Cleaning a Treated Deck
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Ed in West Virginia on the line who’s doing some exterior cleanup. What are you working on?
ED: Well my deck – I’ve got a covered deck with treated wood. And it needs cleaning to get the dirt and grime off of it because, since it’s covered, the rain won’t come in and wash it off. And I can’t use a lot of water because I’ve got things underneath it that the water would leak down to. Then I also have exterior steps and they’re getting mossy, so what kind of a cleaning product can I use to clean this wood with?
LESLIE: Now first of all, what’s underneath that you don’t want to get wet? Is it furniture? Are you storing stuff there?
ED: Well, I’ve got, basically, a workshop. I’ve got two workshops: one inside at the house and one outside, under the deck.
TOM: You’re going to probably have to cover those with tarps or something, because you are going to need to use some amount of water. But what we would recommend is a wood cleaner.
Now, cleaners, what they do is they’re very good at removing dirt, removing grime and sort of removing that oxidized, greyish sort of appearance that gets on top of pressure-treated lumber.
And Flood makes a good one, right, Leslie?
LESLIE: Yeah, Flood actually has a product called Flood Wood Cleaner. And you can mix it with water; I think a 1-gallon container makes up to 5 gallons of cleaning solution. And it can actually remove a greyed appearance on lumber and give it a like-new appearance.
Now, here’s the thing. I know a lot of people think that when it comes to cleaning a deck – “Oh it’s just dirt, it’s pollen, whatever’s on it.” And they think just using some water on it is going to get rid of it. But you get the same things on your car and you don’t wash your car with just water; you actually need a cleaner or a soap product.
But you don’t want to use soap on wood, so it’s always good to use a product like a wood cleaner. That really will help you get rid of all of the weathering, the dirt, the grime, you know, just the usual stuff that a winter will put on a surface.
So if you go with the Flood Wood Cleaner, you can use it on exterior, interior, all kinds of woods. I mean I’m saying “interior” because I’m meaning that yours is covered. I wouldn’t use it in the house but that’s what I mean there. And it’ll do a good job. You’ll get about 1,000 square feet total from a gallon, so you’ll get a really good coverage. You want to let it dry but again, like Tom mentioned, you want to cover anything that’s underneath, because it is a cleanser and you don’t want to get it on your tools.
TOM: Yeah. And you have to wet the deck surface first. And then once it’s wet, then you apply the wood cleaner using kind of like a pump-up garden sprayer. Or you can even roll it on with a brush roller like you would – as if you were painting.
TOM: You let it sit on the surface for a while and then you rinse it off.
ED: OK. Well, that rinsing it off is a problem.
TOM: Ed, you’re not going to be able to dry-clean your wood deck.
LESLIE: Yeah, I don’t know any cleaner that’s going to take that in.