Cedar deck restaining and raised fibers

by Michael
(Vancouver Island, BC)

Our new cedar deck was installed in February 2011.

In the spring I cleaned our deck with a brush and applied a cleaner. We have been living with fuzzy white raised wood fibers ever since. Is there anything we can do or will they eventually disappear?

Is there a better way to clean cedar decks without using a brush to avoid raising the wood fibers? We hesitate to apply a stain as they have to be reapplied every two years.

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Oct 11, 2011
Careful when you scrub wet softwood
by: Editor-Rich Bergman

I am afraid you will likely have to re-sand to get rid of that. This happens any time you wet wood and scrub it.

A light sand should eliminate most of that. This also can happen in furniture making and in fact most cabinet makers use a scraper after they are done sanding to cut off any of the little standing fibers in the wood. Sanding doesn't eliminate fibers from standing up but on a deck it reduces them quite nicely and to the point of hardly being noticeable.

A similar problem can occur if you use a pressure washer and are not very careful. It can actually cut away the wood and leave it worse off. Many people on the west coast have learned this the hard way by trying to clean off cedar shingle roofs using a pressure washer.

They inadvertently remove a layer of wood fiber, raise the fibers and remove much of the surface oils in the wood that make it so good for water protection and rot resistance. The roofs had to be completely replaced because they prematurely aged. After a pressure washing they should have been stained and coated with protectant.

This is not as critical with a deck because you don't live underneath it.

So light sand and you should be fine. But use caution with a pressure washer.

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