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Applying Deck Cleaner

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Prep Work before reapplying Deck Cleaner

Deck owners of previously sealed decks, when you are certain your deck needs water sealing, lightly sand rough spots with a pole sander and 80-grit paper. Be sure to wear a mask so you will not inhale the sawdust.

Material List

Clear plastic
80-grit sandpaper
Deck cleaner
Paint roller with extension, garden sprayer, or stiff-bristled push broom
Safety mask and goggles

Applying Deck Cleaner

UV rays penetrate 1/64" of wood, which causes graying. Apply a brightener and cleaner to restore the wood's natural beauty.
Deck cleaners help remove dirt, nail stains, algae, and mildew. If your deck is not brand new, always use a cleaner before applying finish.
Cleaners are available in premixed liquid concentrates. Carefully read the manufacturer's directions before using the material, and follow all safety precautions and warnings on the label. Use the water test to make sure the wood can absorb the cleaner. Wear safety goggles, a long-sleeved shirt and pants. Do not wear sandals or open-toed shoes.

a) Remove all deck furniture.
b) Sand splintered areas with 80-grit paper. Repair damaged boards.
c) Sweep off loose debris and clean between the cracks of the boards.
d) Wet surrounding plants and shrubs. Cover them with clear plastic.
e) For concentrated cleaners, follow the manufacturer’s mixing directions.
f) Some cleaners require the surface to be damp before applying, while others require the surface to be dry. Consult the product label.
g) Use a paint roller with an extension handle, a garden sprayer, or a stiff-bristled push broom to apply cleaner to the entire deck. Don’t allow cleaner to puddle in any area.
h) Speed up the process by having one person apply the cleaner and another person back roll the deck. Back rolling is a process in which one person uses a roller or broom to spread any puddles.
i) Keep the deck wet with cleaner. Do not allow cleaner to dry.
j) Scrub tough areas with a stiff brush or broom. Avoid using wire brushes or brooms. The bristles can break off into the wood and cause rust spots.
k) Allow the cleaner to soak into the wood. Soaking time is usually no more than ten minutes, but check the product instructions.
l) Rinse the deck thoroughly with a hose.
m) Wash equipment with soapy water. Rinse plastic with water and remove.
n) Allow deck to dry at least two days before applying a sealer.
o) Rinse the plastic covering the plants with a hose and remove it.