Cleaning A Cedar Deck

I'm cleaning my 10 x 12' cedar deck. Two years ago, I washed it with bleach. It cleaned up fairly well. I stained it with one coat of Sikken Cedar stain. Now the dark grey film has returned with a vengeance. There are trees coming right up to the deck, and it gets the morning and midday sun (the deck faces east). With my portable belt sander, I'm able to sand down to bare wood, but it's slow going. After several hours, I've cleaned 1/3 of the deck. I looked at a large vibrating sander (the size of a big buffer) at Home Depot to rent ($41.00 a day), but I'm not sure if a vibrating sander, even though it's a big one, is going to cut through that film very agressively.
Any ideas?
Thanks! Scott in Minnesota
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Use bleach to kill mold, wash it then use Oxcilic acid to clean it and power wash it, or buy a cedar cleaner, I know Sherwin Williams is Oxcilic acid.
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Hi Scott...I have a cedar deck and this year for the first time (after using several cleaners etc for the past 5 or so years) I used my pressure washer... it literally made my cedar jump back to the day I brought it home from the store...so try a pressure washer.. Jimi
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Jimi wrote:

Jimi,
I bought a pretty good pressure washer last summer, and I tried a sample out on my deck. In order to clean off the film, I had to hold it fairly close, and the water started goinging the wood. I did however, us the pressure washer on my front (treated wood) porch, and it did a great job. For the deck, I think I'll try try a heavier duty belt sander and see how that works.
Scott
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Scott wrote:

Update,
We've had above average rainfall this week. Even covering the cleaned part of the deck with a plastic tarp, the wood still gets wet. I notice that after just 3 days, the part of the deck that I sanded first seems to already have a new greyish film appearing. Is this mold? If so, would it be a good plan to wash every newly sanded area with bleach right away to keep it clean until I can stain the whole deck at once?
Thanks again! Scott
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Pressure washing works fine. Just do it at a low setting. 1800 PSI with a fan spray works great on my cedar deck. You do have to do it every year to keep it from getting away from you. My 10 x 12 deck takes about 3 hours to clean and a day later, about 2 hours to coat with Thompsons water seal. It;s just a yearly thing.

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Scott wrote:

Hi, Good pressure washer will do the job.
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a "good" pressure washer will make a cedar deck look as hairy as a wookie from Star Wars.
Cedar is too delicate for pressure washing except at the very lowest pressure seting and holding the wand far away from the wood. I have seen people ruin a beautiful cedar deck with pressure washers. It sure got the dirt off too.
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