Power Washing and Deck Restoration

Chris S

Active member
May 29, 2007
31
Central VA
Hey everyone,

I am a fairly new pool owner and have gotten a lot of info from here. I would really like to be able to give back to the site. I am a pressure washing and deck restoration contractor, so if anyone has any questions related to that, just ask.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,226
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
power washing

Hi Chris, to make a really long story short, my hubby and I spent hours refinishing our deck...in some spots the new stain is flaking off. Do you think that is due to not removing the cleaner solution adequately? In other areas it looks great, just a few spots it flaked away. I would hate to redo the whole thing, can we just put on a new coat of stain? Does it need to be pressure washed before or can we just go over the first coat? We applied the stain last August. Thanks!
 

Chris S

Active member
May 29, 2007
31
Central VA
Re: power washing

frustratedpoolmom said:
Hi Chris, to make a really long story short, my hubby and I spent hours refinishing our deck...in some spots the new stain is flaking off. Do you think that is due to not removing the cleaner solution adequately? In other areas it looks great, just a few spots it flaked away. I would hate to redo the whole thing, can we just put on a new coat of stain? Does it need to be pressure washed before or can we just go over the first coat? We applied the stain last August. Thanks!
Do you remember what kind of finish you used? It sounds like and acrylic, and that's probably where you problem is. The more the foot traffic, the faster the flaking. An acrylic just forms a film on the wood, opposed to oil which penatrates.

What kind of cleaning solution was it? What ever it was, it probably needed to be neutralized with and acid based product before applying the stain.

As far as a 2nd coat, I'll wait on your response to elaborate.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,226
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Well, It's been awhile, so I looked online as it was Behr products. We used a stripper to remove old stain and prepare new wood (the deck was a combo of old deck and new addition), that only needed to be washed off with a pressure washer, I'm pretty sure we followed the directions. My best guess is we missed a few spots, because for the most part it looks pretty good.... The stain was a "penetrating" stain but looking at the photos of their product I'm pretty sure it was latex based and I do remember using soap and water to clean-up.
 

Chris S

Active member
May 29, 2007
31
Central VA
If it was soap and water clean up, it wasn't oil. You can find some contractors that will strip acrylic, but it can get expensive. Most people don't want to put up the $$$, so your kinda stuck with it. If it is of that much concern to you, I would spray thedeck with a solution of 1-2% bleach mixed with a squirt of lemon Joy and rinse with a pressure washer. This should kill any mold and mildew. Re-coat the flaking areas. When it dries, if it didn't blend well, do the rest of the floor minus the re-coated, flaky areas. Also, I doubt that you missed any spots, that's just the nature of acrylic deck stain. It sucks, because it looks so good on the sample boards at Home Depot. Unfortunately, they are selling you a inferior product.
 

pooladdict

TFP Guide
In The Industry
May 14, 2007
819
New Brunswick Canada
Chris

You are suggesting pressure washing for decks?

Its a major no no, you are opening and loosening the fibres. I have seen decks done this way, and easily having 1/8" of wood removed. No to mention the deck having that buzzed hair cut look.
I have built alot of decks and always recommend sanding if one wants to remove a oil based stain, or stripper if its paint. One can easily rent a belt sander from HD or Lowes and do the job in a an afternoon. Not to mention the final look and feel of the freshly sanded wood is amazing. One problem we have in Canada with PT Spruce, is we ship all our good stuff south. So the stuff we get up here is almost considered a rough finish. Ok if one is going to apply paint, but we all know paint on a deck around a pool will only cause heat retention.

I am curious what pressure you are using when you use your sprayers? I am willing to bet you could easily convert your company to a deck renewel company, sand them suckers back the same amount and get an exquisite finish.

Your comments?

Rik
 

Chris S

Active member
May 29, 2007
31
Central VA
pooladdict said:
Chris

You are suggesting pressure washing for decks?

Its a major no no, you are opening and loosening the fibres. I have seen decks done this way, and easily having 1/8" of wood removed. No to mention the deck having that buzzed hair cut look.
I have built alot of decks and always recommend sanding if one wants to remove a oil based stain, or stripper if its paint. One can easily rent a belt sander from HD or Lowes and do the job in a an afternoon. Not to mention the final look and feel of the freshly sanded wood is amazing. One problem we have in Canada with PT Spruce, is we ship all our good stuff south. So the stuff we get up here is almost considered a rough finish. Ok if one is going to apply paint, but we all know paint on a deck around a pool will only cause heat retention.

I am curious what pressure you are using when you use your sprayers? I am willing to bet you could easily convert your company to a deck renewel company, sand them suckers back the same amount and get an exquisite finish.

Your comments?

Rik
I suggest pressure washing when the person holding the wand knows what they are doing. A deck can be severely damaged by a sander as quickly as a pressure washer. Knowledge is key.

ETA: You made a good point in another thread about proper ventilation under a deck. Lanscaping and lattice can be beautiful, but if it inhibits the ground from drying underneath the deck, your deck will basically rot from underneath. PT wood is rot-resistant, not rot-proof.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,226
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
We used a pressure washer when we stripped our deck, we had no problems except for a couple of spindle -thingys that we got too close to. We had to sand the deck anyway because we wanted to ensure a splinterless summer. I think if one is carefull and doesn't get too close with the washer raising the grain isn't a for-sure result, only if one is careless...
 

MarkC

Well-known member
May 14, 2007
57
I think the problem with presure washers is that people use them to try and strip off a finish. I know I'm guilty of ruining quite a few sextions of picket fencing with an overly agressive use of a pressure washer.
 

survey77777

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 18, 2007
85
ontario, canada
This forum is turning out to be even more useful than I'd expected. We just had to build new stairs up to our deck on the second floor and since I want to redo the upper deck at some point we did them in Cedar since it was on for almost the same price as PT. Anyway...the upper deck has that dark brown stain on it that I'm really not at all fond of. It's coming off in many places as the past owners did it long ago. I'd like to pressure wash what's left of it off and then just repain the ballusters maybe the colour of my house trim until I can afford the cedar to replace the decking.
I'm going back and forth between buying/renting a pressure washer and would love some advice on the entire process from this point.
If you have a few minutes and could help me out I'd be very grateful.
Thanks,
N
 

whoozer

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 2, 2008
633
Acton Maine
pressure washing decks

I think the big key here is know how. I have pressure washed many decks before and as long as your careful and patient it can come out great. Now sanding it is another story. I think most decks would take an entire weekend if not more to sand and then you better hope you know what your doing or you'll mess it up royally. As far as buyimg your own. I did. It costs less in the long run. Make sure you start slowly and maybe test out some wood that doesn't matter first. I started with my house and after a few hours I got the hang of it. Anyone can do it I think. Just remember when you first start out don't use the most harsh angle and don't get too close to your wood. I'm sure the experts can give more in depth tips on pressure washing correctly.
 

towney

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2007
84
Central Florida
We have a paver deck around the pool and under our covered lanai. It is approx. 2 yrs old and the outside part is faded vs the covered. We want to seal the pavers but do not know what type of work is involved and what type of sealer is the best. Also, it's either black dirt or fungi getting in between the pavers on the outside area, is there a way to clean this out and seal these areas. I heard there was a sand like product you could use to seal the spaces.
 
G

Guest

I have a cedar deck that has some holes in it from carpenter bees. The previous owner had stained the deck, no idea what product he used but it's pretty faded. Deck was installed about 10 years ago.

I have some PT fencing that was installed over 10 years ago, but it's in great shape. Doesn't seem to have any stain on it.

I want to add some more fencing and am "on the fence" about whether to buy cedar or PT. I know that there have been changes in how PT wood is treated. Some fencing companies want to install all PT, some PT posts and cedar pickets, others want to install all cedar pickets and posts. And there's always the stuff at Home Depot. Any suggestions?

Thanks.

Sue
 

kevreh

In The Industry
Jun 2, 2007
413
Annandale, VA
Chris-


I'm just finishing up my screened porch. Its all PT except the Trex flooring. Whats your take on;

- How long I should wait before sealing/staining? I heard I should give the lumber a few months to age/dry.
- If I wait too long will the lumber start to crack?
- What do you recommend for sealing/staining (brands and steps)? I'm planning to use a light brown/cedar color.


TIA,
Kevin