There’s no doubt that most of us would have a pretty high expectation with deck staining. Even when we tend to do it ourselves without any sort of professional help, it missing that pro touch afterward isn’t something we’ll be very happy about. And that assurance can be by your side when you include this one simple but pretty game-changing process beforehand. Cleaning the Deck!
As simple as it sounds, the process itself isn’t very confusing. However certain segments to it can make an impact on how everything turns out later on. For example, the matter of what to use to clean deck before staining. Because through cleaning you also want to let the surface have best condition for staining, it needs stuff unlike what you’ll use for regular clean-ups. Today Let’s Cover This Point a Bit More in Depth.
Suggestions on What to Use to Clean Deck Before Staining & Choosing the Right One Specifically
You might have a new deck to stain. Or simply want to add some wood filler and varnish for restoring the old deck. But none of those would actually be able to save it until you decide to invest in proper cleaning supplies and coordinate it with right technique. Keep on Reading…
A Bit About Supplies You Need for Deck Cleaning
If you are someone who gives the deck annual cleanups, then using a regular deck cleaner should be enough. As the well-maintained decks don’t need a very hard effort for reviving and a good quality store-bought deck cleaner can do that easily.
There are chemical cleaners of so many types. However, the most common ones come within containers. You get integral applicators with these. These are hook-able with your garden hose. So that you can easily use it on your deck.
While a few need to be mixed inside a bucket before you use it in the deck. Also, one gallon of cleaner can handle different area coverage even when those are basically the same amount. There are cleaners that can target 250 sq. ft. with provided one gallon. While the same one-gallon quantity of different deck cleaner can cover almost 500 sq. ft. Make sure you check this detail on the label of cleaner.
Apart from the deck cleaning solution, you’ll need pretty plenty much elbow grease. And to work this mixture into the wood, you also need to get a stiff-bristle brush. Since you are working with concentrated chemicals, make sure to include eye protection and gloves in this list of deck cleaning supplies.
There’s also a need for some plant protectors. The level of this protection will however vary. As it depends on what concentration and type of chemicals are involved. The best thing you can do regarding this is by using plant-friendly deck cleaners, there are quite a few available.
That way spraying the plant protectors before and after cleaning will be enough. However, if the chemicals are quite powerful, then there’s a chance of burning nearby plant’s leaves. In such a case, you should not avoid using plastic sheets for covering all close located plants.
Using a Pressure Washer
In some cases, you may need to use a pressure washer for stains that are too tough. This tool works best for getting rid of sun-damaged wood fibers. Also, it helps to get rid of marks that are scrub resistant. Instead of the pinpoint nozzle go for the fan-type one. These are good at digging into the wood for a better outcome.
Deck Cleaning Solutions (Store Bought)
When it is about getting a store-bought solution or deck cleaner, there are tons of names to take. But the most effective ones must have a few chemicals that are great at targeting stains. Depending on what type of mark or stain you are targeting you can go with the cleaner to make deck prepared and cleaned for afterward staining process. Let’s talk about those key ingredients of deck cleaner in this segment.
The first one is Sodium hypochlorite. This is basically fantastic for decks that are suffering badly from mildew. It’s a chlorine bleach that can very well remove mildew. However, for stain or dirt removal, it isn’t as powerful as other options.
You can mix it with a detergent that does not include ammonia. Also, after application, you must remove this chemical included cleaner properly. Or else it will eat away at the wood that can later show issues such as premature graying as well as fuzzing.
The next one is sodium percarbonate. It mixes with water and creates a detergent-like thing. Basically, it forms sodium carbonate. Also, it creates hydrogen peroxide, which is an oxygen-based bleach. If you want to target weathered wood as well as remove mildew and dirt, this is your best bet to go for.
Oxalic acid is also a great chemical to talk about in this matter. This can basically help you get rid of iron stains. Those who have redwood and cedar decks may suffer from brown-black tannins. This chemical can help with it as well. However, for mildew removal, oxalic acid works poorly. You can go for a bleach-based cleaner along with it for better cleaning.
And the last one is sodium hydroxide. You can see this ingredient in many finish removers or lifters. It is also known as lye. However, with its application, you need to be extra aware as this can eat away at wood if you leave for too long.
Deck Cleaning Solutions (DIY)
If you are not interested in buying any concentrated chemical, there are many DIY solutions to try as well. One mildew and dirt removal DIY solution is what I’ll be talking about in this segment. You need one-quart household bleach (also known as sodium hypochlorite solution), a one-three cup of powdered laundry detergent, and three quarts lukewarm water.
Get a plastic bucket of 5-gallon capacity. Mix water, detergent, and bleach inside it. Then use a brush to apply the cleaner to your deck. You need to rinse it properly after the application. Also, make sure to avoid any detergent that comes with ammonia. As the mixture of bleach and ammonia is very dangerous since a poisonous gas gets created.
And now you know what to use to clean deck before staining. Also, you should be cleaning the deck regularly anyway. As this area gets a lot of foot traffic. Even if it is meant to be pretty strong and withstanding all the trouble, you should still spare some time for cleaning procedure.
Also, before staining, make sure you don’t skip the cleaning even if you are quite frequent with it. As the deck needs to be well prepared for allowing stain to settle better. And that usually doesn’t happen very fine when the deck is even slightly dirty, stained, or muddy.
Whatever you use for your deck cleaning needs your complete awareness too. Trying anything that you don’t know about is definitely not a good idea. So, make sure you do enough research before.