So, you’re a Jacksonville homeowner getting ready for some spring and summer fun in the back yard. You’ve got the grill out, it’s all cleaned up and ready to produce your masterpiece home cooked secret barbecue recipe for friends and family. You dust the cobwebs and fall’s leaves from the patio furniture, and yet it just doesn’t feel right.
- Looking around, you’re thinking, “the patio furniture could use a pressure washing, but our deck looks just horrible”. Your deck has turned an ugly gray color, the stain has faded, or is maybe chipping, peeling, and flaking in a number of areas. Upon further inspection, you realize your deck is not only dirty and gray, but has some grease stains from last year’s barbecue, and even has some mold starting to grow on it.
- You realize it’s just not going to be fun cooking out with friends and family on such a deck. The mold, dirt, and gray wood just aren’t conducive to a pleasant back yard barbecue environment. Not to mention, they aren’t exactly healthy or fun to look at. So what do you do?
- You have several options. First, you can simply pressure wash your deck, being very cautious to use very low pressure, but the grease, mold and dirt won’t always just wash away without proper cleaning agents. Of course, use of the right cleaning agents requires special knowledge, because things like bleach can actually soften the lignin, which is the glue that helps hold wood fibers together. Over time, cleaning with bleach can hasten the break down and aging of the wood’s surface.
- You can also go through the process of removing any old finish, cleaning the wood, killing the mold, and applying new stain, but what do you clean it with? What do you use to get rid of the old stain on your deck? What do you do to get rid of the mold? Can you guarantee a good result? If the old coating is peeling, do you want to apply the same stuff and have it peeling again? What kind of finishes are available, and what will look best on your deck?
- If all of these questions about staining your deck are going through your head, it probably is time to contact a professional about your project. Sure, you could spend hours upon hours of your free time doing it all yourself, but it’s also going to take hours and hours of research about deck cleaning, deck staining, different types of deck stains, deck cleaning chemicals, etc.
- Then you’ll have to deal with proper application, protecting plants and landscaping, your home, and other areas you don’t want to get chemicals onto. Not to mention, you’ll want to properly protect yourself, because deck cleaning chemicals can be hazardous if they are inhaled, ingested, or get onto your skin.
- You can easily get advice at any one of a number of different home centers, and their staff will help walk you through much of the process of cleaning and staining a deck. One of the problem with home centers is their staff is often low wage, with minimal knowledge about real world application and procedures. Different home centers may require different training or experience, and you may get lucky and run into an hourly employee who knows something about your particular type of project. Then again, you may not.
- Another problem with doing it yourself is that the deck cleaning and deck staining products sold by home centers are tailored to do it yourself projects. They are not professional grade products, and often don’t have the potency to clean the tough stuff, or the strength to remove stubborn failed coatings. Then there is the cost of either renting a power washer, or buying one for the work around your home, which can be prohibitive itself.
- As with deck cleaning and deck staining chemicals or stains, homeowner grade pressure washers don’t have the power or the reliability of commercial grade units. You can pick up a cheap machine for sometimes for as low as $200, but it will be just that, a cheap machine. Even with proper maintenance, these types of machines are not meant for large projects or constant use, and will wear out prematurely compared to commercial grade equipment.
- All of this can add up to a lot of work, and many homeowners have no problem tinkering away at projects like this on weekends or in their spare time. However, many homeowners spend a lot of precious time and money, before finally realizing they’ve gotten in over their heads.
- Cleaning decks and fences takes some know how, and you can damage the wood if you’re not careful. It also requires the stronger contractor grade cleaners in many cases, and without these, you risk severely damaging your wood trying to blast away at mold, dirt, grime, and old coatings. Too much pressure and you can not only gouge the wood, but in the case of woods like cedar, you can actually punch holes in it if you’re not careful. A little common sense, and low pressure, never exceeding 800-1000 p.s.i. is the way to go.
- Then there is the deck staining or fence staining portion of the job. Applying stain by hand can be tedious, and can take a lot of time. One recent customer of Weathered Wood Restoration LLC in Jacksonville, FL was all too happy to pay to strip and restore their old deck. The homeowner had tried to stain it himself, and left lap marks, uneven color, and damaged wood behind in his wake. This homeowner learned that his attempts at doing it himself actually ended up costing more to have the damage he caused repaired by us, on top of his initial expense of trying to do it on his own.
- The point of this article is not to discourage you from tackling such a project, it’s to show you that there is more to it than just slapping a little stain on your deck after blasting it to death with a pressure washer. Great care must be taken not to damage the wood. The wood must be properly dried, and tested for moisture. Then is must also be tested for absorption as well.
- Not knowing how to properly clean your deck, strip your deck, or stain your deck can lead to all kinds of hidden pitfalls. However, many home owners get through tough projects like this on their own, and learn a lot along the way. Patience is definitely key here. Don’t rush. Seek out the right knowledge, and educate yourself as much as possible before starting.
Deck Repair by 24/7 Home Service US has professional handymen that always there for you with all Your Deck Maintenance and Repairs needs. We have following service – Deck Services: Deck Construction, Maintenance, Service & Repair , Stain & Finish , Power Wash etc . We Do our work expertly, skillfully and in convenient design. We gladly Stand behind our work since consumer loyalty’s is our main concern.