Cedar deck maintenance

I built a cedar deck last year (approx 300 sq ft). Stained it with a "semitransparent stain" from (I think) Behr (Home Depot). I can't imagine that the wood hadn't cured, but in a large section (over 3 - 4 boards), the stain just bubbled up and peeled off. Now, after a year, the stain on the high traffic parts of the deck is wearing off. My primary question is how to prep the deck for refinishing. Sanding the entire deck isn't an option, because the decking was put down with screws, so they can't be set deeper into the wood. I've read that power washing is an option, but will require going over the deck with a sander (although that would be light sanding and, therefore, feasible). I've also read about using TSP and bleach solutions, but that seems to be more for mildew, which is not a problem in this case (yet). So, has anyone found the magic bullet? (I'm in Nashville, in case there are any regional solutions.)
My second question is what to use once I've prepped the deck. I know there are opaque stains (that sound like they're paint, right?) and semitransparent stains (more like what I think of as a woodstain, right?) If I've got those right, I like the idea of a semitransparent stain. Otherwise, I'd have built the deck out of pine. Consumer Reports likes Wolman and Olympic semitransparent stains. I've read about Sikkens, too. Is there any consensus?
Eric
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This is not uncommpn with a stained or painted surface that gets foot traffic. Aslo, if you did not seal or stain all sides of the boards, read that as the bottom side, they can still absorbe moisture and cause the stain ot sealer to fail.

Unfortunately most any stain and or clear finish is going to have to be maintained every couple of years. Many people just leave the surface unfinished and let nature do its work. There are oil type finishes on the market that do hold up better in the elements, Penofin IIRC does better than most from what I have read.

For a finish to hold up decently outdoors, you need one that inhibits UV rays from the sun. As you mentioned, opaque finishes tend to do best as they block more of the suns rays that break down the finish. That said however, it is still important to treat, stain, and or finish all sides that are exposed to the elements. Moisture seeping in from the back sides of the boards will eventually cause any finish to fail. Unfortunately you are probably going to have to accept tthe fact that a re-do is going to be a fact of life every 2 to 3 years.

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I realize it will take repeated maintenance. This being my first time through the process, my questions are how best to prep and what products win the vote.
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Eric,
As a wood preservative I would use nothing but Cabot products. They have never failed to meet my expectations in dealing with outdoor woods. I have a redwood deck and fence in my backyard, both have been treated with Cabot 3000 clear and have held up great. Fence was retreated after 5 years, deck is two years old and still looks great. I have a lot of redwood furniture of varied ages, some as much as 20 years old, all were finished with Cabot sealers and remain looking good with minimal maintenance.
If your finish "bubbled up" it sounds like it was never bonded...that is absorbed into the wood. No doubt there are many reason why that might have happened, including product you used. The only way you will ever get a new finish to absorb properly is to remove the old one. You mentioned screws not allowing you to sand, can you remove them, countersink and re-screw the deck? If so, then sanding down becomes an option and a really good one. If not, then perhaps you would be best served using a chemical stripper.
Rog

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