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jellydonut 06-20-2008 12:21 AM

Clean/Seal PT Deck
I'm new to the forum it looks like a great community that I hope to be part of. I am working on 2 pressure treated decks. One of the decks has been built in the last 2-3 years and the other is 10+ years old. I just want to know how to prepare the decks properly so I don't have to reseal them again next year.

1) There are green stains (mildew) and black stains (water?) on the older deck, from experience, what do you find works the best to take them out? Would a deck cleaner be fine?
2) I don't feel I need to strip the decks, but I don't know what brand of cleaner I should buy. HD has thompsons deck cleaner/brightener, but given what I have heard about their sealer, I am wary.
3) Before putting on the sealer I am going to use a moisture meter to find out the moisture level - what is the optimal level of moisture for PT decks?
4) I believe an oil based sealer would be best, but couldn't find any at HD. I'm gonna check some specialty paint stores- any recommendations on sealers?

poppameth 06-20-2008 05:51 AM

A good oxygenated cleaner would work best. Something like Wolman DeckBrite. To seal it I'd put a semi-transparent oil on it. Sikkens and Cabots are about the best you can find. I sell Sikkens so I'd recommend SRD for a one coat simple application, which will last you 2-3 years depending on sunlight, or DEK Finish which is a two coat application that gives you a satin finish and will last 3-5 years depending on sunlight.

slickshift 06-20-2008 07:21 PM

DeckBrite or Wash-Safe
They are both pretty similar with how/why they work
They'll lift off the mold and brighten the wood one step
Both are safe on water supplies and plants

Products will vary for moisture specs, but generally it'll be under 18%
It will be on the can and/or in the TDS

I can heartily recommend the Cabot and Sikkens products
I have used both in a professional capacity for years

The Sikkens is harder to find, and the product lines and instructions can be overwhelming when "browsing", but these days I'd say they have a quality edge over Cabot
Stick with the SRD or DEK like jelly says...they are pretty straight forward

Cabot is no slouch though, and they can be easier to find

If you want a true clear sealer (not even a hint of tint), I'd recommend the Wolman's Raincoat
It comes in oil or water-based

jellydonut 06-21-2008 11:48 PM

thanks for the info, I'm just having some trouble finding this stuff! I have used Stripex (bio-wash) from home depot with good results, the same brand does a cleaner and a brightener (not 2 in 1) - have you guys heard any good/bad about it?

I havent yet been able to find the cleaners you suggested, but im gonna keep shopping around. I saw some cleaner/brightener combos - does it matter if its a 2 in 1, or is it better to apply them separately?

I did find some clear sealers which I think look good:

Benjamin Moore Clear Alkyd Transparent Stain
Benjamin Moore Alkyd Clear Wood Finish

They are both oil based, so I think they should do the trick!

slickshift 06-22-2008 07:25 AM

You'll need to shop at an actual Paint Store to find those cleaner products
HD won't have them

Either of the BM stains would be fine
IIRC though, one of them is actual clear, while one has a bit of tint
No biggie, just ask before purchasing....not sure if you're looking for a true clear or not

(the bit of tint does help with UV protection and "smoothing out" the looks of the deck by blending the real light parts)

poppameth 06-22-2008 10:44 AM

The cleaners are oxygenated bleach. The brighteners are a ph balancing wash. The cleaner is the most important part, but the brightener is never a bad idea. I'd be a bit uncertain about any 2 in 1 version of these products. Most of the good ones I've seen are always two separate parts.

jellydonut 06-22-2008 03:49 PM

ya, that makes sense about the 2 in 1 products being crap. The brightener is supposed to neutralize the cleaner/stripper so how could it be 2 in 1.
Thanks for all the responses, ill let everyone know how the jobs went.

slickshift 06-22-2008 08:39 PM


Originally Posted by poppameth (Post 132027)
A good oxygenated cleaner would work best. Something like Wolman DeckBrite....


Originally Posted by poppameth (Post 132619)
The cleaners are oxygenated bleach. The brighteners are a ph balancing wash. The cleaner is the most important part, but the brightener is never a bad idea. I'd be a bit uncertain about any 2 in 1 version of these products. Most of the good ones I've seen are always two separate parts.

Wolman Deckbrite is a "one step"
It, like Wash-Safe, is not one of the oxalic acid washes that needs balancing later
The bleaching action is due to the fact that it's a peroxide based cleaner
It is slightly acidic, but becomes inert after a few hours
I'm not real big on the science, but those are two "one-steps" I can recommend

The other Wolman system, and the Cabot and Ben Moore systems, you need the two steps
I'm sure there are cheesy so-called "one steps" out there, DB and WS are quality ones

poppameth 06-23-2008 06:00 AM

The is a second brightening product from Wolman. It's a liquid instead of a powder though. Most of the products I'm talking about can use the cleaner without the second part. It's like the ever so popular Restore-a-Deck. It's sold as a kit but the second part of it really isn't necessary. The first part is nearly identical to DeckBrite and several other similar products. The cleaners in these are all Sodium Percarbonate, which doesn't need neutralized. I'm just saying anything that is suppose to be an oxygen cleaner and an ph balancer all in one can seems a little odd. It's not outside the realm of reason I suppose.

jellydonut 06-23-2008 10:57 PM

sounds like quite an argument...I feel safer going with a 2 step program anyways. I was just thinking about the moisture of the wood, and I wanna pick up a moisture meter. Watcha think about this one?

slickshift 06-24-2008 04:39 AM

Sounds more like people exchanging information

I've not used Restor-a-deck
But I have used the two steps from Cabot for years
Used it just a week ago
Works great

jellydonut 06-26-2008 05:43 PM

just used a 2 in 1, thompsons cleaner and brightener and it sucked total A$$!! never using a 2 in 1 again, it was so streaky after i powerwashed it and any mistakes that were made got emphasized. going over it tmrw with a solid stain, quick question - some parts of the wood were brighter than others, will that be noticeable once a solid red stain is put on?

slickshift 06-26-2008 07:17 PM


Originally Posted by jellydonut (Post 133937)
...thompsons cleaner and brightener and it sucked total A$$!!....

Well, I'm not surprised
I told you not to buy any of that HD crap
Get to a Real Paint Store
And certainly don't buy anything with the name "Thompson's" on it
They don't make one product that's worth it even if it was free

jellydonut 06-29-2008 11:36 AM

ya, well i gotta salvage it somehow...i was thinking going over it with another brightener to get rid of all the streaky spots, would that do the trick?

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