[Sticky] Properly Cleaning a Deck Before Staining
I'm confused on how well you have to clean a wood deck before you can seal it. Is just sweeping away the debris and dirt enough? Do you have to use a pressure washer? If so, what is the proper procedure for cleaning the wood.
I'm looking for the best results possible without having to hire a deck cleaning contractor.
The proper way to clean a deck is with a deck cleaner and a wood brightener. The deck cleaner will remove the dirt, mold, graying, etc. The Wood Brightener will lighten the wood to it's natural pH balance.
You can use a stiff scrub brush and or a pressure washer at low pressure when using the cleaner and brightener.
See here for Deck Cleaner Ratings
Does you deck currently have a stain on it? Do you plan on re staining?
Bleach is actually bad for wood. It can break down the lignin that holds the wood's cellular structure together resulting in exposed damaged wood cells.
Best way to prep is with a sodium percarbonate based cleaner that is designed for wood followed by a brightener. This is much safer for the wood, better at cleaning, and eco friendly.
Restore-A-Deck systems are our top choice for a cleaner and brightener as it works very well and is cost effective.
We are in the process of scrubbing our 20 year old cedar railings with sodium percarbonate before applying stain. The UV rays and harsh winters have destroyed the cedar deck itself. Is it necessary to also apply a brightener before staining the railings? There are plants and flowers very nearby. I had almost decided on Ready Seal, but read its poor 2 year performance. Is Defy Extreme the logical choice?
Yes you should use a wood brightener on the deck. It will lower the pH balance to neutral, allowing you stain to perform better.
Ready Seal is known as a stain that needs to be reapplied every year. It is easy to apply but just will fade very fast as it never actual dries or cures.
The Defy Stain will hold color longer then Ready Seal.