Purpose of This Post:
The purpose of this post is intended as an instructional piece that can be a source for those with questions on deck cleaning now and in the future. I am sure there are some on here that have comparable projects that the results exceed my humble efforts. I would like to invite other experienced wood cleaning contractors to add to this post with pictures of their projects. I would encourage you however to utilize the same format so that a new contractor will have a complete understanding of your project in order to gain a complete picture of your process and how it may relate to their project.
This particular deck was a 2 1/2 year old deck, pressure treated pine, never stained, and exposed for most the day to direct sun, especially in the afternoons. Though not very dirty, the sun had done significant damage and the new homeowners wanted it prepped for staining. It was a simple 14*16 though with steps, pickets and handrails - adjusted total square footage was 463 sq/ft. Height was about 3’ off ground on low end to 5’ off on high end.
Location - Greenville SC
Price - $230 ($.50/sq/ft which is our minimum). Factors which normally affect cost include how poor of condition of wood - how dirty - height - surrounding vegetation
Time - Approx 1 hour 40min
Cleaning Process: Prewet, let sit for about 10 min. Downstreamed straight SH with just a pinch of sodium hydroxide and elemonator utilizing my 4gpm machine which pulls around 10-1. Total mix used was about 1.5 gal.
Once done applying mix utilized 8gpm with adjustable wand to clean at approx 1400psi
After cleaning pics:
One board left
Note to new contractors here - when cleaning pickets hit them at a 45deg angle. That way you catch 2 sides of the picket when cleaning with one pass and then when you go to the other side hit from the opposite 45 and presto you’ve cleaned the whole picket with just two passes. Also be careful with your up and down motions that you don’t carry too far onto bottom or top rail or you will have lighter marks from double cleaning where you have overlap. You’re better off cleaning pickets first and then the rails since overlap marks will not be nearly as visible on the pickets.
Once done cleaning applied Oxalic acid 10 oz/gal. with 2 gal pump up sprayer. Used 3 gal total. I normally prefer to use citric acid to brighten and neutralize but in this case some nails were starting to rust, in which case you’re better off using Oxalic.
After Ox applied liberally and still wet from rinsing after:
After Deck had dried: