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Ipe Cleaning and Finishing - Photo Journey

 

Ipe Cleaning Overview:

The customer had a Multi-Level 1000 square foot deck with 170 linear feet of railings, custom seating, and three sets of stairs.  The deck needed a good cleaning and deck finishing bring out the original colors and protect it.

The total time for 4 men was 3 hours.  Approximately 1 1/2 hour for cleaning and 2 1/2 hour to apply the deck finisher

We used Flood in this project however Messmers or other products work similarly.

Note: It is the responsibility of you the owner or installer to adequately test pressure washing, cleaning or finishing for product suitability and application method for your particular installation. The above are techniques that have worked for others in the past and we want to share information that we hear for the benefit of others. However, you need to test and insure that any of these ideas will work in your specific application.


Tools Needed for cleaning Ipe ( verify below)

 

1 bottle Flood ® Brightener Cleaner - mixed per bottle directions
(We used Flood but Messmers and other products work similar.  Just follow their directions)

Measuring cup - note we recycled a water bottle
Sander with 80 grit paper
Garden sprayer to apply the cleaner
A Hose with plenty of water

All Items listed in Deck Finishing, specifically;
- 4 Gallons Flood ® Natural Finish
- Stiff broom - do not use metal bristles
- rags
- 5 gallon bucket

4 Men to get the job done quickly

Note: We picked a day that was overcast so the sun did not dry out the decking too quickly


Preparation

Safety: Before you start cleaning you want to check your deck

  • Walk around checking your joists and footers
  • look for errant screws
  • check for anything that would compromise safety - balusters, handrails, and so forth.

 

Sanding

  • Sand handrails if needed
  • Sand scratches or blemishes on the decking  
  • Photo shows how we sanded the decking where a grill had been placed


Cleaning

 

  • With plain water, thoroughly wet the surface and surrounding vegetation to remove dirt and avoid streaking.
  • Apply Flood Brightener Cleaner to the wet surface with a garden sprayer or hand sprayer.
  • Allow to set for 30 minutes.  (keep it wet)
  • Always keep the deck wet while you are working on it - preferably with more solution but water works in a pinch
  • Scrub all dirty areas with a stiff bristle brush and do a light scrub over the entire deck.  Do not forget the handrails. (do not use metal bristles)
  • Rinse off the solution with a garden hose and allow to dry thoroughly before treating with Flood ® deck finisher.  
  • Photo shows deck scrubbing while we are keeping the deck wet

Allow to dry

Before you can apply the deck finisher the deck must be dry.  Flood is water based.  The overcast day which helped us until now slowed down the drying process.  One of our team just did not want to wait and used rags to speed up the process

  • Photo: we wanted to hurry the process by wiping down the deck

Usually you need to wait 24 hours before continuing with the Finisher.  Check the directions.


Cleaned deck ready for Finisher

 

  • Photo: The deck show is cleaned - note it looks similar or even a little lighter than it did when originally installed
  • Deck Finishing is shown in Deck Finishing Photo Tips

 

  • Another example of cleaning see Cleaning and Finishing 2
  • Photos of the cleaned and finished deck are below

Note:  It is the responsibility of you the owner or installer to adequately test pressure washing, cleaning or finishing for product suitability and application method for your particular installation.  The above are techniques that have worked for others in the past and we want to share information that we hear for the benefit of others.  However, you need to test and insure that any of these ideas will work in your specific application.