Q: We have actually a very large deck in Napa the we have been treating every few years with a solution of 3 parts linseed oil, 2 parts Thompson Water Seal and 1 component thinner.

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This formula was provided to united state by an old-timer who had a beautiful deck, and also it has done a good job of maintaining our deck for an ext than 20 years. We have had actually to change a couple of boards the rotted native the bottom, yet it has mostly stayed in an excellent condition.


Our trouble is that it has end up being progressively an ext slippery throughout the merganser season. Dangerously so. What carry out you suggest? Some, if no all, of the slipperiness is due to algae. What carry out you think around washing it v a Clorox solution? Scrubbing it with a stiff brush? any kind of thoughts would certainly be appreciated.


A: Twenty years? That"s a long time for a deck to be in service. In our opinion, that provides you the poster kid for the benefits of preventive maintenance.

It"s high time because that a deep cleaning to remove the impregnated residue left from multiple applications that linseed oil and also water repellent. Yet winter"s not the time. Wait for spring if you can.

From time to time, we"ve talked about the "witches" brew" Kevin offered to waterproof decks ago in his house-painting days. It was 2 parts stonework sealer cut by 1 part mineral soul (paint thinner). The old-timer came up with a similar formula in 3 components linseed oil, 2 components Thompson"s Water Seal cut with 1 part paint thinner.

The linseed oil replenishes the herbal oils in the timber that gain lost throughout exposure to the elements. Thompson"s Water Seal impregnates the wood v water repellent. The paint thinner acts as a penetrating agent, making the mixture thin enough so the the energetic ingredients pass through the wood.

Over the years, the oil and also sealer build up, developing a slick surface. The presence of algae shows that at least part of the deck is shaded. Every this means the deck is due for a deep cleaning. Yet wait until the so late spring, as soon as the days space warmer and also drier, therefore the deck deserve to thoroughly dry out prior to refinishing.

A bucket that bleach solution and a scrub brush, although effective, is only the beginning of exactly how we"d handle the job. In fact, rather than bleach, we"d investigate some of the advertising deck cleaners ~ above the market. If we discovered one the was recipe for birds removal, we"d most likely go that course first. Also, please usage a stubborn bristle brush that you can connect to a broom handle. This will save your earlier and prevent scullery maid knees.


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Once you obtain the deck cleaner or bleach down and also the deck scrubbed, you"ve acquired to remove the residue. A garden hose might work, yet as we"ve stated before, the easiest way to clean a deck, especially a large deck, is v a press washer.

These machines straight a pan of pressurized water come blast imbedded dirt, mold and also mildew indigenous the surface of the deck. They work-related well but should be supplied with caution. Fifteen hundred pounds per square inch is sufficient pressure. Any much more and you hazard doing damage to the wood. Use a broad fan and keep the nozzle moving, and don"t suggest it all over that can do some damage -- a window, your spouse, the children or the dog.

When using bleach or deck cleaners, cover any plants that may obtain sprayed. A layer of irradiate plastic sheeting will carry out the job.

A good primer complete of well-advised techniques and cautions around using pressure washers deserve to be discovered at www.decks.com/article14.aspx.

Once the scrubbing and also washing room done, permit the deck dry the end for a few days before applying one more coat that the old-timer"s witches" brew. The algae have to be gone, the slipperiness need to vanish and the emulsion will safeguard the deck again. Setup on repeating this procedure every couple of year at minimum, and also your deck will provide you many an ext years of ongoing service.

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If you usage the deck during the winter months and also it truly is dangerous, go ahead and also clean it now to eliminate the slickness. Yet don"t refinish it. Plan on repeating the process in the spring.