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[Sticky] Properly Cleaning a Deck Before Staining

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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993
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Joined: 11 years ago
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Restore a Deck stripper would not fix rust. The Restore A Deck Brightener would have. It would be best to age the wood for a few months and then final prep with a deck cleaner and a wood brightener before staininig.


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daltfam33
(@daltfam33)
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Joined: 2 months ago
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Hi there-

Had a NICE

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pine deck built. Pergola, metal skirting, wire cables. It sat from August 2021 to June 2022 before we could get a contractor to agree to come out to stain. I bought RAD cleaner/brighter and was very careful to point out instructions. Well the contractor came in and used RAD but with very aggressive pressure washing and knocked knots out, split and badly splintered wood, left corners barely hanging on, and yes furring on every board. I’m not sure the brightener was used right because while some boards now look like toothpicks, some are darker than they were.

We then had to hire someone to sand when it dried to try to correct some of the splitting, splintering,  gouging, and furring. Then rinsed and let dry. It’s been more than 4 weeks now, and deck floor boards are graying. I just looked again and there is the presence of mold in crannies and undersides of hand-rails that was never removed in spite of the overly aggressive approach to cleaning most of our deck. 

We need to know if it’s safer to wait and get another contractor to clean with RAD in late spring after an Ohio winter (wet, snow, and ice) and or should I go try to spot-clean what I can and let this guy stain now in two days? Temps will be mid 70s during the day but mid 40s at night for a two day timeframe this week. I have 1.5 days to clean and get it dry if I spot-clean. 

The concern is the condition of the wood if we go all winter with no stain after it’s been so badly damaged with aggressive washing and subsequent necessary sanding? 

Please let us know if it’s better to stain now knowing that it’s not as clean as it should be or if it’s better to wait. Should the wood be okay to wait all winter and go through the cleaning process again in spring even with all it’s been through?

 

pics of current mold spots and, part of the deck after it was sanded and one small example of the reason we had to sand it (this pic is of extreme furring and splintering)

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Thank you so much. 


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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993
(@administrator)
Member Admin
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 3047
 

You cannot spot clean. Best to do it all correctly in the spring. 


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daltfam33
(@daltfam33)
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Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 3
 

@administrator 

Hi, thank you for your response. I’ve been successful in the past with your advice! Much appreciated. 

Now that you know what the deck has been through, what is the most gentle but effective approach to prepping the wood for Armstrong Semi-Transparent Oil Stain in the spring, then? I’m looking for product names, order and method of application/technique including any wait/dry times and what to do if the dreaded furries pop back up. 

I know now not to go ahead with Armstrong on top of fuzzed up wood. A test board looks like old chocolate with uneven splotches and what looks like waxy white film all over. So to anyone that thinks you can just ignore the furries and stain anyway.. it won’t work. 

This post was modified 2 months ago by daltfam33

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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993
(@administrator)
Member Admin
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 3047
 

Pressure wash with water and brighten the wood should work.


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daltfam33
(@daltfam33)
New Member
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 3
 

Thank you for taking the time to reply. 😎 Very cool. 

What PSI, spray pattern, angle, distance, etc should I shoot for to remove mold and mildew in spring but not mess up the wood which has some shredded knot holes all over?

Do you happen to know of any good DIY demo video links online you might refer me to? If you don’t have any, perhaps in the future you might consider a section on this site for helpful videos. I would definitely watch them! 


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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993
(@administrator)
Member Admin
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 3047
 

1200-1600 PSI with 25 or 40 degrees tips. Using a deck cleaner as well will help. 


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