A cedar deck can be a very beautiful addition to a house but it also can be an eyesore if left uncared for. Cedar wood is used for decking due to its ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. However it does need assistance in order to maintain its looks. The two most important things that need to be done to maintain your cedar deck are cleaning and staining. Even if your deck is brand new you need to put a sealer (stain) on it before it starts to weather.

To maintain a deck you need to follow a few steps and use the right product. For starters if at all possible do NOT use a pressure washer on a cedar deck surface. This is not recommended because using a pressure washer pushes water into the surface of the wood which may cause major issues down the road. If you refuse to put in the extra labor of using a scrub brush and still want to pressure wash, make sure to allow a week of dry weather before applying a new stain. Or, you can use Cabots “SPF” line of deck stain products. This stain allows you to stain while the surface is still wet. If you do not allow the moisture to escape, your stain may crack and peel. Click on this link for more info on deck peeling.

Here are some common problems seen on deck surfaces and how to repair them without using a damaging pressure washer:

– Mold, Mildew and or Algae on the surface.

Mold, Mildew, and Algae

Use a scrub brush and apply a deck surface cleaner like a Cabots “Problem Solver” (There are other brands that will also work I just like Cabots products). Apply it to the surface and keep it wet for 15 minutes. Use a garden hose to wash away after 15 minutes. On tough stains scrubbing may be required.

-Extractive Bleeding (cedar bleeding, tannin bleeding).

Tannin bleeding on a redwood planter

Tannin bleeding shows up as dark areas on the wood surface. They are caused by water-soluble resins are drawn out of the wood by the sun. It occurs most often in cedar, redwood and fir. To fix this problem apply a wood brightener  with a pump sprayer or brush. Keep the surface wet for 15 minutes and then rinse with a garden hose. Stubborn areas may require scrubbing or additional applications.

-Nail or Screw head Rusting and Staining.

Nail/Screw head Rusting and Staining

When this problem is found on a vertical surface it is accompanied with a dark line bleeding down from the nail or screw. It’s caused by a fastener rusting over time and bleeding the rust into the wood. It can be cured by again using a scrub brush and a wood brightener. This may help but removing the stain from the wood surface may prove difficult. If you really want results you may have to sand the area down. After getting rid of the stain you probably will want to prime the heads of the fastener to prevent further damage.

-Silver/Grey Weathered Wood.

Weathered Cedar Decking

Sometimes it has just been a long time since you’ve done anything to the deck and the surface greys and becomes weathered looking. This will also occur fairly quickly on cedar that has not been treated with anything. To solve this problem use a deck cleaner with a scrub brush. Apply the product with the brush and keep it wet for 15 minutes. Rinse off with a hose and repeat if necessary.

For all of these issue make sure that when you are done the surface is then resealed with a good quality deck stain to prevent these issues from returning. We at LeVahn Brothers Hardware recommend using Cabot brand prep and stain products.

For more info call us at 763-553-1222

Come see us at 12700 Bass Lake Road Maple Grove , Mn 55369

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