Maintaining Your Kebony Deck or Cladding: Cleaning, Sanding, and Staining

Cleaning Kebony Wood

One of the many benefits of selecting Kebony modified wood for your decking installation is that its durability is guaranteed while requiring very little maintenance. Kebony decks are most often left uncoated, making basic cleaning the only element of care needed.

Cleaning the surface of your Kebony installation can be done simply and efficiently. To remove deposits of dirt, sand, and other particles, only a brush and water are needed. For surface contamination of mold or algae, water containing ordinary household cleaning agents or detergents suitable for external household use may be used in combination with a brush. Following the use of any cleaning products, including the options listed below, the entire surface should always be rinsed with clean water.

When selecting cleaning agents for your Kebony deck, it is recommended that instructions printed on the product labels are followed closely with respect to use, safety precautions, and waste disposal. The manufacturers’ handling and application guidelines should be considered when selecting cleaning agents. In addition, cleaning products with a pH greater than 12 should be avoided. To further ensure a positive outcome, testing the cleaning agent on an inconspicuous area of the deck before cleaning the entire installation is encouraged.

To remove black stains and discoloration caused by incompatible metal parts such as zinc and iron, oxalic acid may be used for cleaning. It is important to follow the manufacturers’ instructions, and it should be noted that strong cleaning agents like this one may lighten the surface of your Kebony installation. The affected areas may be spot cleaned, or the entire surface of the deck can be cleaned to avoid differences in color.

High-pressure washing is not recommended for use on Kebony products. The boards may, however, be washed with high-pressure washers that are equipped with brushes that reduce and diffuse the water jet to safe levels. The water jet of a high-pressure washer should never be applied directly to the wood surface without suitable brushes.

Sanding Your Kebony Installation

Kebony boards that are milled sometimes acquire a sheen called “mill glaze”. This happens in the machining process, and can be remedied by sanding. It is important to note that when sanding, you will find that the layer of Kebony underneath is a different color than the exposed layer. This can cause color differences if only a section of the board is being sanded. The board will eventually all fade into the same silver-gray patina, but to avoid color differences, you may consider sanding the entire board rather than a portion.

Sanding can be used to remove scratches from Kebony deck boards as well. The board should be sanded using a fine grit sandpaper. As previously mentioned, sanding the whole board is encouraged to maintain a uniform color.

Staining Your Kebony Deck

As Kebony wood is exposed to UV rays and water, the lignin on the wood’s surface breaks down and water washes it away. This fading is natural for all woods, and the graying of Kebony does not affect the stability or structural integrity of the wood. Staining is not required to maintain the Kebony warranty, but is optional if you want to keep the wood’s original darker color. This can be done using a tinted oil, which protects against UV rays and weather.

PRO TIP: Please remember that the UV inhibitors in stains reside in the pigment. The more pigment, generally speaking, the longer the color retention before recoating is needed. Clear coating with no pigment may actually fade the surface sooner than not using a coating.

While Kebony does not have an official stain, clients who have chosen to stain their Kebony installations have recommended the following:

When trying to decide whether or not to stain your Kebony deck, a way to test what it will look like when stained is to wet the deck with water and observe the difference in color. If you do choose to stain your Kebony installation, be sure to test the stain on a small sample area before applying it to the whole project. Finally, if your deck has grayed quickly, you can clean and sand the surface to bring the brown color back without having to treat it.