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canoes 04-28-2012 09:30 PM

maintaining deck stain; removing tannin
I have lots of decks at my little cabin where I spend Oct thru April. It's surrounded by trees and there are often leaves on it when I return. It's really hard to keep it nice looking, though it doesn't really need a total stain job yet. Part was done 3 years ago and part about 1.5 years ago.

Any thoughts on getting out the tannin stains?

I usually spray it with a low pressure pressure washer a couple times a year just to clean it. That helps with the pollen and some dirt, but it still doesn't look clean. Would soap/water and a push brush work better?

After I use the low pressure washer, I usually touch up a few spots with Sherwin Williams solid stain.

Mold isn't the real problem-the washing seems to work to keep that down. It's more the tannin, residual white stains from birds and dullness.

Suggestions? The goal is to keep it nice and avoid having to stain the entire thing more often than necessary.

joecaption 04-28-2012 09:42 PM

CaptRandy 04-28-2012 10:20 PM

clean with sodium percarbonate often.

joecaption 04-28-2012 10:23 PM

Oxy-Clean mixed into a paste works pretty and will not hurt the deck.

canoes 04-29-2012 08:27 AM

Thanks. So do I need to get the leaf stain out or can I just paint/stain over it.

Do I need to apply a waterproofer over the stain at this point or will the stain work well enough?

BTW, I did google deck maintenance but there's conflicting info about what to do and use. There doesn't even seem to be agreement about whether to stain PT wood right away or wait 6-12 months. Today, I'm staining the section that was damaged in the tornado last year because I'd been told by one contractor to wait. Wish I'd known it was OK to do it then, that contractor would have done it.

Paintguy 04-30-2012 02:53 PM

"Old school" = wait and let the wood weather
"New Thinking" = get a coating on as soon as the moisture levels drops to the mid to upper teens.

The problem with letting it weather is that the surface of the wood begins to degrade almost immediately. This surface degradation leads to the coating failing earlier than it otherwise would have. UV is wood's enemy. The primary purpose of the coating is to protect from UV, thus the more opacity, the longer the film typically lasts (everything else being equal).

CaptRandy 04-30-2012 02:57 PM

Old school, let weather but clean it before you seal it so the coating does not fail.

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