Mold Growing On North Facing Deck
Written by Todd Fratzel.
Deck Mold Growth
Our new home has maintenance free siding, trim, windows and doors. However, we decided to “splurge” a bit on the decks so we installed beautiful Cambara decking (Cambara or Erbina uncinatum is a beautiful hardwood with straight clear grains similar to mahogany). In fact we installed the Cambara on the farmers porch and the large rear deck. Needless to say this has left me with a significant amount of wood to maintain (over 1,500 sq ft).
The problem we’re having right now is our rear deck is located on the north side of our house. Our new home is a very tall 2 story colonial with a high pitched roof so the sun is blocked from this deck most of the day. This has resulted in quite a mold problem on the decking.
Cambara has a natural reddish color. If you look at the adjacent photo you’ll see that our deck has a very dark brown to black color. This is a result of the mold that’s been growing on the decking.
Cleaning Deck Mold
I’ve decided that I need to remove the mold and try a new deck sealer. The best way to remove the nasty mold growth is to use a pressure washer. I’ve been wanting to buy my own pressure washer for some time now so I finally went out and bought one this weekend. Thanks to the guys over at One Project Closer I had a nice Home Depot gift card so I ended up buying a new gas pressure washer (I’ll write a review on it after I’ve used it for awhile).
It’s been my experience that you’ll need a pressure washer with at least 1500 psi or more to remove this type of mold. I used the medium nozzle on my new pressure washer and held it about 2-inches from the surface. As you can see from the photo I was able to remove all the black colored mold from the decking.
The key is to go slow and keep the pressure washer nozzle a constant distance from the decking. If you’re not careful you can create really bad gouges and defects in the decking. It took me about 2 hours to completely clean this 24 ft long by 8 ft deep deck.
Refinishing Cambara Decking
I’ll be writing at least one more post that focuses on refinishing the Cambara decking. The previous sealer (Penofin) was horrible. This deck is only 3 years old and it’s been sealed twice with Penofin so I need to try something new. I’ve actually decided to take the “One Time Challenge” and apply a deck sealer that claims to last 7 years! So stay tuned in the coming weeks for my review of the One Time product.
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