Deck is "fuzzy" after cleaning without power washer

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Old 07-18-14, 06:49 PM
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Deck is "fuzzy" after cleaning without power washer

Hi. I cleaned our cedar deck this afternoon using Restore-A-Deck cleaner. The deck is definitely much cleaner, but now it appears to have fuzzy fibers in a lot of places. I've search around, and most of the time this seems to be a result of using a pressure washer with too much pressure. But I didn't use a pressure washer.

I got the deck wet, applied the cleaner, let it sit for about 5-10 minutes (while keeping the deck wet), and scrubbed the dirty areas. I tried to use care in not applying too much pressure, but maybe I still did? It's not clear to me how I should have cleaned it without applying at least *some* pressure. I was certainly not grinding the brush into the deck or anything.

At this point, I assume that I can sand off the fuzzy parts, and everything will be fine. However, I'd like to understand what I did wrong, so I can make sure it won't happen again next year. Any help or info would be greatly appreciated.

I've attached some photos. I believe the last one makes it easiest to see the fuzziness I'm talking about.

Thanks.
 
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Old 07-18-14, 07:12 PM
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Doubt you did anything wrong. UV light has some effect, but also any cleaners containing bleach will often eat away at the cellular structure of the wood, so that's probably why you've got the fuzz. But you need some bleach to brighten up the wood again. Like you said, a light sanding is all it will take to remove it.
 
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Old 07-18-14, 07:47 PM
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Well that's good to hear. Considering that, what are general recommendations for yearly cleaning?

We live in a wet climate (Pacific NW), and we have a couple dogs that walk across the deck to get to the yard to do their business. There's a lot of wet/muddy foot traffic throughout the year. Over winter and spring, it gets pretty dirty and gathers a decent amount of algae.

So, I'll definitely want to clean it off every summer, but I hope I don't have to sand it every year, as well.
 
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Old 07-18-14, 08:09 PM
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If you just want to keep it clean I'd recommend a light scrubbing or mopping with TSP in hot water. Then just rinse.
 
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Old 07-19-14, 04:41 AM
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our atlanta deck's moldy each yr due to no sun on part of it - 5gal hot wtr, scrub brush on a stick, 1c clorox, & 1/4 c dawn dish detergent,,, scrub w/solution then rinse

never thought about tsp - we use it to clean prior to acid-staining conc,,, GOOD TIP - THANKS, X
 
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Old 07-19-14, 05:00 AM
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Too much pressure is the #1 reason for 'fuzzing up' the grain on the wood. It's doubtful you had enough pressure from a water hose alone for that to have been the cause. It will also happen if the cleaner is too strong but that's rarely a factor when using a commercially prepared cleaner. I normally use a bleach/water solution [40-50% bleach] and add TSP if needed.

You didn't mention applying any finish to the deck. Deck stains will help protect the wood from both moisture and dirt. If you want to preserve the natural look of the cedar I'd recommend using a cedar toner or translucent deck stain.
 
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Old 07-19-14, 02:38 PM
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I'm planning to stain it once I've got all the fuzz taken care of. The deck was built late last summer, and I was told that it's generally best to let it weather instead of immediately staining it.

You mention that too much pressure is the #1 reason for this. Is it plausible then that maybe I did just scrub too hard? I definitely wasn't grinding the brush into the deck or anything, but I did have to apply some pressure to get the accumulated dirt and algae off.

In any case, this is all really helpful, and I appreciate the replies.
 
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Old 07-19-14, 02:47 PM
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Too much bleach or too strong of cleaner, along with uv rays are #2 & 3 reasons. since you didn't powerwash and scrubbing is nowhere near the pressure, its not that.
 
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Old 07-19-14, 03:10 PM
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I agree, I'd think you'd wear yourself and the scrub brush out before you'd damage the wood that way.
 
 

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