We built a covered deck on our home 5 years ago and never sealed or stained it. I want to do it now, but not sure how I should prep it. Would sanding it with an orbital sander be enough or is there some chemical I should use? Is pressure washing necessary?
Sanding would certainly be effective (you would need to at least rinse the deck after sanding), but sanding may not be necessary. If the wood is sound and smooth you may be able to use one of a large variety of deck cleaning products. The best bet would be to choose the stain first, then follow the prep directions recommended by the stain manufacturer.