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.
Restore A Deck cleaners come in a powder form and contain sodium percarbonate along with other additives that boost the overall effectiveness dramatically. RAD deck cleaners will remove contaminants such as dirt, grime, graying, mold, mildew, algae, and mill glaze. They break down these unwanted soils making it easier to scrub or pressure wash the wood to a newly restored surface ready for stain.
RAD wood deck cleaners are designed to clean wood that is grayed and dirty and has little to no existing deck stain present. If you are unsure if your deck has old stain or sealer on it splash some water on the surface. If the water beads up there are some remnants of old sealer or stain, if it absorbs into the wood quickly there is little or no sealer.
Deck Stain Strippers
If it is obvious that a deck has an old failing stain or sealer on it, or if water beads up then it may be necessary to use a deck stain stripper as opposed to a deck cleaner. Restore-A-Deck strippers contain more aggressive caustics than deck cleaners. Unlike a cleaner, a wood stain stripper will emulsify and breakdown most water and oil based transparent, semi-transparent and semi-solid deck stains so they can be washed off more easily.
At the same time dirt, mold, mildew, and all other contaminants are also removed from the wood surface along with the failing deck stain. It isn't necessary to use both a deck stripper and a deck cleaner during the same washing process. Determine what is on the surface of your wood deck and then decide whether you need a deck cleaner or stripper.
Note that once the wood is cleaned or stripped you need to follow up with an application of the Restore-A-Deck wood brightener. This restores the wood's pH balance for better stain penetration and enhances the beauty of the wood. It is a necessary step after deck cleaning or stripping.