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
    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.
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    Freddie · 08/03/2018
    We have recently installed cedar fences (2-3 months). Good neighbor, one side is smooth and the other side rough. There are rain and slight dirt stains, mostly near the bottom. Would a pressure wash (25* tip @ 18") with plain water be sufficient to prepare fence before applying your Cedar Semi-Transparent stain? What would be the best application: brush, roller, airless paint sprayer or garden sprayer? Thank you.
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    Mike Theisen · 07/19/2018
    I recently used the complete system on my deck, including the stripper. I've used the cleaner & brightener before so I knew what to expect, but the stripper was awesome. Worked great with little effort. I used the Armstrong Clark stain and results were great except for some swirl marks from the power washing rotating attachment (my bad-go SLOW if you use one!)
    My question is since I finished, the deck is exceptionally squeaky when walking on it. Everyone thats been on the deck remarks how loud it is. We're talking with every step the deck squeaks bad. It was not like that before cleaning and staining. Is there some phenomenon with the wood after this process? Will it eventually quiet down. My deck wraps around 3 sides of my house. I'm afraid I'll wake the neighbors (not really)
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/19/2018
      Sorry but no, this is not a result of the prep products or stain. Spaces or gaps between the deck boards and the joists would cause the squeaks. Maybe the pressure washing loosened your nails or screws? You could try tightening them to see if that helps.
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    Janice · 07/15/2018
    "Restore-A-Deck's materials have a shelf life of one year if kept sealed and dry" .....Do I understand that if you do not use all the stripper, cleaner, or brightener it can only be kept a year even though the deck won't need it again for a few years? How long can the product be used after mixing it with water? Say I we clean one deck but then need to wait a few weeks to clean another but there is already mixed product left over. What if the product has never been opened.....is the shelf life still only a year?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 07/16/2018
      If unmixed it can be stored and last for about a year in opened but possibly longer. Once mixed, the cleaner will not last more than a day. The Stripper and Brightener will last a year or so. An unopened product would last a few years if stored in a temperature controlled room.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Janice · 07/16/2018
        To make sure I understand your answer, the cleaner after mixed will not last more than a day BUT the Stripper and Brightener will last a year or so even after mixed, is that correct? What is the shelf life of the RAD stain unopened? opened?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 07/16/2018
          Yes, that is correct. Same with the stain as the cleaners. Opened about a year (possibly longer), unopened would be many years but has to be stored in a temperature controlled room.
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    Laura · 07/09/2018
    I have a flat roof with a deck on top of it. The wood currently is not stained so I am planning to clean and brighten it. Will this product harm my roof underneath??
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    Colin · 06/17/2018
    I wish there was a question about "timing" on the FAQ page. Two questions I have is what is the preferred window between putting down the cleaner and the brightener. Can I wait a couple of days, a week or 2 weeks? And what is the time window between the brightener and the stain? I heard 14 days is the max from one of the threads. Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/18/2018
      You brighten the wood right away to neutralize the cleaner on the same day, not days or weeks later. Stain within a couple of weeks is best.
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    Colin · 06/17/2018
    I just want to make sure I understand this correctly. Before staining, I should use Deck Cleaner and then the Brightener but if I need to remove the previous stain I shouldn't use the Deck Cleaner but use the Stripper and then the Brightener, correct? And what is the difference between the Brightener and the Stripper? They appear to both contain acids?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/18/2018
      Stripper does not contain acids. If you are stripping, you do not need the cleaner. Both the cleaner and the brightener needs to be neutralized with the brightener.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chad · 06/13/2018
    Hi! I have raw wood that has never been previously finished but has significantly grayed. Do I need both the cleaner and brightener, or will just the cleaner do the trick? Thank you!
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    MR · 06/10/2018
    Questions - we are having some difficulty in removing what appears to be mold on our western red cedar siding. We have tried the stripper on 2 different days. We have not attempted the brightener yet as we can't get the siding clean.

    Our siding has had 2 coats of Olympic oil based stain from 2007.


    We are testing our skills on a smaller wall on the west side of our house. We have a west side and a south side that are the worst. The rest isn't that bad and don't show mold or the black stuff.

    First day - we applied the stripper and most likely allowed it to dry out a bit by applying it in too large of an area and the weather was very hot. So even with scrubbing, we found it difficult to remove.


    Second day - back at it with a different plan. Applied in a smaller section, this time, tried to keep it wet, 10 minutes - re-wet the area a bit with some diluted stripper after 10 min and allowed it to sit for 5 more minutes - scrubbed a bit as it seemed to be working. Power washed and once again, it just wasn't coming off very well.


    Our concern is if we can't figure this out - my husband is doomed when he rents the lift and starts on the large south wall later this month. What are we doing wrong, or what can we do better to make this succeed without killing ourselves?


    Thanks! Pics are of the west wall after the 2 stripper applications and the incoming doomsday south wall with the same problem.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/10/2018
      This does not look like mold but old stain that has turned black. It should come off with a stripper and pressure washing with no issue. Do in sections of 200 sq feet at a time. Apply stripper and wait 10 minutes. Pressure wash off.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        MR · 06/10/2018
        We've already used the stripper twice and pressure washed. (that's the results in the first few photos) It's still not coming off easily. Should we wait longer than 10 -15 minutes?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/10/2018
          Try getting closer to the wood with the pressure washer. It will come off.
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    April Lee · 06/04/2018
    I have a three year old deck that was never stained. This last winter was exceptionally wet and it was very dirty and slimy with mold. We’ve used the cleaner and it looks pretty good but some areas look like they still have a hint of green. It’s really hard to see when it’s dry but when it’s wet I notice it. Is this ok to proceed with britener?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/04/2018
      If it is in the wood deep then you cannot get it out with the cleaner. Go ahead and use the brightener.
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    Laura · 05/31/2018
    I just stained my deck. Im right on the beach. But now i have these white spots. Should i put another coat. It is not sand. I did it in another area and it didnt happen
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/31/2018
      It looks like it is on top of the wood. Does it wipe off with a wet rag or with a fingernail? It is not coming from the stain so maybe it will clean off.
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    Carol Wang · 05/30/2018
    Will the RAD cleaner, stripper, and brightener damage a rooftop material made of PVC? I'm trying to clean up the roof top deck and am concerned about the roof and becoming damaged.
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    Sandra Kusek · 05/23/2018
    I do an annual clean, brighten, stain on my deck (cedar). This year it needs a sanding. Should I do the clean and brighten process first or just sand smooth, then clean, brighten, stain? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/23/2018
      Do not sand too "smooth". No finer than 80 grit. Clean and brighten after.
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    Joe Wilson · 05/19/2018
    Is it safe to use the cleaner and brightener on a rail system with powder coated ferrous metal balusters?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/20/2018
      Best to test first to see if a reaction. 90% of the time it is fine but there are 100s of different spindles makers and they are not all made the same way.
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    Sue · 05/14/2018
    We have a screened-in porch, the floor is redwood and the walls are siding that we used on the outside of our house-it’s a type of smartboard. Will Restore-A-Deck have any impact on the color of the siding if it accidentally splashes on the siding?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/14/2018
      I am sorry but we are not familiar with "smartboard". Best to do a test spot first to confirm there will not be any issues.
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    Paul · 05/11/2018
    Hello, I used the stripper and removed all the old stain but couldn’t go directly into the brightner, am I ok to use the brighter a couple of days after using the stripper?
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    Scott · 05/02/2018
    Hi. I have a 22 year old deck - pictures attached. I plan to use stripper and the brightener, followed by a new stain. Does this sound right? Also, i would like to also re-stain the flat/top part of the deck railing. Can I prep with stripper and brightener also? Thank you for your help.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/02/2018
      Please upload the photos. Need to be less than 1mb per photo.
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    Kit · 11/16/2017
    If I use the RAD and then it rains, do I have to do anything special except sweep it?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/16/2017
      Sweep or blow off any dirt, leaves, etc prior to staining.
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    Ella · 11/03/2017
    I purchased the RAD Kit. I used the stripper to remove old deck paint but due to weather and other issues with my schedule I was not able to immediately follow the stripper with the brightener. Will it cause problems if I use the brightener a few weeks after the stripper? And can I use the brightener now without cleaning my deck again?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/04/2017
      You should lightly pressure rinse the deck after a few weeks and then brighten the wood. It is not the ideal way but the brightener should still be used.
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    Alec · 10/13/2017
    I just used RAD stripper to remove Cabot clear from a cedar deck. I went over it two times and still thought I hadn't gotten it all off. I thought this because no matter how much I scrubbed and rinsed, it remained kind of slimy, and i could still get some brown residue to come up after scrubbing. However, now the deck is dry and looks totally stripped. Was that sliminess coming from residual product that still needs removed? Or was that just some of the wood surface becoming slimy and by scrubbing hard I was actually removing wood particles? Thanks for any help!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/14/2017
      It was wood pulp. Did you brighten the deck after the stripping?