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Question DetailsAsked on 4/15/2012

We would like to clean and stain our deck. It is pressure treated wood and we are concerned about arsenic-How to do it safely?

We have a two level deck that needs to be cleaned, sanded and refinished. We know the deck is pressure treated and the residue from sanding it will end up in our yard and in the garden. We do not want to expose children, ourselves and a vegetable garden to the arsenic in the residue. How can we do this safely--or have someone else do this safely. We have asked others and they say there is no way to do this in a completely safe way.

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1 Answer


You haven't gotten bad advice. They're ight that you won't keep all of the dust contained. Can you get under the deck? If so you can attach plastic to the underside to catch the dust as it settles between the boards. A strong vacuum attached to the sander will help also. Beyond that just wear a good respirator. Drape sheeting over your garden to protect it and get after it. Whatever isn't contained can be watered into the ground afterwards to get it away from little fingers. It'll still be in the soil but the concentrations won't be high enough to cause harm. That's the best you can hope for short of removing the decking and installing new in its place.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services

Answered 8 years ago by Todd's Home Services

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