Great Cleaning Tips
A lot of furniture (wrought iron) needs a good cleaning, With a Tampico scrub brush and a strong detergent. But, if you have the metal deck furniture with that kind of rubberized second skin on it, then you want to take the opposite route and do a gentle but thorough cleaning that will preserve the rubberized coating – that’s what’s keeping the metal from oxidizing.
If the metal is rusted, you must wire brush it and use a rust neutralizer. You’ll end up with a hard, metal-like surface, blue-black in color, that you can then sand and treat as you would any other type of metal.
Moving on to wood
If you have wood furniture or a wood deck (as most people do), then the thing you should look for is rot. That’s when the wood deteriorates, gets soft – almost squishy, sometimes – and can be pulled away from an adjoining board or post with just your fingers.
The way to treat rot, so long as it’s a reasonably small area (you can’t build an entire deck out of this stuff), is with a wood petrifier. You apply it directly to the soft wood, and in a few hours, the wood, without changing appearance, will harden to the surface of petrified wood. That’s an excellent way to preserve part of a post, beam, or even a window frame.
Now, you want to build back the area that rotted away. You can do that with an epoxy paste wood filler. Once mixed, you can mold it like modeling clay and recreate the rotted-out and missing part of the project. It hardens to a sandable, drillable surface.
If you have a deck made of cedar and, like most redwoods, has a natural defense against rotting. That means you don’t have to seal the deck once it is installed. Because once you finish your deck with color or sealer, you’ll have to repeat it every two years to keep it looking good.
On the other hand, if your deck is made of pressurized wood (wood injected with a chemical to keep insects and rot out), at least you’ve got a project every couple of years. Many compounds treat a deck; most aren’t too difficult to apply.
Cleaning the Deck
Sometimes the deck needs a good cleaning, and we recommend 1/4 cup of TSP and a 1/4 cup of household bleach added to a gallon of water. Brush on with a long-handled scrub brush and rinse with the garden hose.