Deck Cleaning Reviews and Tips
Different Types of Deck Cleaners
Deck cleaning and prep is a crucial step in any deck maintenance plan. Exterior wood must be cleaned prior to staining to ensure proper stain penetration and longevity. Let's compare the different types of deck cleaners and review how they can positively or negatively affect your wood deck.
Wood Deck Cleaners
The purpose of cleaning wood is to remove any dirt, grime, mold, mildew, graying, or mill glaze that may prevent the deck stain from performing as it should. Exterior wood cleaners aid in the scrubbing or pressure washing of wood prior to staining. Deck cleaners primarily consist of caustic soaps that make the cleaning process both easier and more effective. Because of the caustic condition of most deck cleaners, the wood's pH balance is raised during cleaning and will appear very dark. It's important to apply a deck brightener to the wood once it is cleaned. This cancels the caustic level by restoring the pH balance and enhances the beauty of the wood.
Regular maintenance is a necessity for exterior wood surfaces. Cleaning and ridding the surface of unwanted stains and contaminants such as dirt, mold, and mildew can help increase its longevity. A coat of water repellent sealer or deck stain can further help to enhance the beauty and increase the life of the wood.
When a sealed deck begins to turn dark or collect mold and mildew it is a sure sign that maintenance is needed once again. This is also true in the case of an old failing deck stain that is no longer performing as it should. In most cases, wood decks need attention about every 2-3 years depending on use and the surrounding climate. The easiest way to maintain a deck is to clean it and apply a maintenance coat of deck stain.
When to Use a Deck Stripper over a Cleaner
The benefits of regular wood deck maintenance are well worth the time and cost. Regularly cleaning and protecting your deck with a wood stain or sealer is one of the best things you can do to guarantee years of use.
The proper procedure for regular wood maintenance is to clean or prep the wood prior to applying a wood deck stain. The purpose of cleaning the wood it so the new deck stain will penetrate or adhere properly and perform as promised. To establish whether you will need to use RAD deck cleaner or RAD deck stripper you first have to determine what is on the wood surface that needs to be removed.
Before staining a wood deck it must first be cleaned properly to ensure lasting results. Wood and deck cleaners are designed to clean wood and prepare the surface prior to stain application. The purpose of a deck cleaner is to remove contaminants such as dirt, grime, graying, mold, mildew, and algae. In some instances, a very faded old stain can be removed as well using a wood cleaner.
There are many different types of exterior wood cleaners to choose from. Typically, deck cleaners aid in the scrubbing or power washing of the wood during the cleaning process. Most deck cleaners consist of caustic soaps that raise the pH level of the wood leaving it in need of a deck brightening application that will neutralize the cleaner by lowering the pH level and brightening the wood.