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Most weatherproofing should last at least two years. However, if your deck gets excessive sun (dryness) or no sun at all (mildew), you may need to service it more often. If you use a good weatherproofer and your deck gets a good balance of sun and shade, it could last up to five years.
Through our experiences we find that all woods are different. Some decks are ready to be treated immediately, and some must wait up to 2-3 months. Most damage to a deck happens quickly, so evaluate your deck in a timely fashion so that irreparable damage is not done.
This is an easy one. Unless you are in love with the darker color, go with the transparent stain that has just a little pigment. If you go with a dark semi-transparent or solid stain, it is very difficult to go back to a transparent product that shows the grain of the wood better.
Remember that the lighter the finish the lesser the protection. Transparent finishes that are truly clear last only 10-16 months. 100% Transparent finishes with pigment such as Cabots Clear Solution suggest reservice every 24 months. Semi-transparent or Semi-Solid Stains typically last 3-4 years. Solid Stains last from 3-5 years typically. The darker the color with all products, the longer it takes the sun to fade it. The lighter colors do fade more quickly. The transparent finishes show 100% of the grain. Semi-transparent and Semi-solid products show 35-75% of the grain. Solids cover all grain and can be custom matched.
The horizontal surfaces of the deck receive more harsh elements than the vertical surfaces.
Decks do not necessarily have to bead up to be well protected. All of our products are rated very highly by Consumer Reports, which is the best indication of excellent protection. In fact, some of the lowest ranked products bead up the most!
Typically oil based finishes dry to the touch within a few hours and can be walked on in 24-48 hours after curing. Latex finishes typically dry within 2-3 hours and need a full 48 hours to cure. You would be amazed at how quickly oil finishes set. Often passing showers do not effect these finishes after application.
Every deck should be washed before weatherproofing. All lumber especially pressure treated pine contains a chemical commonly known as mill glaze. It protects the wood during the storing in lumberyards. This must be removed prior to weatherproofing to ensure proper adhesion.
We can remove some of them, but unfortunately the oils penetrate the wood and set in. We will do our best, but never promise full removal without sanding.
A lot of composite decks will NEVER need a protective finish. However, the outside elements such as pollen, moisture and lack of sun exposure can promote mold and growth on the deck. We typically rinse down composite decks every 1-2 years.
We have a program called re-decking that promotes the use of existing framing of current deck while removing the existing rails and flooring. We often convert old splintery decks to maintenance free decks at a discount because we do not need to create a new frame.
People ask us all of the time how to keep their deck looking new. The following information will extend the life of your deck...