Restore a Deck
When to Restore a Deck
Over time we gradually adapt to changes. In the case of wood decks, its color, strength, and overall appeal starts to fade. Most people become oblivious to it, until friends and family are coming over. If not cared for properly wood can fade and weaken over time. Actually, if a deck is installed without staining and sealing it, you will notice a significant difference within the first month or two! If you have a deck stained and sealed from the start, you will notice a drop in quality in about a year. People begin wondering at this point on how to restore a deck to like-new condition.
Hire a Professional
Making a deck look like new again can greatly improve the image of a house. If someone is planning on increasing their home’s value a little bit, this is a great ice-breaker. Most people love when a new home has a deck. Don’t turn them off with a run-down version of it! To get the most out of a restoration, it’s a great idea to hire a professional. A decking contractor has experience and knowledge of how to keep a deck in its prime-time the longest. This way you don’t have to perform this process more times than necessary.
Steps to Restore a Deck
Step 1 – Scrubbing the Deck
The first step of restoring a deck is to prepare it for staining. Before any staining, the deck should be scrubbed clean. If the deck still has stain on it, it must be removed. We will often use a stain stripper for removing the stain. After the deck has been cleared of any staining and has been cleaned, it’s time to stain and seal the deck.
Step 2 – Staining the Deck
After scrubbing, decks commonly look pretty naked. We need to cover it up with some nice deck staining and a sealant. Choosing a stain color is up to the homeowner, but Redwood has always been a very popular color. Deck staining is a great way to protect a deck from Mother Nature and general wear and tear of use. After you stain your deck, it’s time to seal it. A deck sealant is the best way to protect a deck from water damage. Choose the driest time of year in your area to do this part. We do not want a deck to be ruined because it rained before the deck finishes drying.
Step 3 – Enjoying Your Restored Deck
When all is said and done, we’re left with a beautiful new deck that draws attention. The deck becomes the centerpiece of conversations. Now all that’s left is to grab some furniture and use it at will. Now that’s how you restore a deck!
Pressure Washing and Power Washing
As part of the deck refinishing process, Carlton Cleans recommends removing dirt, mold, algae, and fungus from your decks surface. Pressure washing and power washing have been the primary method of cleaning decks for many years. Over time, professionals that specialize in deck refinishing projects, have begun to add cleaning chemicals to the deck cleaning process. Adding chemicals to the cleaning process allowed for the use of low water pressure rinsing resulting in less overall wood fiber damage.
At Carlton Cleans we changed the deck cleaning process by removing the use of the high power pressure washer. Instead, Carlton Cleans uses hand scrubbing and a low-pressure chemical sprayer. Although more time consuming than high power pressure washing, hand scrubbing is gentle on the wood and prevents unnecessary wood fiber damage.
Additionally, Carlton Cleans uses a lower ratio chemical agent than many other companies. Our lower chemical ratio is better for the environment yet still effective because of the hand scrubbing process.
What to Expect During Our Deck Cleaning Process
Step 1: Application of cleaning agents
To prevent the cleaner from drying too fast, deck refinishing specialists generally wet the deck prior to the application of the cleaning agents. After a quick wetting of the surfaces, the cleaning chemicals are applied in an even layer.
Contact Carlton Cleans Today
Consider a deck refinishing project to ensure your deck has the protection it needs to sustain everyday life and the outdoor elements. Contact us today for a free quote or to discuss our other home improvement services.
Part 2—Cleaning the Deck
In the last article, we discussed how to select the proper equipment for a DIY deck cleaning project. In this article, we will address how to use the equipment properly to achieve your desired results without damaging your deck. Before beginning, be sure to remove all grills, furniture, planters and other items from your deck. Any grease spills from your grill should be pre-treated with a solution of dish soap.
Before applying cleanser to the deck, rinse the deck with water. This will aid the cleanser in spreading easily once it is applied. Then, use the scrub brush to apply cleanser to the deck. Most of the work of cleaning the deck will be done by the cleanser, not the pressure washer itself. Many cleaning solutions should not be allowed to dry on the wood, so be sure to closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions and periodically mist if necessary. Typically the manufacturer will recommend a soaking time of 20 minutes to enable the cleanser to adhere to the embedded dirt.
After waiting the recommended time for the cleanser to soak, it is time to rinse the deck. It is important to not let the cleanser soak too long, as this can cause damage to the wood. When first engaging the trigger of the pressure washer, point it away from the deck, people and other objects. If the sprayer is pointed directly at the deck when first engaged, scarring on the deck surface can result.
Cleaning is typically started where the deck is adjacent to the house. Begin sweeping by starting from the edge, then sweep the sprayer out from the house and then back toward it, being careful to maintain a consistent distance between the nozzle tip and the deck to ensure an even result. A typical sweeping section might be about 3 feet wide. Once the first 3 foot section along the length of the house is completed, the next 3 foot strip can be begun.
A technique called “feathering” can be used to prevent lines from appearing between two sweeping sections. To do this, make sure the second sweep overlaps the first sweep, working with the grain or length of the board. An alternative to the sweeping technique is the long sweep, whereby you walk the entire length of a board, making sure to hold the nozzle at a consistent length from the surface. It will typically take a few sweeps to complete one board in this manner. After the whole deck has been washed, allow it to dry for 24 hours, and then re-inspect. Imperfections that were invisible when the deck is wet may appear, and it may be necessary to re-clean some areas.
Deck restoration will help you to maintain the investment you’ve made in your home. Your deck is an outdoor extension of your house, providing you the space to both relax and entertain friends. A knowledgeable Deck Cleaning Professional can restore your decks beauty, while applying a protective finish, which will more than double the lifetime of an untreated deck.
Replacing your deck may cost as much as twenty-times the amount of restoring an existing serviceable deck, and the longer you put off having your deck restoration, the more damage weather can do. Mother nature works day and night, 365 days per year, to destroy your decks integrity. The sun’s UV rays break down the fiber in the wood, leaving your deck vulnerable to further degeneration, even as the damp underside of your deck provides a near-perfect environment for mold, mildew, and fungi to quickly spread. So why wait until your deck loses it’s natural color, or begins to decay and fall apart – when treating it promptly can eliminate these problems?
Hiring a licensed/insured Deck Cleaning Specialist, guarantees the best results in maintaining your deck’s appeal and safety for many years to come. Their careful use of pressure washing equipment, along with scrub brushes and hard work; should give your deck a clean, new look. Then by using a preservation product such as high-end penetrating stain, formulated with non-drying oils; your deck should hold up to the harshest weather. Reapplication every 2-3 years is necessary to maintain maximum protection and beauty.