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Posts Tagged ‘deck maintenance’

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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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. The cost to clean and brighten an average 800 square foot deck is less than $.07 a foot.

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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.

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Deck Brightener On Bottom
Deck Brightener On Bottom

Deck Brightener On Bottom

Wood deck maintenance is important to the life span of any deck. Proper cleaning and staining are necessary on a regular basis to protect the deck from the harsh environment. Prior staining the surface needs a good cleaning. A clean surface will ensure proper adhesion and stain penetration. Cleaning a wood surface prior to staining will also enhance the beauty of the wood and give you a better end result.

There are several necessary steps in the wood cleaning process to prepare the surface for a new coat of stain. The first step is to clean the wood with a quality wood cleaner to remove all the dirt, grime, mold, mildew, graying, and mill glaze. The aid of a deck cleaner will help breakup and remove these contaminants that may prevent the new stain from performing.

Most all quality deck cleaners contain caustic soaps that make cleaning a deck both easier and more effective. The downside to a caustic cleaner is that is raises the pH level of the wood and makes it appear very dark in color. Let’s explore some reasons why this is not ideal if not dealt with and how using a deck brightener can restore the wood.

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Best Stain for an Older Wood Decking

Best Stain for an Old DeckWood decks can be a beautiful addition to any property but when neglected they can also become an eyesore. When a deck goes too long without being maintained sun and water damage occur. The wood loses its natural oils and becomes very dry and porous. Cracking, splitting, warping, and graying are all signs of an old deck that has not been protected against weathering.

Here are the steps needed to make your old tired deck look new again:

Repair First

Do a thorough look over for any rotten boards and replace them. Check for loose boards and railings and tighten these up as well with decking screws. Check foundation for any structural damage.

Clean and Brighten Deck

It is not impossible to bring an old wood back to life. A little care and maintenance can revive most neglected decks. If the deck is still in good structural condition the grayed wood can be cleaned using a wood 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 in consideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.