Why Wood Decks Need Staining
Why is Deck Staining necessary? Most homeowners are confused what to do with their wood decks. Based on questions we have received over the years here are some important facts about decks and maintenance needed.
- 98% of decks are pressure treated pine – pressure treating wood protects it from fungus and insect damage.
- If you don’t seal and stain PT wood it will grey, dry out, and eventually need to be replaced.
- Deck Sealer vs Deck Stain – Most of today’s deck stains are a sealer and stain in one.
- Water Based Stains vs Oil Based Stains – We recommend oil based stains as the oils condition the wood as well as provide “color” to protect wood from greying.
- Penetrating stain vs others – We use primarily penetrating based oil stains. Acrylic stains and others form a coating on top of the wood surface that will fail over time causing peeling and chipping. Examples of acrylic stains are behr, some cabot, and others. These stains are expensive to remove and we don’t recommend them. They are also hard to apply evenly without light and dark spots.
- Semi-transparent vs Solid – Our primary stains we use are semi-transparent, meaning color is applied but you can still see the wood grain. Solid stains are like paint, we usually don’t recommend these because once you go to a solid stain you cannot go back to natural wood. It’s usually to labor intensive and expensive to remove solid stains. We have also seen solid stains cause wood to rot from not being able to breathe.
- When to stain a new deck? – As soon as it is dry, usually 1-3 months after being installed.
- How often to stain a deck? – We have found staining a deck every 2 years is the best way to keep it looking it’s best. After doing a brand new deck we like to do it again 1 year later, then every 2 years.
- Which stain to use? – We use TWP and Ready Seal for most of our Raleigh deck staining projects. We have tried dozens of stains over the years and have stuck with these 2 brands. We have decks we have been maintaining for over 6 years now and have seen real world testing what works and what doesn’t. NO stain last’s forever though.
- Which Color to use? We recommend something in the medium color swatch. If you go to light it will fade out faster, if you choose something to dark and have a deck in full sun it will get to hot.
- Deck Staining Preparation – At a minimum all decks must be cleaned prior to staining. All Manufacturers have procedures for each of their products. YOU MUST follow them or the application will fail or not last as long.
Cary Deck Restoration provides deck staining services to Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, Chapel Hill, Garner, Clayton, Durham, and Wake Forest. Call today to request an estimate or ask any questions about your deck project.
Owner, Cary Deck Restoration