The first step to deck cleaning is to first find out if the wood only needs a general cleaning or if there is an old finish that needs to be removed and if the customer plans to retreat, seal the wood, stain or paint.
If you have a good finish under just general dirt, a good deck wash is all you will need. Our "Deck Wash" is designed especially for cedar wood and is fine for all other kinds of exposed wood surfaces. With a deck wash you are just loosening and removing surface dirt, mold and mildew. It is best to use warm-hot water at the lowest pressure setting possible that allows you to remove the dirt without damaging the finish or raising the wood grain. Followed by a good rinse, when dried, the original natural color or treated color should be easily seen. If needed a new coat of sealer for wearability or new coat of stain can be applied by either you or the customer.
But if the deck has an old finish that is worn out in places, old paint or a badly faded finish you will first have to remove the old surface materials with a stripper. When ever you use a stripper, you have to have mixed up and available to use right after using the stripper, a neutralizer, like our "Wood Brightener", to bring the ph of the wood back down to normal following the stripper. We have two different levels of strippers.
Our regular "Deck Stripper" is made to penetrate and emulsify old paint, varnish, stain, dirt, grease and oil. Our "Supper Stripper", which is three times stronger than the regular "Deck Stripper", is for removing newer or thicker build ups of stain, paint or other materials. It can also be used to clean asphalt or fiberglass shingles. Both strippers can also be used on other wood surfaces such as fences, free standing structures like gazebos or wood roofs or siding. Again be sure to follow any stripper with a neutralizer like "Wood Brightener" to stop the chemical reaction of the stripper on the wood and make the surface ready to take a new paint or stain after it is rinsed well and has thoroughly dried.
If you had seen problem areas of mold or mildew you may want to think about using some "Bio Barrier" to retard the return of new mold growth.
Please see the earlier session a few days ago on Bio Barrier in this Blog; you can use the search to find other Bio Barrier posts as well.