Can I just clean ipe deck and not stain?
I have a 3 year old ipe deck that was stained the first year (TWP 116) and has had nothing done to it since. The TWP looked beautiful for a few months but quickly faded and now the deck is a brownish/silver color. Doesn't look terrible, but is definitely only a shadow of its original newly-stained glory. We have some black spots on our rail cap and in a few other areas that look like mold or mildew. There are also some streaky looking places on the vertical boards around the outside edge. We would like to clean and tidy up the appearance of the deck, but I don't think we want to go through the staining process again simply because it doesn't last but a few months on ipe. My question is - if we follow the cleaning procedure we used the first time (sodium percarb followed by brightener), and then we don't follow up with a stain, is that somehow detrimental to the wood? I know after cleaning the deck will look fresh and bright for a while but will quickly go gray. I'm okay with that, but I don't want to clean and then not stain if that will leave the wood vulnerable. May not be a concern for ipe. For a situation where you are not planning on staining, is there a different cleaning procedure we should follow other than sodium percarb/brightener? Thank you!!