faq

Question: What type of wood is Restore-A-Deck used on?
Answer: Restore-A-Deck is safe for all wood types including pressure-treated pine, cedar, redwood, ipe, and mahogany.

Question: What is in Restore-A-Deck?
Answer: The majority ingredient in the cleaning formula is sodium percarbonate.  This is the one recommended by the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association. There is also a blend of proprietary detergents that makes the cleaner work faster and more powerfully than just straight sodium percarbonate cleaners. The Restore-A-Deck brightener is a blend of mild acids that is much less harsh on your wood than the straight oxalic acid. These formulas are the exact formulas we use professionally to clean and maintain decks every day. There is nothing comparable on the homeowner market.

Question: Is your product just for wood that has already been sealed? My deck was just built.
Answer: Restore-A-Deck can be used for maintenance cleaning, mild stripping, or to prepare new wood for sealer. For general cleaning, you would not allow the product to sit (dwell) for a long time before rinsing. For a more aggressive action, you would let the product dwell for a longer period.


Question: How does the cost of your product compare to what I can get at my home center?

Answer: Here is the best part, it's not only of much higher quality and more effective but in terms of time invested and harshness it's cheaper. By focusing on product development, we are able to offer a product that works effectively and does not cause the long term damage of bleach and soap cleaners. We are not shy in saying our product is the best out there for the money. Our smallest kit makes 5 gallons of cleaner and another 5 gallons of brightener. Your cost is about 5 cents per square foot.

Question: Is your product safe for the environment? I don't like the idea of chemicals on my deck or in my soil.
Answer: Restore-A-Deck is less abrasive to the wood than most of the products on the consumer market. Its primary ingredient is also found in OxyClean™. There are other proprietary chemicals in the formula, but all of them, once diluted with rinsing, meet all E.P.A standards for disposal and will safely drain into the soil without affecting the soil pH balance. As with the use of any type of detergent, please read the safety precautions page.

Question: Can't I just use bleach and dish liquid on my deck?
Answer: We do not recommend you use bleach (sodium hypochlorite) on your deck. Bleach attacks the lignin in wood. Lignin is the glue that binds wood fibers together. Without enough lignin in place, wood begins to break down more quickly. In addition, bleach imparts an unnatural whitening to the wood. This shows up very prominently when you apply a pigmented sealer as blotchiness. Every lumber association recommends against the using of bleach yet 90% of cleaning products available at your local home center contain bleach.

 

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Question: Why use any chemicals at all? Isn't using a pressure washer by itself good enough to do the job?
Answer: In order for a pressure washer to adequately clean wood, you would need to use extreme pressure at the surface. This causes the wood to split and the grain to raise, both causing the surface to become unpleasant to walk upon. Using a proper detergent like Restore-A-Deck eliminates the need for highly pressurized water hitting the deck. You wouldn't take a shower without using soap or shampoo, nor would you wash your dishes with just water. The detergent does the cleaning, the water acts as the rinse.

Question: Do I need to use a pressure washer if I'm using Retore-A-Deck?
Answer: While initially, we wanted a product that would not need the added scrubbing action of a pressure washer, we feel it is safer to recommend one be used but with proper technique. In many cases, Restore-A-Deck will work it's magic and can be rinsed using some brushing and garden hose pressure. We have included a more detailed explanation page on proper pressure washer usage here.

Question: What is included in the kit. What additional tools do I need?
Answer: Your kit will include a container of the cleaning agent, a container of the brightening agent and detailed instructions. You will also need at least one pump up 3-gallon sprayer (we recommend two), safety goggles, and PVC gloves. Optional equipment may include a pressure washer and moisture meter.

Question: I used Restore-A-Deck and it looks great! Now I want to seal in the beauty and protect it from the elements. What do you recommend?
Answer: Allow the wood to dry for three to four days in direct sunlight (75+degrees F) Pick a quality sealer from a reputable dealer. We suggest the Woodrich Timber Oil, Hardwood Wiping Stain or Amstrong Clark.

Question: I have leftover materials from your kit, should I throw them away?
Answer:
No way. Restore-A-Deck's cleaner is excellent for cleaning vinyl patio furniture, garage floors, house washing, you name it. The only time we recommend caution is around colorfast material. The brightener in your kit is also excellent for removing rust stains from concrete. Restore-A-Deck's materials have a shelf life of one year if kept sealed and dry.

Question: I applied a sealer and I hate the color. Will your product remove this finish?
Answer: That depends on a couple of factors. Will you be applying a sealer that is similar or darker in color? Also, how long has the sealer been exposed to the elements? Restore-A-Deck is an outstanding cleaner and a light duty stripper but it has its limitations. If the finish has been down for less than six months or if you are looking to change to a dramatically lighter colored finish you will need a heavy duty stripper made with sodium hydroxide. We have these available for contractors only as they are dangerous and caustic products.

Restore-A-Deck will not remove paint or solid stain.
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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dr. B. · 08/01/2019
    So I am restaining my deck due to temperature issues last year. Do NOT want to have the same problems ....so my question is this....besides the low temperature rating for the stripper is there an issue for a high temperature...I am talking about 80 degrees. I do know that you are supposed to wet it if it gets too dry. Please advise. Thank you...you guys have been great! Dr. B.
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    Dariel · 07/28/2019
    I have a 160 sq ft cedar patio (no rails) built 2 weeks ago. I'd like to apply the Restore-a-deck stain. Had a few questions first:

    1) The recommended waiting time to stain new wood is 3-6 months according to your instructions. This brings me to mid October where freezing temperatures and rain are quite common here. Am I better off just waiting till next spring or staining earlier this season?

    2) I'd like to use the "Natural" stain to preserve the woods natural look as much as possible. Do I need to use the brightener with this light stain on new wood?

    3) How long should I expect the stain to last before maintenance is required? The deck is exposed to sunlight and we have hot summers and pretty cold winters (temps from -30 to +30°C). And does the 3 step clean-brighten-stain process need to be redone at every maintenance cycle?


    Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/28/2019
      1. Spring of 2020 will be fine.
      2. Yes, you must clean and brighten the wood.
      3. See this about new wood: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/Deck-Cleaning-Reviews-and-Tips/restore-a-deck-stain-for-new-wood.html
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        Dariel · 08/15/2019
        Thanks for the quick reply. I have another issue I'd like to get advice on: the contractor I hired to install the deck overdrove the screws. I know that this will create weak spots where rot will form. Since the deck is cedar, I know there is some resistance to rot though I'm told that cedar sapwood is not nearly as rot resistant as heartwood and will eventually rot at weak points. I'd like to do something to correct or at least mitigate the problem. I'm told that wood filler isn't a good option on decking. I was thinking of applying wood preservative to the screw holes. I'd like to know if this is a good idea or if it would cause problems with the Restore-a-deck process.

        I was planning on using a zinc naphtenate based wood preserver (Techniseal) that for this.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 08/15/2019
          It will not rot around the screws due to over sinking them. Just leave as is.
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    Lori · 06/21/2019
    Sorry. One more question: If I clean, dry, sand, rinse, brighten, the brightener won't be applied to wood still wet from the cleaner. Will the brightener still fully neutralize the cleaner? Thanks again.
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    Lori · 06/21/2019
    I had a cedar deck installed 2 1/2 years ago and this is my first time doing a deck treatment. I cleaned and brightened the railings with RAD, using a scrub brush and a Ryobi power washer (orange nozzel) to clean, keeping it about 10-12" from the surface. (I know, overkill to brush and PW.) Kept the wood damp throughout the process and then brightened. The wood looks clean and now has fuzzies and some white splotches. Are the next steps:
    1. Use a random orbital sander with #60 and hand sand between spindles
    2. Hose off the sanded wood thoroughly
    3. Brighten again? And will that fix the white splotches?

    Second issue: deck floor
    Couldn't do the railings and the deck floor on the same day. I will use only the PW with the RAD cleaner and not the scrub brush on the deck floor. Do I need to use a floor buffer before the orbital sander if fuzzies arise on the deck floor?

    Should the railings be covered when I do the floor with the PW to clean?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/21/2019
      The fuzzies are happening due to the oxidation of the wood cells from sitting uncoated for 2+ years.

      The steps are correct for the railings.
      1. Use a random orbital sander with #60 and hand sand between spindles
      2. Hose off the sanded wood thoroughly
      3. Brighten again

      For the Floor
      1. Clean
      2. Let dry and buff
      3. Rinse and brightener.

      We would suggest finishing the cleaning for the floor, let dry, do all the sanding/buffing, rinse all and brighten all.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Lori · 06/21/2019
        Thanks. That's very helpful. I don't have a buffer. Do I need to get one or could I just go to the sanding step? Also, will this help neutralize the white spots at the bottom of the railings? And the brightener doesn't raise any fuzzies so I sand before that step?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/21/2019
          Brightener does not create fuzzies. You could just sand.
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    Liz · 05/22/2019
    I have cleaned with rad let dry then sanded then applied Brightener....I will never skip Brightener again....amazing difference but also the sanding seemed to really make a big difference too...just wanted to say many many thanks for your wonderful customer support...I have been pleased with your products...now I am stripping and refinishing 2 mahogany screen doors... the Brightener says it helps with Tanin bleed...do you think it would make much difference to apply to stripped and sanded doors before a spar varnish? Thank you so much!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/22/2019
      You always have to brighten after using a stripper to neutralize the stripper.
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    Tiffany · 05/22/2019
    I have an older deck. The previous owners used Behr Deck Over. Awful product as is peeled and chipped etc and is so hard to get off! After two days of sanding we still sit with the product on parts of the deck. Pics attached. Since we’ve sanded all of the deck would your stripper help remove the remaining? My end goal is to use your coastal gray solid color stain. Will it work if I follow your directions or do we need to keep sanding? How long after sanding should we wait to prep and stain? Live in midwest so about to hit high humid heats. Trying to get things rolling for summer. Also deck surrounds a pool so it will be exposed to chlorine this summer.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/22/2019
      Nothing will strip off the Behr Deckover. You will have to sand it to remove fully before using the Coastal Gray.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        RAD Products · 05/22/2019
        You can prep and stain after the sanding right away.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Nan · 05/20/2019
    I had deck sanded last fall and washed it put brightner on it and 2 coats light walnut. It looked great but after a winter of snow and ice half of stain came off. Help!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/20/2019
      Hello,

      The pictures show an over application of the RAD stain. RAD is designed to fully soak into the wood but if you apply too much stain, it can film on top of the wood, instead of in the wood. If it fully soaks in, it is impossible to peel. I attached the directions that specify to not over apply.

      At this point, it would be best to wash it down and apply one light coat of the stain to even it out.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Nan · 05/21/2019
        Do you mean wash it down? Do I need a brightner first? Do I need to apply the light coat on a damp surface or can I do it on a dry deck? Thankyou
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/21/2019
          Use the Deck Cleaner and pressure wash. No need to use the Brightener. Damp or dry is fine.
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    HollieJ · 04/30/2019
    What do you recommend to remove the manufacturer stamps from my new deck (built in June 2018)?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/30/2019
      Sand them off as a cleaner will not remove it.
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        HollieJ · 04/30/2019
        Thanks!
        Does sanding affect the absorption of the stain? Do I need to wait a specific amount of time after sanding before staining?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 04/30/2019
          Sanding can reduce stain absorption. If you sand the spots then wait a month to season. Clean and brighten the wood for final prep.
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    drew · 04/19/2019
    I meant to include spindles in my question too. Thanks!
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    Drew · 04/19/2019
    Do you have any instructions/tips on what's the best way to apply the products on railings? I'll be applying RAD on a third story deck and I'm not sure how to properly apply RAD on railings, especially the ones facing outward. Thanks!
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    Terri · 04/16/2019
    I used RAD cleaner and brightened and then the stain in September. It looked great. After a winter of snow and rain, this Spring the deck is peeling in spots and there are white spots around some knots. What should I do to fix these unsightly spots?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/16/2019
      Lightly wash and reapply is the easiest thing to do. The reason this happened is due to the stain not being able to fully soak in correctly. The RAD is a penetrating stain and if not prepped correctly or over applied, it may dry on top of the wood instead of in the wood. Was this new wood? Did you do one or two coats? Applied to damp or dry deck?
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    Liz · 04/14/2019
    Liz again... I am thinking I need sealer to beautify the wood but wondering if cleaning process next yr will be the same and also do you have a sealer that enriches the natural wood appearance that is not very shiny?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/14/2019
      A stain will enhance the natural look and provide UV protection. Use the RAD Semi-transparent stain in Light Walnut. Same prep next year. Clean and reapply the stain. It is a penetrating stain and does not create a shine. Just one coat annually for IPE.
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    Liz · 04/14/2019
    I also need to clean house with bleach based product...should that be done before using your two step product? Ipe deck is three yrs old and I do not think it has any product on it...if I clean and brighten annually does it need a sealer? I like the natural color and do not want shine...any advice would be appreciated!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/14/2019
      Prep the house before the deck. You will have to clean 2-3 times a year if you do not stain the IPE to maintain a clean (not gray) look. If you are okay with graying, just clean annually.
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    Hugh Early · 04/01/2019
    I have a pier over a fresh water lake. Are the restore-a-deck products safe to use without harming aquatic life and water fowl? The lake is regulated by the Army Corp of Engineers and has some very strict regulations.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/02/2019
      Yes the RAD clean and brightener are eco-safe.

      Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jeff S · 03/22/2019
    I am having an issue with my newly treated deck (not previously stained). I purchased and applied the RAD cleaner and brightner last summer and it cleaned and brightened the wood amazingly. I purchased the RAD stain (light walnut) and completed the project in late summer. I now have green mildew starting to form in several sectio0ns and just noticed this week that the stain is peeling in several places. It hasn't even been on 6 months. What can be done about this?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/23/2019
      Hello, see this for tips on new wood: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/Deck-Cleaning-Reviews-and-Tips/restore-a-deck-stain-for-new-wood.html

      Sounds like you may have over applied your first coat.

      While RAD will not promote the growth of mildew/mold in the stain coating, it is impossible for any brand of stain to prevent the growth of mildew/mold on top of the stain.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Jeff S. · 03/27/2019
        I applied one coat and a second wet on wet. Followed the instructions on the label. How do I address the peeling? Says online to wait 12-18 months before doing maintenance applications. Would prefer to keep the peeling from getting worse before that time if possible.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 03/27/2019
          The instructions state only one coat for new wood. Applying two coats to new wood would cause this over application. This is due to the new wood not being absorbent enough to accept two coats.

          You can prep and do another coat now.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Jeff S. · 03/27/2019
            Thank you. The wood on the deck was approximately 6-8 years old with no previous stain or treatment. It had weathered, however, the cleaner and brightner did a nice job restoring it to a fresh condition. Also, how do you recommend removing green mildew substance on top of newly stained wood? The cleaner (step 1) or would that be too harsh?
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    Ken Tidwell · 01/17/2019
    I just finished staining my deck with the light walnut after cleaning and brightening with RAD. I applied 2 coats about 30 minutes apart as I went. Most of it looks great but there are some light spots that look like it may have penetrated in more than the other grain on each board Can I go back over the boards now with a light coat. It has been a couple of days. Will it penetrate or just sit on top? Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 01/18/2019
      It will not soak in at this point since it already cured. Best would be to wait until Summer and lightly rinse off any dirt and apply a light coat then.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Ken Tidwell · 01/19/2019
        Rinse with water or a cleaner?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 01/20/2019
          Depends on how dirty it is. Light wash with the deck cleaner and rinse with water should work.
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    Chris · 10/22/2018
    I just used the restore-a-deck cleaner and brightener. It was amazing. My porch is brand new and I couldn't imagine that new wood could look even better when cleaned. Unfortunately, I didn't notice that I missed a few spots before using the brightener. Can I re-apply the cleaner in some small spots? would I need to use the brightener again in those spots as well?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/23/2018
      Yes, you can spot clean but you will need to brighten all the wood to even out the color when done.
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    Sunny Longordo · 10/07/2018
    Where is the best place for me to leave a RAVE review? This product is exceptional! Best stain ever. And the deck brush is amazing. We stained in a day. Its too dark for a picture now!
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    Jim · 10/07/2018
    I’m re staining my pillars under my pavillon.. they are pretty clean with no mildew do I need to use cleaner before restraining.
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    Jim · 10/01/2018
    What is longest time I can wait after I use the cleaner and brightner to stain. I know at least 48hrs...but how many days do I have.
    thank you
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    Derek · 09/14/2018
    I have a rather large deck. The directions for the cleaner/brightener are to apply the brightener immediately after the cleaner while the wood is still wet. This can make it difficult to clean the entire deck (deck and railings) before applying the brightener and still have the wood be wet.

    How important is it for the wood to still be wet from the cleaning when applying the brightener?

    What is the recommended way to clean/brighten piecemeal? Is it important to not get cleaner on wood that has already been brightened? One option would seem to be to clean/brighten the railings first (as excess can drip on the deck) and then do the deck, hoping too much cleaner doesn't splash onto the railings (I'll be using a pressure washer)? Can the same sprayer be used for both cleaning and brightening if used piecemeal (clean, brighten, clean, brighten...)?

    Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/14/2018
      Just apply the brightener as soon as the cleaning is fully done. You can always mist the deck first as well if the wood has started to dry.

      Do all the cleaning first and then all the brightening after.
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    Colin · 09/09/2018
    For an old fence, how do you determine whether your first step should be a cleaner or a stripper? If the original stain is virtually non-existent, then go with the cleaner; otherwise, go with the stripper? In other words, what is the key deciding criterion when deciding between using a cleaner or a stripper?
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    Jennifer · 09/03/2018
    This June my deck was 1 year old, unfinished. I applied the cleaner and brightener then used Olympic solid stain. As you can see from the picture I did not get to complete the staining. The only area that got two coats of stain is the part you actually walk on. The rest is either one or no coat at all.

    My question is, now that I'm ready to complete the job do i need to clean and brighten the entire deck or just concentrate on the unstained areas?

    Will the cleaning and brightening affect the areas that do have one or two coats of stain on them?

    Thanks, Jen
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/03/2018
      Just lightly pressure wash all the unstained wood with water and you should be okay.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Jennifer · 09/03/2018
        I've never pressure washed before. Can you tell me which tip and what pressure to use?
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    Russell Ertl · 09/02/2018
    I just ordered some product from your website. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything telling me how long to ship or when I might expect delivery. Approximately how long from ordering to delivery?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/03/2018
      2-5 business days depending on where you live.
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    Janet · 08/26/2018
    I posted question, no answer now it's gone from here. Is it same to use cleaner, brighter on a standing pier in lake
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    Janet · 08/25/2018
    Is it safe to apply cleaners on pier on lake
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    Kathy Hand · 08/14/2018
    Will you deliver to a business? I will be out of town for a couple of days next week so I would like to have my order delivered to my workplace. Is this possible?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/14/2018
      Yes, we deliver to business addresses all the time.
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    RJ · 08/14/2018
    Lots of good info ....haven't seen any clean-up info anywhere in the printed material. Un sure if soap and water clean up or a paint thinner. Please advise. Thx
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/14/2018
      Clean-up of which product? All RAD products are water-based with soap and water cleanup.
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    eddie · 08/09/2018
    we just stained our deck ran short on stain, tried to stretch it to get it done but a few boards did not get the same amount of stain as the rest and dried a lighter color. how do I fix it? can I sand those boards and restain or do I need to use the stripper before I restain.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 08/10/2018
      It would be easiest to sand those boards as you cannot spot strip them.