Did I ruin my deck? What are the next steps?

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Old 09-24-14, 06:57 PM
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Did I ruin my deck? What are the next steps?

I recently bought my first home and it came with a pretty nice sized deck. Unfortunately the deck looks as if it wasn't well maintained and needed some work, but i'm currently unemployed and don't have the money to do so.

Today I was power washing the siding on the back of the house and decided to power wash a section of the deck to see if it improved its look. while it was drying I decided to google"power washing decks"and realized this might have not been the best idea based on what I was reading. Now i'm not sure if I damaged the wood and if I need to seal the deck which I really don't have the money for.

I was using a duracraft 1800 PSI power washer. I used the variable wand with it turned slightly off the complete jet stream. I will attach some images of what the deck looks like. Deck 2 is a close up deckspot is a random spot I did on the deck so you can see the black it removed and deck 3 is the entire area I did.
Any tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

J
 
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Old 09-24-14, 07:19 PM
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I'm not a deck condition expert, but I don't think you ruined your deck. The visible weathering and checking started long before you arrived on the scene, and your power washing just made things more evident. Applying a good coat (or two) of stain would help slow down the deterioration process, and make the deck last longer. If you wait too long, you can plan on replacing all of the deck planks, which is a lot more expensive than buying a few gallons of quality stain.
 
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Old 09-24-14, 10:06 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply. Should I then Power wash the entire deck and then apply stain?
 
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Old 09-25-14, 01:24 AM
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That's what I would do. Just don't let the PW linger in any one area too long, but rather keep it moving along while still removing the black fungi/mold. Some more experienced deck people than I am use a bleach mixture, to aid in removing the black discoloration. Sift through a few similar, past threads to see more specifics.
 
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Old 09-25-14, 05:06 AM
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unfortunately i'm no wood deck expert either & ran into the same problem,,, we ( i ) p/w'd ours & raised the grain,,, tried to repair it w/plastic wood but that didn't last,,, ours had been stained w/exterior latex wtr-based which, to me, is just a coarse-grind pigmented paint & not resistant to furniture abrasion,,, but i have to live w/it for now next i'll try a top-coat of wtr-based urethane & see if that helps extend the life & improve the appearance but i doubt it

i used 2c clorox + 1/2c dawn dish detergent & filled the rest of a 5gal bkt w/water,,, at least it cleaned the mold/mildew prior to recoating the deck i think this is an annual ' honey-do ' item for us in atl
 
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Old 09-25-14, 05:53 AM
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It's better to rely more on the cleaner and just use the PWer as an aid. Too much pressure can chew up the wood! too strong a bleach mixture can eat the wood fibers I mix the bleach with an equal amount of water - never ever stronger! 30% bleach is about as weak as you'd want to go.

Too clean a deck I normally wet the deck with water, then spray on a bleach/water solution with a pump up garden sprayer, let it set but not dry and then rinse with the PWer. Stubborn areas may require a 2nd treatment or scrubbing with an old broom.

The wood appears to be clean enough for a semi-transparent stain although I'd probably opt for a solid deck stain because of all the open grain. Make sure you use a deck stain! siding stains won't hold up for long on decking.
 
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Old 09-26-14, 03:15 AM
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good post, mark,,, where was it BEFORE i had to do mine ? :-) anyway, thanks for the response,,, wouldn't you know i've got 3 or 4 pump cans in the shop gathering dust
 
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Old 09-26-14, 05:32 AM
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Actually that deck cleaning advice has been given by me and others on this forum for years but we all do stuff wrong until we learn the right way
 
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Old 10-05-14, 03:37 PM
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I took your advice and used a 50/50 mix of bleach and water. I then scrubbed some of the bad sports with a bush broom and used a very light setting on the power washer and the deck looks much lighter and clean now.

I was going to buy some Behr Deckover, but I just read that it peels very quickly. Do you guys have any suggestions on the next step??
 
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Old 10-06-14, 04:03 AM
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While I've never used any of those deck over or deck restore coatings I'm very leery of them because a thick coating like that over wood [especially since you can't completely coat the wood on all 6 sides] is prone to peel as moisture gets into the wood and under the coating. I'd use a semi-transparent or solid deck stain.
 
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