Deck Design Results From the Pros

The subjects listed below are discussed in length in a series of blogs written by the experts at Brazilian Wood Depot with help and contributions from hundreds of deck installation professionals. We have incorporated the feedback and experience of thousands of hardwood deck installations into these articles. The information offered here will:

Prevent poor or improper installation,
Save you money,
Give you lots of design ideas and
Help you choose the best accessories and hardware.

You can always call the pros at Brazilian Wood Depot too.

Choose a topic from the list on the right to display the articles related to your topic.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cleaning and Refinishing Hardwood Decking

Ipe’ decking, cumaru, jatoba, massaranduba, garapa and tigerwood hardwood decking is the most beautiful decking in the world.  To maintain the color and pronounced grain patterns, you must finish the deck periodically with a good oil-based deck finish made especially for hardwoods.  Finishes that are not specifically developed for hardwoods do not penetrate the wood enough for proper protection.  We've found that Messmers hardwood oil performs better than the other options for the same price.

When ipe’ and these other decking choices are not finished, the pigment will wash out, the color will fade and the boards will gray over time.  All wood grays but the lively color of these woods can be restored.  You can use a cleaner mixed with water to brush the gray out of the decking.  Then, apply the finish.  The restoration is fantastic and the wood looks new again.

Most of these cleaners have oxalic acid as their active ingredient.  This will not harm metals, your hands, plants or concrete.  Wet the decking down with the cleaner, keep it wet for 30 minutes and then push the gray away with a brush.  Rinse off the cleaner and gray residue.  Leave this dry over night and apply the finish.  Penofin, Messmers and other companies all offer good cleaners that perform well.  Messmers offers the concentrated cleaner in a liquid, which mixes more easily with water than all of the other powder concentrates.

Here are before and after pictures of a deck that had grayed and faded.

Cleaning your hardwood deck does not require the use of a pressure washer. As a matter of fact it is recommended you do not use a pressure washer on hardwoods as they leave streaking and often tend to raise the grain giving a rough undesirable surface. They can also damage surrounding structures.  Light sanding can be done as necessary using caution to avoid removal of the color of coated screws that are not properly countersunk and also to avoid removal of the eased edges on the boards.  You do not want sharp corners on your deck boards.

Cleaning your deck lightly before reapplications of deck finish is a good idea if there is residue, stains or dirt on your deck.  Sometimes, furniture or other metal objects left on your deck will create black stains.  These are easily removed with muriatic acid.  Dilute the acid with water by 50% and dab it on the stain with a rag.  Watch it disappear and rinse it with water.  It’s that easy.  Muriatic acid will not discolor or otherwise harm your deck.

Hardwood ipe decking, purple heart, cumaru, massaranduba, garapa and tigerwood are the only types of decking that can be restored after graying.  Simply follow the cleaning steps above to remove the gray then refinish the deck after it dries thoroughly.

There are few things in life that are truly “maintenance free” retaining all of the original “like new” properties.  Hardwood decking will retain its durability if it grays but the beautiful color adds much to the wood’s allure.  It’s wonderful that the beauty of your hardwood deck can be restored if the periodic finishing has been left out for a while.


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Timber Decking said...

Depending of type of timber decking used, installer may add protective seals or stain to maintain deck appearance. Clear sealer help prevent moisture damage, while colored stain can change wood appearance while adding protection.

Unknown said...

I hadn't known about pressurized pine being used in decking. I would love to have a deck, though. I haven't had one in a long time.

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Kamal said...

Very nice, the post have given some quite useful tips to clean hardwood deck. The pictures demonstration with each written detail is a lifetime help thanks. This will help me a lot in my work of deck cleaning in Centreville VA.

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Bob said...

So, I did power wash the Ipe deck and there are some streaks
Should I just clean the deck with Messmers cleaner, or should I sand the streaked areas?

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Unknown said...

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benlong said...

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Advanced Building Supplies, Inc. said...

Thanks for the refreshing ideas and beautiful pictures of flooring and decking. A well made deck crafted using quality wood is a sight to behold. We at ABSWood pride ourselves in providing the best decking and timber materials across the US. Check us out and keep up the excellent work of posting such amazing blog.
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Advanced Building Supplies, Inc. said...

Thank you for sharing such an informative article, like the way you describe the best ipe decking and hardwood decking is and what are the accessories we can use for them. Good article for practical work. Appreciated..!

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