Cedar deck problems - Black Spots
(Ontario, Canada )
I had a cedar deck built last year and have had nothing but problems. Right after it was built the wood started turning all spotty black. It looked sort of like mold.
Apparently this was caused by a grinder being used during construction..
After washing the deck with deck wash the black came out but the wood got all white and fuzzy after drying...so had to lightly sand the deck and got some ready seal on it finally the deck looked ok...
Now after this winter areas of the deck are all hairy, like brown strands all coming off the deck. Under these areas the deck looks new. The hair reminds me of cedar bark. Some areas still look ok with the ready seal.
I'm hoping the whole deck doesn't need to be sanded. All I've been doing with this deck is work and not getting to enjoy it.
I'm really starting to regret going cedar. The railing and privacy panels still look good with the ready seal.
What to do?
Could this be just cheap or improperly dried cedar?
That is iron filings rusting on your deck. They can be very very fine and they are really tough to remove afterwards. You can really see them and they grip and stick well to the wood fibers.
That was a dumb and inexperienced move by the builder for sure.
What you are seeing on the cedar is the fibers from the sand job. You can try to resand but with a finer less course paper. If you sand too hard or if you pressure wash to hard you end up with fibers being pushed up and it later becomes quite obvious.
This is also a problem cabinet makers face when they are trying to get a piece of wood to be really smooth before finishing.
What they do is use a hand scraper with a tiny burr on the edge and it literally cuts each errant fiber right off. It's beaufitul. But easy for a small cabinet. Not quite as easy for a larger deck.
I really would consider that if you want to fix the problem or else try the lighter sand. That may do it.