When it comes to handling the outside of your home you have to realize that the condition of your property is held at the whim of nature. This holds especially true for those of us with decks and back patios. Over the seasons the rain, cold, heat, and snow all tend to start wearing down the material. At some point owners of decks will have to make the decision on whether or not to re-paint or re-stain their decks. What should you do when your deck begins to wear down? The answer might surprise you, so let’s take a closer look.
For those of us with a deck that is exposed to the seasons a staining has to be applied every couple of years, The nature of a stained deck is that it will fade, regardless of upkeep. So even the best stain will begin to fade as soon as you lay it down. So why should you do this over simply repainting it?
Due to the nature of how most decks sit, flat and horizontal, when paint is applied to the deck it simply sits where it is applied. Over time water will build up, the wood will rot, and the paint will chip away as well. So not only do you have to repaint and re-stain, you have to repair the damaged wood as well. So in this way, re-painting as a way of repairing your deck is just not an option.
When you decide that you are ready to stain your deck it is important to look into getting a professional to, first, power wash the deck. A good and thorough power wash will get rid of old stain, sealant, and dirt. It is important to hire a professional to do this because those without training could end up damaging their deck and splintering their wood.
After your deck is power washed and ready to be stained it is time to pick what sort of sealant you are going to be using. A clear or semi-clear stain is the best way to go. But why does this stain work so well? A good stain and sealing combo will soak into the grain of your wood and seal it tight. This will prevent water from soaking into the deck and then all of the tertiary issues, like chipped or cracking wood, won’t happen as often. Another thing to note is that the darker the stain the longer it will hold before fading out.
Staining a deck seems like something you could knock out, on your own, over a weekend with a six pack and a few friends but the reality is that it is a long and rigorous process. In my opinion it’s worth looking into a professional staining crew to do it for you. It is one of the most demanding jobs you will have to handle on the outside of your home. Don’t let the work discourage you though, a good stain means a good deck.