Update for 2019: When to use a Deck Stripper vs a Deck Cleaner
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When to use a Deck Stripper vs a Deck Cleaner
One of the biggest rookie mistakes that we often see, is someone applying a stain to a deck that has not been properly prepped. When you’ve stained a deck a few times before, you come to learn that dirt, mildew, mold or graying should not be present when you apply the stain or it will end in disaster.
Only a clean, well-prepared surface is able to correctly absorb the stain and allow it to perform just like you want and need it to. An added bonus of cleaning the wood thoroughly before undertaking staining is that it will look even more beautiful and aesthetically pleasing.
We have different products that we recommend to get the job done: “Deck Stripper” or a “Deck Cleaner.” They are both designed to properly prep the wood and clean it thoroughly before staining begins.
There is a simple method to determine whether you should be using Deck Stripper or Deck Cleaner as it all revolves around the wood’s surface. Older, grubby and grayed wood just needs a quality wood cleaner. A Deck Wood Cleaner is powerful enough to get rid of most dirt, and mildew stains, however, a stripper might be needed for more heavy duty preparation.
Often when staining your deck you will need to remove the remaining old stain which can be stubborn. In this case, Deck Stripper should be used instead of the Deck Cleaner. The useful advantage that strippers have is that they will soften and ‘melt’ most stains making them easy to be washed or wiped away. On top of that, Deck Strippers cleans off mildew and graying too. There’s no reason to use a cleaner after!
Another common mistake that we often see, is that a wood brightener is not used to neutralize the wood after using the deck cleaner or deck stripper. Brighteners are an integral part of the restaining process. They lower the Ph of the boards and allow the pores to ‘breathe’ making them more accepting and open to absorbing your new stain.
If you’re having a hard time figuring out whether your deck has been stained in the past then please post a picture below.