pine is used in the construction. You may have heard the term “season” and how it is important to let a new deck season prior to staining it.

To season a deck simply means to let it sit, for a season, before you attempt to stain it. This is because the wood still has too much moisture in it and staining it can trap that unwanted moisture. This can lead to many moisture problems like mold, fungi, rot, and decay. This term can be a bit misleading though. Normally a deck does not have to “season” a whole year. Many times, depending on weather and sun exposure, a deck can season much quicker. In most cases a new deck can be stained within 3-12 months of being built especially if the weather has been warm and the deck gets a lot of sun exposure.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Moldy Deck
Moldy Deck

Black  Deck Stain

Why Did Your Deck Stain Turn Black?

Many things can happen to a deck stain when it is not applied or maintained properly. The biggest reason for a deck stain turning black is mildew. All wood surfaces need to be cleaned correctly prior to staining. The use of a quality wood cleaner and pressure washer or scrub brush is necessary to remove all the contaminants like dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and graying.

When contaminants are left in the wood pores and stain is applied a whole host of problems can occur. Mildew can begin to grow underneath the deck stain, which causes discoloring. This can also lead to rot and decay because if there is mildew there is also moisture present.

Continue Reading

Deck_Ink_StampPressure treated decking when new has a tendency to have very annoying ink stamps on the wood when processed at the mill. Lumber is stamped at the mill according to its grade. An American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) grade mark and an American Wood-Preservers’ Association (AWPA) tag certify the lumber’s quality. These stamps are very troublesome for owners to remove prior to applying a decking stain that is either transparent or semi-transparent as the ink will show through the stain.

We have found this to be the most effective way of Decking Ink Stamp Removal:

Continue Reading

How to Prevent Mold on a Deck from returning.

One of the biggest enemies of a deck is mold. With moisture being ever so present outdoors, mold is bound to find its way onto your deck. Typically, mold will begin to appear on the more shaded sides of a deck. Anywhere there is less sun means there is more moisture present making conditions ideal for mold growth.

Continue Reading

Redwood

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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?

Continue Reading

New and Old Deck Boards
New and Old Deck Boards

New and Old Deck Boards

There are many reasons why you would have a mix of new and old deck boards but it can be a common situation. The most frequent reason is that some of the boards needed replaced due to decay or wood rot while other board were still in good condition. It is also very common for a deck owner to protect the deck with a stain once all the repairs have been made. The dilemma is that new boards and old boards look very different when they are stained.

To understand why this happens may help you to minimize the problem. Once old deck boards weather the top layer of wood fibers begin to gray and become soft. Newer deck boards are denser and are very hard. The older boards will absorb more deck stain and appear much darker than the new denser deck boards which appear lighter.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Hiring Tips for a Deck Restoration Contractor

When you have come to the conclusion that deck maintenance is not for you or that bringing a deck back to life is too much work, you can always hire a contractor. Hiring a deck restoration contractor does not have to be difficult but you certainly want to do some research prior to making a decision.

Painters vs. Deck Restoration Professionals

Do not hire a painter to restore your deck unless he has extensive knowledge on the subject. We have found that many painters do not have the experience or know how of the proper preparation and application of a wood stain. Best to hire a professional who specializes in exterior wood deck restoration.

Deck Restoration Costs

The most common key factor for deck owners hiring a contractor for restoration is price. Deck restoration pricing can vary widely. The best thing to remember is most of the time you get what you pay for. This means the cheapest contractor, especially if they are way cheaper than anyone else, may not give you the results you expect.

The price a contractor charges for deck restoration work is closely related to his expenses. If a deck cleaning contractor is very low on price he may not be properly insured, use inferior products, or might plan to take shortcuts to turn a profit. Always be weary of a ridiculously low estimate for deck restoration.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Deck Stain Help Stats
as of December 2016
  • 28,000+ Questions, Answers, and Consumer Reviews
  • 14,000+ Contributors
  • 170+ Help Articles and Reviews
  • 3600+ Forum Help Posts
  • 2800+ Consumer Star Ratings


Google Search

More info on brands? Use Google.

Find Products?

Manufacturers and Websites:
...See All Product Websites

Help/Reviews



Forum Posts

*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 in consideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.

Login