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Did I ruin this deck?

13 years ago

First of all does anyone have any idea what kind of wood this is? I'm guessing it's pine.

Second of all I recently went to clean my parents deck before I stained it. The deck is 11 years old and hasn't been maintained very well, it's never been cleaned. The sealer I got for the deck said I could use a pressure washer to clean it. Well here is what part of the deck looks like now from using the pressure washer.

At first I thought the discoloration was from washing away the dirt/mold/mildew/what have you on the deck then after a few seconds I realized I might actually be stripping away layers of the wood itself. So I checked online (kicking myself for not doing this before hand) and I find out it is very easy to ruin a wooden deck with a pressure washer if you're not careful. I also found out it's better to just use a deck cleaning solution and a water hose to clean a deck.

So did I just ruin my parents deck?

Comments (8)

  • 13 years ago

    No, I don't think it is ruined. I would just try to sand the entire surface. How big is the deck? I would just use an orbital sander and some elbow grease. Some people have also rented the larger floor sanders if the deck is big. You can probably search this site for some instruction there.


  • 13 years ago

    It's not ruined, and I don't think you need to sand it. It looks like pressure treated southern yellow pine.

    Try Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner. Spray it on a completely dry deck with a pump sprayer enough to wet it. Then wait about 5-8 minutes and rinse off with a pressure washer with about a 30 degree nozzle from about 8-10". Even a garden hose should work.

  • 13 years ago

    I Googled a home made recipe for deck cleaning & this is what I used --- EXCEPT --- I only used the bleach water & it done a great job! I rinsed it really well & let it set for about a week then gave it a clear coat of Thompson water seal. We are very please with the outcome, but it did soak up more of the Thompson water seal than the can called for. Just try a out of sight practice spot.

  • 13 years ago

    Thank you for the replies everyone. I tried using a deck cleaner I bought from Home Depot and it didn't seem to be doing much of anything, I don't know if I was doing something wrong (even though I followed the directions) or if the cleaner just wasn't a very good product. So I decided to sand it (there were a lot of rough patches anyways) and the deck is looking a lot better already.

    I went back to Home Depot and they recommended a different kind of deck cleaner to use, soon as it stops raining here I'm going to wash the deck, pressure wash it again then seal it. Hopefully it turns out nice, I'll post more pics when it's all finished. This time I'll be sure to keep the pressure washer further away from the deck.

  • 13 years ago

    11 years old and NEVER been sanded?!?!??

    Dear L*rd....
    Search this forum for my deck sanding instructions.

    My Construction-heart Redwood deck is now 15 y/o.
    * I've sanded the floor twice now, and it still looks very good.
    * Your deck doesn't look so good....
    * Sanding gets rid of 11years worth of "Grain-crush" that ISN'T FIXED by cleaning!!

    I always STRONGLY recommend this approach to customers whose decks are in your state.


  • 13 years ago

    Well I sanded, cleaned and sealed the deck.

    I still have to go back and seal the cracks on some of the boards. Parts of it doesn't look the same color as the rest of the deck, not sure if I need another coat on those parts or what went wrong there. Overall though I'm pretty happy, it might not be the greatest deck job in the world but considering the age and condition of the deck and it was my first time doing any of this I think it looks pretty good.

  • 13 years ago

    That was an AWFULLY fast sanding/cleaning/staining?!!?

    What grit paper did'ja use?