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Old 06-08-2007, 02:54 PM   #1
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Can I seal a deck without cleaning it?


If I understand what I read correctly, cleaning a deck properly involves using chemicals with a power washer/sprayer. I live in a townhouse, and my neighbors have children and dogs so using a power washer/sprayer is not an option. Can I get away with simply sanding the deck and then sealing it?

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Old 06-08-2007, 07:23 PM   #2
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Can I seal a deck without cleaning it?


Not an expert on this, but I've gotta ask - why can't you use a power washer? Power washers don't need to be used with chemicals, you can use just water. A while back I did my dad's deck (who knows if this is proper, I'll leave this for someone else to comment on), but we just power washed it and then stained/sealed. The pressure washer itself was sufficient to rip right through everything, no chemicals involved. Very quick and easy (and if you don't have a powerwasher (which I imagine you don't as I can't see why you wouldn't have used it already), home depot rents them for ~50-75$, depending on how long you borrow it for (4 hour period or 1 day period. That price is for a 3500 PSI power washer, I rented one recently, it would go through a deck real fast).

I imagine sanding would work just fine, but wouldn't be worth the trouble unless you mean a larger, electronic sanding machine.

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Old 06-09-2007, 07:51 AM   #3
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Can I seal a deck without cleaning it?


You can choose chemicals that are mild and the PWing can be done as to not affect neighbors

I'd suggest Cabot's Problem Solver Cleaner
It can be mixed even milder if you'd like (though it's not bad at all to begin with), and can be hosed off (though a PWer does work better/quicker)
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Old 06-09-2007, 10:17 AM   #4
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Can I seal a deck without cleaning it?


ya the pressure washer worked real fast. I was younger (i'm only mid 20's now btw) then, but remember being amazed at how I was using a 'hose' and spraying the gray deck to reveal what looked like brand new wood. I loved it!
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Old 06-09-2007, 09:07 PM   #5
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Can I seal a deck without cleaning it?


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That price is for a 3500 PSI power washer, I rented one recently, it would go through a deck real fast).
Yep, all the way throught it if you hold in the same spot close enough and long enough with that much pressure. Small deck, I'd use regular hose and nozzle with the cleaner Slick suggested.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:30 AM   #6
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Can I seal a deck without cleaning it?


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Yep, all the way throught it if you hold in the same spot close enough and long enough with that much pressure. Small deck, I'd use regular hose and nozzle with the cleaner Slick suggested.

Recently built a deck for myself and used some old lumber on it. Tries Cabot's Problem Solver and a hose with a nozzle on the old wood. Really did a good job considering the old wood was dark as in grey and black. Went back over with a 1400psi power washer. Did even better.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:39 AM   #7
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Can I seal a deck without cleaning it?


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Originally Posted by goscottgo View Post
If I understand what I read correctly, cleaning a deck properly involves using chemicals with a power washer/sprayer. I live in a townhouse, and my neighbors have children and dogs so using a power washer/sprayer is not an option. Can I get away with simply sanding the deck and then sealing it?

You can drive your car with your feet. Doesn't mean it is a good idea
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:08 PM   #8
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Can I seal a deck without cleaning it?


pressure washing a deck can damage the deck's wood though if too much pressure applied...
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Old 06-29-2007, 02:00 PM   #9
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Can I seal a deck without cleaning it?


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pressure washing a deck can damage the deck's wood though if too much pressure applied...

Ditto. I doubt I am getting the full 1400 psi with my washer. It has a little leakage at the back of the pump. I did watch for damage as I used it. I have seen a deck get kind of hairy with less rated pressure.
P.S. Someone had mentioned Simple Green as a deck wash. Tried it on an old discolored 4x4to see what it would do. Did pretty good job, but it seems to me it takes more rinsing. When I was doing appliances, I used Mean Green sometimes for cleaning purposes. It would leave a film if not rinsed really well. Same thing may apply to SG.
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:07 PM   #10
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Can I seal a deck without cleaning it?


Wood decks should never be cleaned with just pressure!!!! Use the right cleaners, neutrilizers and sealers and the deck will last a long time. Use too much pressure and you will destroy the wood fibers and cause it to crack and check much faster than normal. Wood decks should be cleaned with 600-800 PSI at most! I have a DIY guide on deck restoration on my website here: The Art Of Power Washing Decks.

Here is some information on some really good deck sealers for after it's been properly cleaned.

Choosing the best deck sealer for exterior wood surfaces.
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Old 02-03-2008, 10:21 PM   #11
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Can I seal a deck without cleaning it?


You can use chemical which does not harm the people around you.

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