Deck Cleaning, Sealing and Refinishing

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Deck re-staining

Oct 2012

I'm looking for recommendations of someone to re-stain my deck. Thanks. anon

Suggest you contact Atlas Power Washing at 510-830-5643. They do a very good job and offer washing, sealing and/or repairs. Roger

Seal and Stain Deck and Railing

Sept 2012

I am looking for a recommendation for a reasonable service provider for staining and sealing a deck and railing. Please let me know if you have had a great experience and would recommend someone. Deck in need

Hi there - 'Bay Area Deck' does great work and we got a wonderful deck, stained and all. Probably they would do a stain only job and give you a good quote. Call John at 510-533-6131. Very nice and reasonable pricing. Good yelp reviews too! Sara

Need full deck refurbishment

Aug 2012

We are looking for someone to come in and completely sand (or power-wash) our older redwood deck, then apply penetrating oil finish. The deck is about 12'x25' . Also, a couple of the planks have come loose so either need to be refastened or perhaps replaced. It is a relatively small job but we want it done well with no shortcuts and without damaging our house walls or the back patio over which the deck sits.

If anyone can recommend a person or company who would do a high-quality job and will take care of the surrounding areas while working, please let us know. We really don't want to replace the deck as we love the redwood look but wouldn't put in a new deck made of redwood. This one was built before we bought our house. Also, it is in remarkably good shape for its age (around 20 years old.) I looked in the archives but almost all the recommendations there were for building a new deck, or they were just too old. Thanks. Want that new-deck look without a new deck

For a thorough cleaning and sealing of your deck at a reasonable price I can highly recommend the Atlas Power Washing people at 510-830-5643. They are neat and thorough and do a great job with quality materials. Roger

Deck Cleaning & Refinishing

Aug 2011

I am looking for someone to clean and refinish my hardwood decks (NOT Atlas Powerwash) -- does anyone have any names? Many thanks! Decks need attention!

Antonio, the owner of De Colores Painting, helped me with painting some rooms in our home. They paint homes and also do deck refinishing. For the work they did in my house, I was really impressed with the amount of prep work (we have an old house, many layers of paint!) before they started painting, and their work is very meticulous and precise. I found them here on BPN, and I'm happy to say it was a pleasure working with Antonio and his team. De Colores Painting: 510-390-2307 

I used ''All Pro Deck'' for my redwood deck and highly recommend them. My deck was not refinished for a while so looked in bad shape. They did a pretty thorough job; the deck was sanded and stained. The deck looks great and they were easy to deal wtih. 510-655-5549 Marie

Hello! I can easily recommend Bay Area Deck and Remodel... they tore down and redid my deck and it is great! I'm sure they can clean and refinish your deck ... check them out: (510) 533- 6131 or on yelp they are ''bay area deck and remodel'' sara

Deck- Need someone to re-seal small deck

May 2011

We had a new deck put in and it was sealed right before many weeks of rain. The sealing got wet before it dried and the sealing became all clumped up and the deck is now sticky and not sealed. We would like to find someone who can correct this problem and properly seal the deck. We live in North Berkeley. Thanks in advance for any recommendations. belinda

Hello, we had great luck with John Grivas of Bay Area Deck and Remodel... he gets busy in the spring/ summer so we had to wait for his schedule to be available, but does wonderful work, is reliable and fairly priced. Good Yelp reviews and phone is 510-533-6131. Happy with my deck

I have the person for you. Gloria Perez from Best Bay Builders is the contractor. She is great, energetic and has a great crew. The Project Manager, Fernando Marroquin, is a brilliant house detective.

I had a leak in my house that has haunted me for years. I had a thermal imaging company come in to find the leak. Could not find it. I had two 'experts' in leak detection come in. They could not find it. I had 3 different contractors try to fix the problem. None solved it. Fernando showed me why I had the leak and where it was coming from. He also fixed some dry rot problems.

He knows the best products to protect your home here in the Bay Area, where the humidity and the heat can really mess things up. I wish I had these guys do the work upfront so I would not have to solve this problem later. Don't go anywhere else. Hire these guys and make sure that you do not have any leaks in the future.

The e-mail is glorious_perez [at] and phone number is (510) 910-1605 AA

Need deck refinisher

March 2011

We need to have our small deck (that has lots of lattice around it too) refinished this Spring. Would love a recommendation for someone who does a good job for a reasonable price. Thanks. berkeley homeowner

hi! we used Bay Area Deck and Remodel and John Grivas was great for our deck - patient, precise, good work and good price! Had to get in line for him to do our job but he is superb and has great yelp reviews too! (510) 533-6131 Sara

Ulises of USV Painting has a lot of experience refinishing decks, you can see images of deck restoration projects on Yelp. His number is 408.489.4433/ usvpainting [at] Best, Carmen

Deck is leaking into the house

March 2010

We have been having leaks in our room which is above a tiled deck. We've covered the deck with a tarp but are still having some leaks during the heavy rains. Does anybody have any recommendations on how to fix this and/or know of a good roofing(?) contractor?

We had a similar situation, but our roof deck had concrete on it! We finally settled on removing the concrete and applying a waterproof deck coating called MerKote. There are several of these products available including Gaco, and WeatherDeck, I think. These products, unlike your typical roof, are made to be walked on. We had our system, it's put down in a couple of layers, installed by Butch over at Mt. Diablo Flooring Systems, his number is (925) 473-9500. We've only had it for a year and a half, but so far no leaks! (Which is a major improvement, since it was like a sieve before...) Best of luck on your research! andrea

Need to restore small redwood deck and fence

June 2008

We have a redwood fence and a very small deck that need some restoration and then complete stain/preservative application to the wood. We got something in the mail from Springer's Wood Deck Restoration. Has anyone used Springer's or any other company for redwood restoration and staining/finishing? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Felicity

Hello, We had Springers refinish our decks three years ago, followed by a maintenance refinishing job one year later. You're supposed to do a maintenace round every year and we are behind..oops. When it was initially done, our decks looked brand new! Our neighbors couldn't believe how great they looked. We had a little problem with some of the stain on the top deck dripping onto the house (and was visible from the bottom deck.) I called them and they came out immediately and fixed all problems. I recommend Springers. Amy

2004 - 2007 Recommendations

Someone to repair and clean our deck

Oct 2007

We are looking for someone to repair, power clean and restain our redwood deck. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Naka

I highly recommend Steve Conway at Atlas Power wash. He is the owner and he does great washing, refinishing, and deck repairs. He did extensive repair work on our deck and it looks great. He is very easy to work with and listens to your concerns and ideas. We had a great experience with him and listed him here on the network months ago. He has been servicing many BPN clients since ( he called me to let me know ) BUT he has a new contact number. His cell is no longer as posted. Contact him at (800) 771-2833! Enjoy. Tia tia

Someone to clean and restore deck

May 2007

Has anyone used Live Oak Structural/Decks for deck cleaning and restoration? I would like to learn about positive and negative experiences with Live Oak. Do people have other recommendations for deck cleaning/restoration? Thanks. Bonnie

Looking for recommendations of someone to wash and seal our new redwood deck (approx. 18 feet above ground level). Susanne

I loved our deck guy. His company is called Atlas Power Wash. His name is Steve. He is a bit quirky, I think its his creative side. He did a beautiful job on our large deck, He replaced many rotten boards really well and cleaned it well and sealed it with a beautiful natural sealant. It looks great. And he has guaranteed it for 3 years. I had another company, Springer's Deck Rest. do our deck 2 years ago and in one year it needed done again and I did not like them at all and I feel I was ripped off. So I would call Steve. I also called Steve's references before I had him do the work and they all were happy too. Any Questions, shoot me an email. tia

We use Ingrid Chapman at Better Days Building and Repair for things like this. She has done a lot of work for us (right now she is repairing our fence) and I know she is very experienced with decks. She is very thorough and will explain each step in detail if you would like. You can contact her at 510-282-5625

Someone to refinish Mangaris hardwood deck

February 2007

I had a deck built in 2002 using Mangaris hardwood. Some of the boards never laid completely flat. I assume that the wood wasn't cured properly, but I couldn't get either my contractor or the wood importer to fix it. It is over due for a refinishing (or restaining?)and I'm looking for someone who has experience with Mangaris wood. Any recommendations? carole

My husband is a landscape contractor and had this to say: Mangaris can be a difficult wood to work with and install. If installed with growth rings facing up or it is improperly pinned to deck joists, it will have a tendency to cup or bow while it ages and cures. Minor cupping and bowing can be repaired or fixed. Deck boards can also be replaced. Most likely the problem is not due to improper curing but improper installation. If you are interested in a refinish I would be happy to give you an estimate. His website is and his name is Blue Jay Feldman of Blue Ridge Landscape Co. Phone is 510-847-6160. julie

How to seal and maintain new deck

Sept 2006

We just had a lovely 10' x14' deck put in last month in Oakland and we need to learn to seal and take care of it. We love the color it is right now and know if we don't seal it it will turn gray quickly. I am looking for advice about the do-it-yourself process of cleaning and sealing. Any advice appreciated. We would love to hire someone to do it, but the deck project broke the bank! meredithanne

We built a new redwood deck this spring, and finally got around to sealing it this last weekend. In the meantime, the sprinklers had hit part of it and had turned it gray, and the sun had bleached it as well. First, we used a 2400 psi pressure washer to clean it, which did wonders. Then, we used Cabot Wood Brightener from Truitt and White which is really easy to use. It was amazing- it restored it to it original pink color. We then sealed it with Penofin (also at Truitt and White) which turned the wood deeper and darker. Can't say yet how it performs, but be sure not to apply it too thickly- our problem- now it's 'tacky' in spots. From what i understand, we'll just need to clean and reapply every couple of years. very easy. We've also used Cabot's stain and paint stripper, which was also amazingly effective, if you need to do that at some point before re-sealing. annie

How to properly seal an Ipe deck

Oct 2006

I just had an IPE wood deck built at my home. Does anyone know how to properly seal and maintain this wood? Or, know of a professional who could answer my questions about this relatively new product? I would like the color of the wood to stay its original brown, so I am wondering how soon I should seal it. Thanks! lisa

PENOFIN for Hardwood Penetrating Oil Finish for Exotic Hardwood - Mahogany - IPE - Teak 99% UV Protection Brazilian Rosewood Oil
There are many different types of PENOFIN so be sure to get the one for Exotic Hardwood. After about 6 months, you need to repeat the stain. It supposedly won't need it for another couple of years, and then not at all after the third coat. It smells nasty, but it does the job well. And it keeps the wood's beautiful brown color. Katherine

If you don't mind the Ipe fading to a brown/gray, you may consider not sealing it at all. If you paid the extra money for this wood, you probably already know that it is one of the most durable woods and is highly resistant to decay and rot and does not need to be sealed - unless preserving the color is the objective. Jenny

Clean and refinish 2-story deck

Feb 2006

We need someone to clean and refinish our two story deck (two decks) and the archived recommendations are fairly old. Can anyone recommend someone who has had this done? Diana

I had Jay from Bay Area Deck Care clean and seal a redwood deck for me. He came one day and power cleaned everything, came back the next day to apply the stain. He seemed conscientious about laying out tarps to protect things around the deck from being damaged. Showed up when he said he would. Charged $590. I didn't get prices from anyone else, so I don't know how this compares. The deck is on the second floor, maybe 10 feet by 20 feet. He also treated the stairs going up to the deck. Nice guy. I'd use him again.

Waterproofing a deck

June 2005

We have a patio with cement stairs that leak, whenever it rains, to an enclosed unfinished basement. We understand that there are waterproofers who can put some type of membrane on the stairs. Does anyone have any experience with waterproofers (good or bad) and does anyone have someone they would recommend? Thanks Ann

We are currently using WHL Waterproofing to re-waterproof our patio, which was also leaking into a room beneath it. Ours is a bigger job than just stairs, but it included stairs, point being, I'm not sure how small of a job they do. Anyway, their number is (925) 284-5306 (somewhere east of the Tunnel, but they are doing our job in Oakland). I can't give you a full report yet, as they are finishing the job this week, but it did rain heavily last week, just after they got the new membrane laid and it didn't leak! Best wishes. Tracy

August 2005

If you are looking for someone to clean, stain, or do some maintenance on your deck, I would highly recommend Jay from Bay Area Deck Care. Several years ago, we hired him to clean and restain our deck. He did such a great job, people actually thought it was new! He is a very nice guy, in addition to being very conscientious, thorough, and professional. Our neighbor hired him for a job as well, and she was equally pleased with the results. His number is in the phone book. Julie

2003 & Earlier

Someone to powerwash a redwood deck

Aug 2003

Any more current recommendations for someone to powerwash & refinish redwood decks? Judy

Moderator's note: There was a recent very interesting article by Gary Dymski in the SF Chronicle on 8/20, page F8 about power cleaning and products that are harmful to wood fibers. Citing extensive information from the Forest Products Loboratory in Madison, Wisconsin, the public's leading wood research institute established by USDA in 1910, the author says that chorine bleach and power washing, two popular methods of cleaning decks, can actually destroy the fibers in wood. Better to clean wood decks with oxygen bleach, available through home centers and hardware stores. Check labels and look for products that contain the highest percentage of sodium percarbonate (which when mixed with water becomes oxygen bleach), and apply with spongelike applicator or pump sprayer (not nylon bristle brush), leaving it on for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. This should remove most dirt and mold. I wish I'd seen this before preparing our redwood fence to paint; I did all the wrong things! -Kathy

April 2002

Any recommendations for someone to refinish our redwood deck. It needs to be powerwashed and re-stained. Thanks! Seth

Carlos Avalos has done several painting and small handyperson jobs, including power washing our decks, cleaning gutters, minor plumbing and so on. He is very good, honest and reliable and the other men on his crew have been equally impressive. The number I have for him is 510/568-0510, which may ring into his residence but he is good about returning calls.

We used William Roberts to build our deck. He was great, very creative, very nice, and does an excellent job. He is located in Berkeley, 841-8830. Toby