There are many different ways to clean a deck, some of these depend on the type of wood.
The first cleaning option is to use a weakened solution of TSP (trisodium phosphate) which you can purchase from any paint shop. Add a little bit of household washing-up liquid & then first try it on a sample area, once you see how it reacts then use it on the rest of the deck.
The next option is to use a weak solution of citric acid to help brighten up old grayed timbers. However, do not use chlorine-based bleaches because even though they will rid your deck of algae & mildew, they will also break down the lignin in the deck timber.
Another option is to use Hydrogen Peroxide, which will lighten old timbers & evaporates away leaving no residue.
After you have cleaned your deck & brightened it up if wanted, then it is time for the sealing. Use a waterproof deck sealer because it will repel water & make the desk last longer. To apply the sealer, use a pad with a little reservoir & brush the sealer on. Make sure to evenly coat it all over the deck surface & then let it dry. After about an hour or so of drying time, buff the surface to remove wet excess.
Ipe (pronounced E-pay), a popular wood for outdoor decking & fencing for it’s durability (300% harder than Teak on the Janka Scale) comes from several species of trees in South America, especially Brazil.
Ipe can grow quite large (100-150 feet) in it’s natural environment of the rain forest of Brazil, & is covered with flowers when in bloom.
IPE wood decking has a class A fire rating, similar to concrete, because of it’s dense fibers.
How does IPE stack up to composite decking materials? Check out this handy Real Wood vs. Composite Decking page.
Ipe over logging concerns have been raised in Brazil due to the increasing demand for this hard, durable wood for outdoor fence, gate & deck building in homes & office buildings. Check out www.ift.org.br for more information on what can be done in Brazil to help stem over logging, & consider your lumber source when choosing decking materials to protect our natural resources.
Composite decking such as Trex, Evergreen, & VEKAdeck does not require high maintenance & is a great substitute for wood & is sustainable.