Deck cleaning advice

James Pop

New member
Need some advice on this. PM is asking me to clean the #2 unit of a 4 unit complex. The decking runs the entire length of the condo. I've got a couple of concerns: 1) I've never cleaned wood before so not sure what to use. 2) can this be done without effecting the decking on the #1 and #3 units?

My thoughts are to spray cleaning solutions with a pump up sprayer for max control and tarp/wet the other sides. This is just the decking (underneath & top), not planks, rails, or spindles. Any thoughts from those with experience in such matters? Thanks.

James
 

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WASH-IT H.B.

New member
If you are that concerned Just try water and a medium pressure range not enough to feather up the wood. I use SODIUM PERCARBONATE mixed with hot water to ensure that it is fully dissolved. apply it with a soft broom from a bucket, let it soak,(it will fizz up white) pressure wash off as above. Others will advocate using OXALIC ACID to brighten the wood work but I have never found it necessary.
just a word of warning... if you use SODIUM PERCARBONATE through a pressure sprayer either back pack or pump up you will risk a possible blowout on the hose.(Personal experience).
SP generates oxygen when mixed with water at a fairly quick rate and if the pressure can't vent something will blow, that is why I mix it in a bucket and put it on with a broom. All in the open and nowhere for pressure to build.
 

814jeffw

Active member
I would also use Sodium Percarbonate,..and he's right,..it does build pressure on it's own,...but I've done it with a pump sprayer many times and never had an issue,..pump it up,..and start spraying ,..the oxygen will never get a chance to build up.
No matter the application method,..the product is gonna go through those cracks. If you have a helper,..just have them keep the other surfaces soaked with water,..if not,..then lay some tarps or plastic sheeting.

* Neutralizing with oxalic does two things, it brightens the wood to a better look than SP alone will provide,..which will also allow any stain to show it's true color better,....and it levels the PH of the wood back to neutral,..which allows for any sealer or stain to be applied and not fought against by any residual cleaner,.resulting in a longer lasting finish.
Can be done without neutralizing, but neutralizing after cleaning wood is just the proper way.

Jeff
 
Last edited:

bighals

New member
I would also use Sodium Percarbonate,..and he's right,..it does build pressure on it's own,...but I've done it with a pump sprayer many times and never had an issue,..pump it up,..and start spraying ,..the oxygen will never get a chance to build up.
No matter the application method,..the product is gonna go through those cracks. If you have a helper,..just have them keep the other surfaces soaked with water,..if not,..then lay some tarps or plastic sheeting.

* Neutralizing with oxalic does two things, it brightens the wood to a better look than SP alone will provide,..which will also allow any stain to show it's true color better,....and it levels the PH of the wood back to neutral,..which allows for any sealer or stain to be applied and not fought against by any residual cleaner,.resulting in a longer lasting finish.
Can be done without neutralizing, but neutralizing after cleaning wood is just the proper way.

Jeff

Ditto, always neutralize


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

James Pop

New member
Thanks guys. What sources do you use for your SP? Is it the same as TSP which is available at Lowes? I see that the suppliers (PWS, Southside, & PTek) all have wood strippers/brighteners but I don't really see any discussions about them on the forum.

James
 

814jeffw

Active member
Sodium Percarbonate is best bought at Univar for me about $40.00 for 50 LBS.,..can be purchased online as well. No,..it is not the same as TSP,..and TSP will not work the same on wood.

Jeff
 

James Pop

New member
mix ratio

I would also use Sodium Percarbonate,..and he's right,..it does build pressure on it's own,...but I've done it with a pump sprayer many times and never had an issue,..pump it up,..and start spraying ,..the oxygen will never get a chance to build up.
No matter the application method,..the product is gonna go through those cracks. If you have a helper,..just have them keep the other surfaces soaked with water,..if not,..then lay some tarps or plastic sheeting.

* Neutralizing with oxalic does two things, it brightens the wood to a better look than SP alone will provide,..which will also allow any stain to show it's true color better,....and it levels the PH of the wood back to neutral,..which allows for any sealer or stain to be applied and not fought against by any residual cleaner,.resulting in a longer lasting finish.
Can be done without neutralizing, but neutralizing after cleaning wood is just the proper way.

Jeff

Jess,

How much Sodium Percabaonate per gallon of water is right for cleaning a deck?

James
 

Doug Rucker

Roundtable Host 2009
Russ Johnson has a great wood cleaner that I use. I'd use it instead, if it were me. It's not on his site, so you'll have to call him at 8882436056 to order it.
 

tigerwash

New member
Sodium hydroxide or a house wash mix, followed up with a neutralizer like oxalic after rinsing, can also be effective. Percarb is the safest though in my opinion.
 

Ron Musgraves

Exterior Restoration Specialist
Staff member
hows the Deck Cleaning World ?
Need some advice on this. PM is asking me to clean the #2 unit of a 4 unit complex. The decking runs the entire length of the condo. I've got a couple of concerns: 1) I've never cleaned wood before so not sure what to use. 2) can this be done without effecting the decking on the #1 and #3 units?

My thoughts are to spray cleaning solutions with a pump up sprayer for max control and tarp/wet the other sides. This is just the decking (underneath & top), not planks, rails, or spindles. Any thoughts from those with experience in such matters? Thanks.

James
 
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