View Full Version : Deck cleaning HELP!!!!

Glenn Clabo
04-11-2008, 3:06 PM
Every other year...or so...:o I break out the pressure washer and spend the day trying to clean up the grunge on the deck. This year...it came out looking like...well it didn't come out so well.;)

What does everyone else do? Do you have a special formula...product?...techique?

It's an old pressure treated wood deck btw...and on the (long) list for replacement here at this old cape.

JohnT Fitzgerald
04-11-2008, 3:22 PM
what do you mean 'didn't come out so well'?

I have a mahogany deck, so maybe it's a little different than PT...but I pressure wash it every other year and have been using Cabot's Australian Timber Oil on it - works well. First 2 years I put it on with a brush to make sure I got all the cracks, in betweek boards, etc. this year I'll probably just use a sponge mop to make it go more quickly.

Greg Cole
04-11-2008, 3:25 PM
I use a pretty stiff bristle brush with a broom handle and a mild mix of bleach & water along with elbow grease. Pressure washing has a chance to make more splinters raise their ugly "heads" up, a little or alot.
My old deck was horrid for splinters and having some ucky stuff on it (little boy and his friends and all) and I never pressure washed it. That deck now resides in the landfill and some recycled milk jugs and woodfibers are in its place... ala Trex.;)
IIRC you can buy some "special deck cleaners" at any Borg as well, but bleach n water works fine. Make sure you put a little water on any plants-flowers near the deck and also rinse everything off after to make sure the bleach doesn't kill anything planted next to-nearby etc.


Glenn Clabo
04-11-2008, 3:51 PM
Thanks Greg...I'm game to give it a shot.

I got another question for ya...how's the Trex do in the sun? I have this "feeling" that I'll (or our labs) will walk out sans slippers and cook the old toes? I'm thinking I need to go with "real" wood for that reason...but...???

Glenn Clabo
04-11-2008, 3:53 PM
JohnT...To be more clear...it looks like POOH! The grain seems to have taken a hold of the sea side grey...and green.

JohnT Fitzgerald
04-11-2008, 3:56 PM
ah...well, in that case, I might take Greg's advice and go at it with a cleanser and a stiff brush.

on the temperature - as I said, my deck is wood, and it gets plenty toasty when the mid day sun is right on it - hot enough so I and the family try not to go barefoot on it, at least for that hour or two. I can't imagine Trex being any worse.....

Glenn Clabo
04-11-2008, 4:02 PM
Mansfield? Couldn't live there...too close to Wrentham.;)

JohnT Fitzgerald
04-11-2008, 4:04 PM
of course Mansfield - Cultural center of the Northeast! We have Great Woods! ....er, can I still it that?

Dennis Peacock
04-11-2008, 4:04 PM
You could just set fire to it, rake up the ashes, and build a new replacement deck. :p :rolleyes:

Benjamin Dahl
04-11-2008, 5:22 PM
Glen, I have a composite deck and really like it. It is grey so I thought it might get a little hot but I can still walk on it barefoot. While it is not in full sun it does get direct sun long enough where I thought heat could be an issue but I have not had a problem. I think the composites that have a higher percentage of plastic might get a little warmer.

Greg Cole
04-11-2008, 5:37 PM
Part of the reason I used trex was for the little boy's feet (meaning I was sick of pulling splinters out of'em, no matter how many times ya tell him to put shoes on... he decides not to).
I live in Kansas City, where summers get nice n hot quite a bit (like all of July n August). The deck faces straight west, so it gets full sun in the hottest parts of the day, and honestly the trex gets almost as hot as the old PT, but not quite. The old PT was stained "cedarish" so it wasn't really dark either, the new trex deck is light gray. When it's over about 90, its warm on the feeties but not terrible.....over 100 and I'm not outside willingly. But we just put in a pool last fall... so that might change.
I haven't had issues with it being slippery in the rain, but than again I'm not out running around on the deck in the rain.:rolleyes:
If I had to do it over again, I'd use the trex for the decking (but the price on ballusters, posts and railings are ridic IMO) but I used PT for the railings etc and stained it all white.


Jim King
04-11-2008, 6:38 PM
Why not rent a floor sander and in an afternoon it will look like new and ready for finish.

Wally Lloyd
04-12-2008, 8:21 AM
I used to clean up Oak garden furniture with a mixture of hydrated lime and water.I've also cleaned 400 year old oak floors as well. Talk about gunge!!

Dennis Peacock
04-12-2008, 8:27 AM
So....what did you decide about your deck cleaning???

Wish I lived closer to ya...I'd love to help you rebuild it. :D

Glenn Clabo
04-12-2008, 8:35 AM
I'm going to give bleach a shot. It's this ocean air that makes things interesting around here. Right now the air is filled with water...and I think it's an inside the house kind of day.
The rebuild may just be added to the retirement 2DO list.

David G Baker
04-12-2008, 10:07 AM
A damp day may be a good day to do the deck cleaning. You may be miserable but the crud on the deck may come off much easier. Just a thought.

Glenn Clabo
04-12-2008, 12:50 PM
Actually we ahd a pause in the action and DrLOML and I just finished it. It looks pretty good and it was much easier just scrubbing with bleach.

Anyway...thanks everyone...