If you are lucky
enough to own an ipe deck or any of the hardwood species of decks then you
may already be aware that these woods require maintenance like any other
wooden deck. Hardwood deck cleaning is not that much more difficult than
cleaning any other type of deck with a few caveats.
Though the term hardwood is used often and certainly applies, this
does not mean the wood is impervious to damage. Always use low pressure and
even washing strokes.
Hardwood decks can have mold spores carried with them from their
place of origin. Mold strains from a rain forest in Brazil are very hearty
and must be removed prior to finishing.
Ipe deck problem while using ipe deck cleaner containing sodium
cleaning is surrounded by myth. The big box stores like Home Depot and
Lowe’s cater to a mass market. The deck cleaners that are sold in these
stores almost always contain sodium hypochlorite better known by its common
name, household bleach. There is a problem that arises when using sodium
hypochlorite. When wood decks are constantly exposed to bleach, they
degrade. The lignin in the wood gets broken down and is washed away. In
addition, this type of deck cleaner leaves an unnatural whitening to the
wood’s surface. If you apply a stain or pigmented sealer after cleaning you
can end up with a blotchy finish.
What you should use is an ipe deck cleaner containing sodium
true professional deck contractor will use deck cleaning products that
contain sodium percarbonate. This mild chemical agent is the precursor to
sodium hydroxide and is contained in the brand name product OxyClean™.
OxyClean by itself is not a perfect wood cleaner. It contains too many
fillers and byproducts. Products that contain sodium percarbonate will
effectively kill mold spores. The oxygenating power of the chemical will
bring dirt to the surface. Percarbonate is also an good emulsifier of oil
How to apply your ipe deck cleaner that contains sodium percarbonate
Choose a deck
cleaning product that contains sodium percarbonate. This cleaning compound
will bubble up dirt and mold from below the surface. Deck cleaning on
hardwoods like ipe should be performed whether the wood has been outside
for awhile or if it is new construction. Apply the deck cleaner via a pump
up sprayer. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Use a deck brush or pressure
washer to agitate the mixture and then rinse methodically. Do not use high
pressure. Keep your pressure washing wand far from the surface and walk the
entire length of each board without stopping. This will prevent any lap
marks and give you a clean surface to stain and seal.
deck cleaning with sodium percarbonate
to fully renovate your deck
stains, dirt and mold