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
    Ronald Reaves · 05/30/2020
    I have vinyl irrigation tubing attached to my deck. Will the caustic nature of the Stain Stripper harm my tubing?
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    Melissa · 05/25/2020
    We are going to strip a deck and pergola that has a built in, painted stucco island. The pergola stripping will surely drop down onto the stucco structure. Will it damage the painted stucco??
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/26/2020
      It would help to cover this to be certain you do not have any issues.
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    AVA · 05/18/2020
    Hi! I contacted you guys about removing solid stain and you were awesome in being honest and telling me the only real way to remove solid stain is to flip the boards and sand. SO we just finished flipping and sanding the boards today. The deck itself is 4 years old, the surface of the boards now facing up were never sealed. There is some discoloration but no signs of mold. What would you recommend we do next in terms of prepping and cleaning for the application of a semi transparent stain?
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    Ben · 05/16/2020
    I stripped, brightened and stained my deck in December. It's looking good, but I'd like to try to keep it as clean as possible for walking around barefoot. What's the smartest way to keep it clean between now and the next time I apply stain, most likely in another year or so.
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    Crystal · 05/15/2020
    I am getting ready to use the restore a deck cleaner and then the brightener, and want to make sure that is safe for the pool because I am sure some will make contact with the pool water
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Elaine F · 05/14/2020
    I washed, striped and brightened my deck. The colors are still very uneven. I think some is bleaching from the sun. There are also lots of fuzzies. I plan to rent a buffer tomorrow. After I buff will there be residue that has to be removed? If so, what is best way to do so
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/15/2020
      Rinse well with water when done.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Elaine Fredendall · 05/15/2020
        Rental company doesn’t understand how the pads will “hold” on while being used on a deck. Can you tell me what tips if Pas- stripping or polishing or???
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Thomas · 05/14/2020
    I stained my deck last year and have plenty of material left over to do it again this year. Is this recommended or should I wait? If so, do I need to do all 3 steps? Also, if I do steps 1 & 2, how long do I have before I stain the deck? Thanks
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    Josh · 05/10/2020
    I am doing a deck for a customer that was last treated before they moved into the home over 5 years ago. The previous stain is was a penetrating stain and they are going over the top with a hybrid solid stain.

    Do you recommend stripping the deck or cleaning the deck for prep? I did not know if it going untreated for five years made any difference.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Adrian · 05/05/2020
    I have this 16 year old deck that I haven’t maintained, because we wanted to tear it down and replace with a patio. This year we decided against the patio, so now I have a mish-mash of new and old wood. From perusing your site, I plan to fully redo the deck in the fall. However it is so ugly and dirty, I want to do something to make is presentable for the summer. What do you suggest?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/05/2020
      Try just cleaning and brightening the wood so it looks better for the summer. Use the RAD Kits.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Adrian · 05/05/2020
        Great! Should I reclean, strip, and rebrighten in the fall, before I stain?
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    Jeff S · 05/01/2020
    That 2nd to last sentence should read "I fear that if I sand and then brighten, the fuzzies will show up again and then I'll just have to SAND again".
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/02/2020
      Buff off the fuzzies with a floor buffer and buffing pad. Doot this after cleaning and brightening. It will remove the fuzzies if there but will not sand the surface too smooth.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Jeff S · 05/02/2020
        1. I've heard of using a floor buffer and buffing pad many times on this comment board. But there is never any detail. Just any buffing pad? I've obviously never used one before and would appreciate any help you can offer.

        2. Also, there are times where people on this site have been instructed to clean, then sand/buff, then brighten. But you are encouraging me to clean, then brighten, then sand/buff. Just want to make sure I get this right...
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/02/2020
          You rent them and they sell the pads at the rental place. If you sand, then you clean and brighter after. Buffing is not really sanding so it does not close the pores like sanding can.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Jeff S · 05/02/2020
            Thanks for the buffer info. I am reapplying the same RAD stain (type and color) to my deck for this job. I read another thread (of a cedar deck like mine that looked identical according to pics) that they should clean, then reapply stain. So that is what I planned to do. I cleaned the deck yesterday, now have the fuzzies. Can I buff and then just reapply stain? Or is it important to brighten first, then buff, then reapply stain?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jeff S · 05/01/2020
    I have a cedar deck (installed in September 2018). I waited a year to clean and brighten using RAD product. The fuzzies were pretty bad, so I sanded them off after they dried using 80 grit sandpaper. Then used RAD natural stain. The stain did not adhere well and I just applied the RAD cleaner once again. As it is drying, the fuzzies are terrible again. Is this going to be my yearly struggle? Should I sand again, then just stain? Or should I sand, then brighten, then stain? I fear that if I sand and then brighten, the fuzzies will show up again and then I'll just have to stain again. Any help is appreciated...
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    Karen · 04/27/2020
    We are going to clean a cedar deck rail that has hog wire in the middle and is on top of an aluminum deck. Do we need to take any precautions for protecting either of those metal surfaces?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/27/2020
      Possibly with the aluminum if painted. Do a test spot first.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jason B · 04/24/2020
    Are the Cleaner and Brightener safe for use near bluestone flagstone? Our deck has steps down to a patio made of bluestone, and I'm wondering if it will stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kristin Miller · 04/21/2020
    Hi,
    1. Can your product be used over previous oil based stain?
    2. Can your stains cover a polyurethane, waterproof sealant caulk to fill in any crevices in the wood and a wood filler?
    3. how many gallons of stain would I need for two decks covering 12 x 16‘, and 16 x 16, and approximately 10 stairs at 3 and 1/2 feet long, and top railings of deck?
    4. On the website I only saw about five color choices. Do you have more than these? And is clear an option as well?
    5. How long to ship to South Carolina?
    6. Would I use a sealer over top of the stain?
    Thanks,
    Kristin Miller
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/21/2020
      1. No, it would have to be removed.
      2. No.
      3. Use the calculator on this page to total up the amounts properly. To right on desktop or bottom on mobile.
      4. We do not.
      5. We are delayed during COVID-19.
      6. You cannot apply a sealer over a deck stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rick · 04/19/2020
    Do I need to use a sealer after I stain with RAD products? I'm in the PNW.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/19/2020
      No, you cannot apply a sealer on top of a deck stain.
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    Art · 04/14/2020
    Hello. Can you tell me if this deck is worth restoring? We’ve had it quite a few years and haven’t painted it yet. Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/14/2020
      Yes. Prep with the RAD Cleaner and Brightener Kits. Stain with the RAD semi-transparent or Solid stain.
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    Moro · 04/01/2020
    Hi, Deck has been stripped twice and then brightened. Is this enough? If we proceed to stain what kind of results can we expect?
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      moro · 04/21/2020
      All done and it looks great. Thanks for your help!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/01/2020
      These spots will show through slightly as they are almost 100% opaque in appearance. Otherwise you should be fine since 98% or more of the deck is stripped.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Hank · 03/15/2020
    Hello-I had a new cedar deck installed during the end of summer 2018 in northern nj. I waited til the spring of 2019 to stain the deck using your RAD clean/brighten/stain kit, doing one coat. I should have sanded first, after cleaning, as the brush I used was, in hindsight, too stiff and left a lot of raised cedar pulp fuzzies. I am going to stain again using the natural RAD stain again doing two coats wet on wet this year. I am going to sand after using the cleaner this time, and power washing rather than scrubbing. Would you recommend I sand with 60 grit afterwards, and rather than using a buffer, would it be ok to use a sanding pad on a pole such as used for drywall sanding a ceiling? Then use the brightener.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/15/2020
      Yes, you can do this. Clean first, lightly pole sand after, then brightener is correct.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dennis · 03/08/2020
    Hello
    I have a 18 year old 450 sq/ft treated wood Deck in Mich. This Deck has about 3 coats of blotchy, peeling Buhr Deckover stain. Wood is still in great shape. Before applying "Restore A Deck" I would like to know the proper steps in applying this project.
    In using the cleaner and stripper, will I still have to sand the entire deck?
    I simply want to attain great lasting results.
    Dennis
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/09/2020
      Hello,

      Sorry, but it is not possible to strip off the Behr Deckover. This product must be removed by power sanding. Once sanded off, you would then use the RAD Cleaner and Brightener for final prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Bill Stevenson · 03/01/2020
    I like to know if you ship to New Brunswick, Canada
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/01/2020
      Yes. Just add to cart And enter shipping info to see costs.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jeanette · 12/17/2019
    My deck was stained with RAD a few weeks ago and now I'm having a roof placed over it and the deck looks dirty and dingy. What can I use to clean the deck once all the work is complete. It looks like some of the dirt is rubbed into the wood. I also posted a couple of weeks ago about the stain looking different in some areas and was asked to post a picture but I haven't had time with the construction going on. Will post once its complete and I get the deck cleaned.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 12/17/2019
      Use warm water with dish soap and a soft mop or car wash brush.
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    Ross · 11/16/2019
    when staining my deck with the RAD step-by-step procedure some of the semi-transparent stain dripped onto the following surfaces; concrete patio, plastic and painted balusters. What is the easiest and quickest method to remove the stains from these areas? Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      The Sealer Store · 11/16/2019
      Try a water-based graffiti remover cleaner. Apply and pressure wash off.
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    Sharon Bolton · 11/02/2019
    My deck is not drying after 12 hours and is going grey in places
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/02/2019
      It looks like you excessively over-applied and or did not prep correctly. What stain did you use?
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    Frederic · 10/16/2019
    do I need to use the booster additive? the deck railing was stained by a semi transparent (behr) at least 6 years ago. it is gone from the top and still there on the sides. I only need to do the railing (the deck itself is not wood and does not need to be stained).
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/17/2019
      With Behr, you should use both the Booster and the Thickening Gel. Apply and let dwell for 45-60 minutes. Mist with water while dwelling so it does not dry out.
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    jeff · 10/08/2019
    I have a 6-month old 15x15 screened in porch newly built w PT pine and kdat t&G decking. I'm ready clean and brighten then stain it natural semi trans w your products, but I'm concerned the cleaning/brightening agents will damage the screens or black metal balusters. Is this safe to get on the screens? and if so, how long should i leave the products on before rinsing off since its been covered and the framing has been only exposed for 6 months?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/08/2019
      They should not harm screens or black metal balusters but no way to say for certain as those are not all made the same. Always best to test spot first. Apply and then pressure wash (not rinse) after 15 minutes or so.
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    Rebecca Pendergast · 09/04/2019
    We have a year old covered deck, and the ceiling is made of treated pine, I believe. I like the way it looks, and it certainly doesn't get weathered like the rest of a deck would, but I'm still wondering if it needs to be stained.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/04/2019
      You do not have to stain it as it will not gray.
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    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
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.