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How Often Should I Stain or Seal my Deck?

Posted by Bruce Watson on Sun, Aug 19, 2012 @ 04:29 PM

Here in the Chicago area, moisture is the biggest enemy to wooden decks, so it is important to maintain an efective paint, stain or sealer that will keep it in good shape through the changing seasons. Today, we’ll look at two questions: When do I need to seal my deck? and What kind of stain or sealer should I use?

Deck StainThere is a simple test that anyone can do to see if your deck is protected. Splash a few drops of water onto the surface and watch what happens. If the water beads up and remains on the surface, you are probably OK. If it soaks into the wood quickly, your are in danger of splitting, twisting and rotting. Make sure you perform the test in a few different areas of your deck, since each board is different, and vertical surfaces (posts & railings) weather differently.

If you have a new deck built from pressure-treated lumber, it is best to wait a year before putting a sealer on it. This allows the wood to finish drying and curing.

What Kind of Stain or Sealer Should I Put on my Deck?

If your deck is made of cedar or an exotic hardwood, consult an expert for information regarding your specific situation. If your deck is made from a typical North American wood, like pressure-treated pine, you typically have three options: clear sealer, tinted sealer/semitransparent stain, and solid stain.

sealed deckClear sealers will protect the wood against moisture, but they allow all of the natural wood grain and color to show. Because UV rays are not blocked, the wood will fade and turn gray. This can be reversed by retreatment later on.

Tinted sealers and semitransparent stains are basically equivalent. They provide a tinting color to the wood, highlighting the grains and allowing much to show through. Penetrating and protecting the wood, these products provide waterproofing and UV protection. Both types are available in many colors.

solid color stainSolid stains are basically a paint that is formulated for outdoor woodwork. Rather than penetrating the surface, it forms a protective barrier on the surface. Available in virtually any color, solid stains completely cover the natural grain patterns of the wood and hold their color longer than other products. Solid stains are susceptible to cracking and peeling if not periodically maintained.

Jalapeno Paint Werx can help you keep your deck looking great and lasting for many years. Our technicians know the best products to stain and /or seal your deck, and we are equipped to do the job efficiently. Call us for a free estimate on deck services in the Chicago area.

Tags: exterior paint, quality house painter, chicago painting, Painting Contractor, deck care, stains and sealers