Did my first wood deck today I have some questions

So today, I cleaned my first deck. It was at my sisters new house ( she bought it from a family member) I wish I took some before pictures, I meant too but I just got caught up and forgot. The deck was extremely neglected. The deck hasn’t been maintained in at least 10-12 years, it was extremely black and green and some parts were nice and fuzzy from all the moss. The deck looks 10x better then when I started. It came out very well but not perfect as I was hoping for. Here are some of the issues i encountered, It looked like some of the wood started to fur up, I’m not sure if that’s from the SH or something else. Problem 2 As I’ll show you in a picture there were some white spots on some of the wooden banisters. I’m not sure what they are from or how to remove them. Also on some of the top rails which are clean it look like some areas are still stained green. It wasn’t coming off with pressure or the first application of SH. Should I just hit it with another coat of SH? The biggest problem for me was it took forever to rinse all the banisters, on all sides and in between them. Once it dried I notice there were
Some spots I missed. I’m pretty sure I hit those areas when rinsing. Do I need a second coat or is it normal to not get every bit of green gone.?

My process: I wet the entire deck,
Soaked everything. Then I DS straight 12.5sh and a little bit of elemonator my DS is about 10-1 at 4gpm I let the SH dwell for about 15 minutes and than I rinsed with medium pressure. After I rinsed, I X jetted Oxalic Acid I let that dwell for 10 minutes and than lightly rinsed. The first picture is after the deck dried. The second is the banisters and the third is just after I rinsed the OX off.

Also the deck was about 300 square feet. Again it was very dirty it took me 4 hours. What would it have taken you? Was I about right on time or way too slow? And it was for my sister so it was free but what would you charge

Hey Brian! Here’s a link to a recent post about deck washing. If you still have questions after going through the post try the search bar. You’ll learn all you need to know and more.


And this is why I don’t like cleaning wood.:flushed:

4 hours, ouch. Back in the day we just used a green tip and went to town. Now it’s all about chems.

That’s a thirty minute job with potash

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What kind of wood is that? It doesn’t look like pressure treated pine.

How much pressure did you use? If it is pine you want to use about 800-1000 psi. House wash mix is likely too weak to do much on a deck as neglected as you say it was. One thing you have to be careful with is too much sh can cause furring. Sodium percarbonate is a milder cleaner that can get you just as good results with a lot less risk of furring. You might have to scrub a little bit.

The furring you ended up with may just be due to it being neglected for so long but it looks more like you didn’t use enough pressure to clean the dead layer of wood off of it. Don’t use more than 1000 psi though.

Homeowners also use a green tip on their vinyl siding. People used chems back in the day too. At least the ones who knew what they were doing. :grin:

I’m just kidding. Well, kind of. I use to use a green tip on my own deck too before I knew any better. It has nothing to do with “back in the day” we just didn’t know what they heck we were doing…lol

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That deck is alot more than 300sqft and we have all been there on it taking you 4 hours. Once you know where to start and what to start with you could do that deck in 1.5 hours and make almost 3x more than what you would make on a house wash with the same amount of sqft. Check out the thread linked to you. Rick and brian both have some great info posted there.

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I’m not sure what type of wood it is. It used
To be a Gazebo that fell down due to neglect however they were able to save the platform hence how they have a deck. I was going to use F-10 from pressuretek but with how bad it was I thought I might need the strength of SH. I did read that post about deck cleaning that Racer wrote. I know 4 hrs
Was probably too long but I’m not sure what I could have done to shorten the time, rinsing the deck boards were easy and fast, rinsing the vertical banisters took forever. My mix was about 1.25% and I used an M5 adjustable nozzle to rinse.

What should I do about those white spots in the picture?

For how bad you said the deck was before I think it looks great now. With decks that bad I set the customers expectations. Tell them I can get the green off but it can fur up. I use a 12v pump to get a stronger mix and have less of a dwell. I than use my Jrod tip or a white tip to rinse. I use white tip if the deck is almost unreversable. The green left is common on very neglected decks. Its that super dark green and I’ve only gotten it off with pressure. Also don’t be afraid to scrub the deck with a brush. It is better than blasting it with pressure and can ofter do the trick. Most customers aren’t looking for a complete restoration of old decks. The guys posting pics of decks that don’t fur and look a golden perfect color aren’t cleaning 12 year old mossed out decks. So don’t think you are going achieve the same result.


I’m not sure if there are any videos on here showing how to clean a deck with a little pressure but you want to start at one end of the board and continuously go to the other end without stopping. This prevents you from leaving lines in the middle of the board. If you stop or slow down it will leave a slight line. You really need to use a little pressure to knock off the old wood fibers and to get the dirt and algae out of the pores of the wood. Although, it’s not quite as important if the deck isn’t going to be stained. I usually use a 40 degree tip and hold the wand high enough to where it barely catches the side of the board next to it. Start slowly walking from one end to the other. It takes a little practice but it’s not that hard. You want to do the same thing with the spindles and railing. I’ve had some decks where the green would not come off but those were the pressure treated pine that come a little green. Even years later you’re able to see some of the green stain. It’s a good idea to figure out what kind of wood you’re going to be cleaning beforehand. You have to be a little more careful with wood like Cedar and Redwood. Although, it does depend on what the owner plans on doing with it. If they just want it clean and don’t plan on staining it the prep work isn’t as important. If they are going to stain it you want to properly clean it so the stain has the best chance of adhesion possible.

As Bill mentioned don’t be afraid to use a deck brush. If using Sodium Percarbonate you almost have to. Using SP does help prevent furring because it’s not as harsh as SH. I also agree with Bill that it looks good so be happy with the results. With practice you’ll get faster and faster.

If you need help figuring out what size nozzle to use to get your 800-1000 psi let us know. We’ll teach you how to read a nozzle chart based on your machine and its gpm and psi. A nozzle chart is definitely something you’ll need to look to depending on the job at hand.


Dealt with that yesterday. Had to hit this one twice and some boards still had some green in it. I was guessing it may have always been like that. I gotta get some sodium hydroxide to add like Rick mentioned for decks like these so I don’t have to hit them twice lol

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Had a nasty small one today. Potassium hydroxide and sh. Presoak, dwell and rinse. Maybe 10 mins or less of actual work.