How to refinish wood ceiling?

A property I am considering to buy has a wood ceiling everywhere. The house is two stories and must be 10' each story, so the low point of the ceiling is 20 feet at the edge and goes up another 8 or 10 feet to the top of the ridge. The entire ceiling is lined with some kind of unfunished wood, color and texture reminds me of cedar in ski lodges, but this is in Miami so I am not sure what it is, may be rose wood may be something else. These wood planks have water marks on them...those that looked like there was a leak from the roof and then dried up. Don't know if there is any mold, but these water marks I would say is in over 50% of the area and the house is over 3000 SF. On top is galvanized steel roof that is probably original (built 1974) and nearing the end of it's life span.
The roof has to be redone for sure. But the wood ceiling would be cost prohibitive to replace. Can it be salvaged? If there is not rot (and that is a big if), can it be sanded down to get rid of the water mark or the water marks are usually more than skin deep?
How can one sand/finish a ceiling 30 feet above anyways? Most of the ceiling is open to the ground floor with the upstair more like a loft landing.
Thanks in advance,
MC
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says...

An interesting problem. The word paint comes immediately to mind.
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Mike G.
Heirloom Woods
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Mike G wrote:

Yep, with a good sealer for the stains first. Sounds like a need for a small manlift if it can be gotten in or a whole bunch of scaffolding. That is another reason why I will not even look at a house with a cathedral ceiling.
Harry K
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The water marks may be well below the surface for sanding to be of benefit.
You need to rent a set of staging to get up there. Or a motorized lift at a couple hundred bucks a week.
I'd consider a sealer and then paint. If the wood is truly something of beauty, try sanding a small spot to see how well it works. Lots of work though.
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Ed
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Sand blasting [carefully] is a possibility if a very open grain look is acceptable.
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replying to John Keiser, Kevin West wrote:

I have to agree, sandblasting while dusty and loud is the most effective way to do such a large surface area. click to open the full size version of the image
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