Friday, November 9, 2007

Deck Care Advice

This is part of our “Common Problems/ Better Solutions Series featured at

Please pass this article to anyone you know who is about to stain or paint a wooden deck. You may be ready to stain your own deck. It may be your neighbor. It may be a contractor you are hiring to stain your deck. Why should you care what you, your contractor, or your neighbor uses on his deck, you might ask? 

Consider This:
1. The average deck stain available at Home Depot or Lowes, and all the ones highly advertised usually last about 1-2 years on most decks. Then you or your neighbor get out the deck stripping and cleaning chemicals that will be rinsed into the ground in your neighborhood. Then they might use a GASOLINE powered pressure washer to rinse, destroying the peace and quiet of the only Saturday you have had off in weeks. Finish off the day with the noise of a SANDER, then multiply that by all the decks in your neighborhood, and you have a bunch of pollution and noise on a regular basis. These problems that can be eliminated through using proven solutions featured on the PaintSource Network.

2. We know what works, and we know what doesn’t from over 20 years experience in wood care. We have used and tested countless wood coatings, and only a few products out there really last.

3. You should consider kiln dried wood, or  to get treated wood dry before you build your deck. Why would you build your deck with wet wood, knowing it will Warp and Twist,and Split, as it rapidly and uncontrollably dries out once you unbundle it? Read More

Simply order your wood a couple of months before you plan to build your deck. Have it unbundled and restacked, allowing air movement between the boards. Use thin wood strips or rack wood, and cover from the sun, best indoors if space allows. Wood can be slowly dried (sometimes with dehumidifier) and even sanded and coated, ALL 6 SIDES, before installation.

Backside coating is an important step to get a good looking, low maintenance, low cost Deck Care Solution. If wood is near the ground, and the sun beats down on the top surface, moisture is drawn from the cool ground underneath up through the bottom side of the boards. This causes expansion and contraction of the wood, leads to cupping of the boards, and greatly reduces the long-term performance of any coating. Even elevated decks will absorb moisture through the uncoated backside, even if the lumber is "pressure-treated". More

For new wood, we have found
One TIME can be applied on new wood dried about 30 days, sometimes sooner. Many Stains and wood coatings fail due to original application on wood that is either too wet, or wood that is too polished from the milling process. We like the ability to coat the topside quickly after building the deck to prevent UV damage. Smooth Cedar and Redwood should be weathered a bit before applying One TIME.

If you are building a new deck, get your wood dry before you build, prepare the wood , sand it, choose a proven solution, coat it (including end-grains), install it, coat the top, and maintain as directed.

If you have a deck with existing failed coating, you will likely need to strip and possibly sand the surface for proper performance of the new stain or coating.

Help us stamp out the injustice of inferior deck stains and water-proofers, by making
good choices before you build or stain a deck. Nature will love you for it, and so will the family. Less work on your deck means more time for other things.

More on Decks:
PaintSource Blog
More on Decks: PaintSource Deck Care Solutions

We feature additional insight for wood deck care at PaintSource Radio.
Words of Wisdom: Don't go for plastic wood. More on that topic soon.