Wood Deck Cleaning PICAsk Questions on Cleaners for Exterior Wood, Decks, Fences, etc.

How to properly clean and prep a deck before applying a wood deck stain.

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    Ashley · 07/22/2020
    I just installed a 18x28' Ipe roof deck in boston. There is so much conflicting information out there. Not sure we did the right thing. We allowed the wood to acclimate on site for 3 weeks, covered in plywood with spacers. After 3 weeks, we cleaned the wood (with a dish soap, water and scrub brush) both sides, allowed to dry, and treated 4 sides with Penofin, wiped, and no stickiness. It rained within 24 hours of application, on one side, but we bushed it off quickly with a broom. There were a few whitish water marks, on some of the boards, but not thing serious.

    We've installed the deck (some of the boards from the side that got rained on, but some that didn't) and within a week, we have mold/mildew forming.

    We're open to sanding because in the installation process, the contractor has scuffed some of the boards.

    In the long run, we'd like the deck to grey, but we understand that it is better for the longevity of the deck to oil it in the beginning.


    What to do? What steps in what order? Clean/Brighten/Sand/Oil? And what is the gentlest cleaner/brightener for the wood? I don't mind the current color (before the mold).
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      The Sealer Store · 07/22/2020
      You will have to strip it to remove the Penofin and mildew. Brightener after. Also, Penofin will only last 3-6 months on IPE so the "oil" will be useless in months and have no long term benefit. If you want it to gray then just remove the Penoifn and let it gray naturally.
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    Bruce · 05/15/2020
    I stained my deck last year. It’s really dirt now after a year of the elements in Canada. Can I just clean and brighten the deck to get rid of all the dirt or will I have to stain. In other word will the cleaner or the brightner damage the stain?
    Thanks!
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      The Sealer Store · 05/15/2020
      The cleaner and brightener are only to be used when reapplying, not for general cleaning of dirt.
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        Bruce · 05/15/2020
        So in between staining applications what is recommended. Thanks again
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    Brian · 08/22/2019
    Just installed a pt deck 16'x12' about a month ago. replaced only deck boards and top rail. Left lattice and post intact which have been stained in past but in good shape. What product do you recommend to clean and brighten the complete deck including the deck boards and lattice?
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    Tracey · 04/23/2019
    Are these cleaners and protectors for composite decking? They state for wood decks
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    vanessa · 04/03/2019
    I have a deck that was built August 2018 and is 90% covered in middle Tennessee. Recently 3 boards were replaced due to cracking. How should I prep for stain/seal? I've never done ANYTHING to it but sweep it.
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    william carouth · 06/13/2018
    I need a marine life safe cleaner, brightner
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    Kristin B · 05/24/2018
    Looking for just a cleaner on my Ipe deck and stairs. I have mold/algae in a few spots and just basic grime. I'm in the PNW, so lots of rain. And haven't brushed on the Penofin for 2-3 years. Can you suggest a cleaning product? I do not require stripping.
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    The Sealer Store · 08/18/2017
    PHIL HARE:
    I need to clean, brighten, seal my red ceder deck. I do not want to use a cleaner-brightener with bleach. What brand of cleaner-brightener can I use that wont damage the metal spindles

    Use the RAD Kits. No bleach:
    https://www.opwdecks.com/best-selling-cleaner.htm
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    PHIL HARE · 08/17/2017
    I need to clean, brighten, seal my red ceder deck. I do not want to use a cleaner-brightener with bleach. What brand of cleaner-brightener can I use that wont damage the metal spindles
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    The Sealer Store · 04/03/2017
    andy broughal:
    I need to wash a cedar shingle home before applying semi transparent stain. It's 8 years old and has Maibec cedar shingles with manufacturer applied bleaching oil. There is mold, mildew, and tannin staining.Any suggestions?

    You may need to use the RAD Stain Stripper and Brightener kit to remove the Bleaching Stain. This will allow the new semi-transparent stain to properly soak into the shingles.
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    andy broughal · 04/02/2017
    I need to wash a cedar shingle home before applying semi transparent stain. It's 8 years old and has Maibec cedar shingles with manufacturer applied bleaching oil. There is mold, mildew, and tannin staining.Any suggestions?
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    The Sealer Store · 06/07/2016
    Strip and remove the Penofin with the Restore A Deck Stripper and Wood Brightener. Switch to Armstrong Clark in Amber or Mahogany colors.
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    Needs help · 06/06/2016
    Hi,
    Initially we used Penofin on the mahogany floor of my screened-in porch. Two years ago, my husband reapplied, but a little too much and it really never dried well. Now parts of the floor are in need of re-sealing, other parts are still dark from the excess Penofin. How do I restore my formerly beautiful floor?
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    The Sealer Store · 05/31/2016
    Use the Restore A Deck Kits for this and prep.
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    Norm · 05/31/2016
    What options do I have to clean mill glaze from new cedar deck?
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    The Sealer Store · 01/26/2016
    You cannot get the RAD Brightener on the unprotected aluminum. It may "spot" it. The cleaner might be okay but should be protected as well. You would have to plastic wrap all the aluminum well to avoid this from occurring. I doubt the copper flashing will be an issue as it is not visible.

    FYI, all cleaners and brighteners will have a potential issue with this railing type.
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    Lee · 01/25/2016
    I have a new ipe' deck. The top & bottom rails are ipe' but the balusters are powder coated aluminum. See railing product here: http://www.decksdirect.com/level-aluminum-insert-panel-by-evolve-rail-system.html

    I also have copper deck flashing.

    I have purchased the Restore-a-Deck cleaner & brightener product and see that I need to avoid getting those products on metal surfaces. I am concerned about my ability to keep the cleaner & brightener entirely off the railings & flashing and fear I might damage those metal component of my deck.

    How can I be confident that I will not damage the aluminum railing components & the copper flashing?
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    The Sealer Store · 11/03/2015
    Wolmans Deckbrite is not a traditional wood brightener. Try one of these to lighten the wood:
    http://www.opwdecks.com/wooddeckbrighteners.htm
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    Stephanie Koenig · 11/02/2015
    I used DeckBrite to prepare my new redwood steps for treatment. I followed the instructions exactly (though used a garden hose rather than a power washer to do final rinse). The redwood dried dull and dark. In addition, on areas where it dripped on the side of the steps (and I didn't know it dripped) it has stained the wood very dark. What can I do?
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    Stephanie Koenig · 11/02/2015
    I used Wolman deck brite to clean my new redwood steps after they'd gotten dirty, and as a way to prepare them for a treatment. But even though I followed the directions on the DeckBrite package, the product dulled my redwood boards. They now look darker and duller. I used a brush to clean after the foaming time, but have not used a power washer. Would it help if I used a power washer?