Professional Exterior Cleaning Service in Albany, NY and the Capital Region!
When exterior wood is properly maintained, a light cleaning and maintenance coat of finish may be all that's needed to freshen it up. Unfortunately, decks, retaining walls, and other wood structures are often neglected to the point of graying and deteriorating long before they should. There is, however, a vast middle ground in which the wood can be revitalized to like-new condition rather than being replaced prematurely - and that's where we come in!
The first step in revitalization is cleaning and / or stripping the wood. This is best achieved with a chemical application, sufficient dwell time, and a thorough rinse with moderate pressure. The chemical mixture varies with the type of wood, the type of finish (if any) and how dirty the surface is. Wood that appears gray, black, or green is covered in dirt, grime, and organic material, and can often be cleaned to like-new condition. Coupled with minor repairs and refinishing, a deck can be brought right back to life!
The chemicals used in cleaning / stripping the surface can often leave the surface darker than the natural wood tone, and can also raise the pH of the surface. The proper method of cleaning is to apply a secondary treatment that serves 2 purposes - it brightens the wood to restore its natural luster, and it neutralizes the pH of the surface in preparation for refinishing. Many people stop here, but without the application of a stain or seal, the wood will continue to weather much faster than it otherwise would.
As wood weathers it goes through cycles of swelling and shrinking due to moisture and heat. The UV radiation from sun exposure also breaks down the wood fibers making the boards less resilient and more prone to cupping, splitting, and checking. The best way to maximize the longevity of your deck or other wood structure is to apply some type of pigmented stain that offers protection from moisture as well as UV radiation. The pigment is what will reflect sunlight and help protect the wood from the sun.