Tips Saving Your Deck Finish To Last Longer

Best Tips Saving Your Deck Finish Lasting Longer

Knowing some of the best tips to include, preserving your deck finish, making it last longer is key. Understanding how deck stains work is useful, also knowing their worst enemies will help you combat any negative effects they have saving your stains and finishes.

Exposed exterior decks offer a great deal of outside enjoyment. Protecting the deck finish is vital, knowing how expensive stains are today, not to mention the time it will take each additional coating is applied.

Below are some best tips we have learned over the years coming from the Colorful State of Colorado, with some of the harshest climates.

Best Tips We've Learned

As winter quickly approaches, one area that seems to get overlooked is the deck. Receiving any amounts of snowfall, most attention is directed to the driveway, sidewalks, shoveling out to the respective cars, going to work. Knowing full well the snow amounts are the same, if not more on the wooden decks typically not seen under a blanket of snow.

Solid Bodied Stain

The most valuable time spent shoveling snow is off deck surfaces, helping preserve your deck finish. If deck has solid body deck stain, this will typically lift up and crack much quicker if snow is left on surfaces to naturally melt over days or weeks, being in shade or not.

Sure, these new deck stains have much more preserving properties in the chemical makeup of formulations, however I don't believe you are trying to do a test, conducting your own R&D for the given product you are using.

 Solid Body Deck Paint - Stain

Deck Paint

  • Solid body deck stains, commonly referred to as deck paint.
  • Solid deck paint soaks into wood usually about 50%, leaving a paint mil of the other 50% on top as paint finish.
  • Solids cover all natural grain of wood, and makes for easier touch-ups
  • Best your product should say Deck Stain, and not just any Acrylic paint, as deck paints have better bonding primers to horizontal surfaces, which makes this product more expensive than regular exterior paint, and performs much better under various conditions. So don't cheat your deck by applying regular Acrylic latex house paint on your deck surface, or you'll be sorry very soon.
  • Solid body deck stain or paint generally is easier to administer, as this covers up blacken, gray wood deck surfaces, and therefore no need to clean wood using a wood brightener or cleaning agent.
  • Most portable $150.00 power washers you may find at your local Lowe's™ or Home Depot™ is only good to rinse off decks. Once cleaned, it is now ready to dry back out over a 24-48 hour period, before any deck paint is applied.
  • The drawback using a full fledged deck paint is it can check, crack, and wear off depending on the foot traffic, pet's nails, and furniture sliding across the surfaces. Solid body deck stains or deck paints can crack, chip, and flake off if snow is left on painted surfaces over a long period, such as over two days or more.

Semi-transparent Stain Will Not Lift

If deck has semi-transparent stains, the finish will not lift and crack, however will diminish the stains protection, turning black and gray, needing to re-stain much quicker. Getting the moisture off your deck as quickly as possible is vital, never have to worry about black mold and mildew within the wood's substrate near as much.

Removing snow, using a plastic snow shovel or shop broom is best, as you never have to worry about scratching or gouging the wood surface.

Semi-Transparent Deck Stain:

Semi-Transparent Deck Stain

  • Semi-transparent deck stains are typically Linseed oil based, however some paint manufactures have developed a water borne type.
  • In either case both allow the natural beauty of the wood's grain to show through. If you have used a Solid Body deck stain or paint in the past, you cannot use a Semi-Transparent stain, unless all portions of this solid body stain is removed.
  • This type of stain will never crack, chip or peel, but tends to need additional coats more often, say every two to three years depending upon weather conditions and foot traffic.
  • Once all the ugly black mold and mildew is cleaned off, using a wood brighter and cleaner, along with a mildew cleaning agent, this should be the last time the deck will need this extensive power washing and cleaning.
  • Keeping up the additional coats of semi-transparent wood oil finish, all that is needed from then on is a garden hose rinse, letting dry, applying additional semi-transparent wood oil applications.
  • Careful not to apply these coats too heavy, as this is a linseed oil based product, and only so much linseed wood oil can soak into the wood grain at a time. Any residue will be left on top as a gummy mess which will need to be scraped back off. Therefore, using a spray and back roll method is best, applying a uniform wood oil film.
  • These products usually take several days to dry enough to walk on the deck, careful not tracking any residue back into the home and carpet. These Semi-Transparent stains tend to look more professional and protect the wood's grain much better. If you see water not pooling up, it may be time to re-apply a deck stain wood oil coat.
  • When using either stain, water borne or oil, all rags, sponges, applicators must be allowed to air dry, as these rags wadded up can and will ignite causing a fire.

Normally, a quality deck stain such as Behr, Cabots, Superdeck, Deckscapes , or Sikkens will last between 2 to 3 years depending on foot traffic.

However, with normal snowfalls in Denver and the Front Range of Colorado, not sweeping snow off deck surfaces will result cutting life-expectancy in half for which ever product used.

Taking a large shop broom, a 2' foot of snow can be easily swept off deck, much easier than snow blowing driveway, having a Translucent Deck Stain by Sikkens. This stain offers a high build hard slick finish, which makes re-coating much easier, using far less product on secondary applications.

Below, is a Deck that needs to be swept off after recent snowfall. Deck Stain is a Sikken's Cetol 1 & 23 product in Mahogany color. Deck has had 3 applications, 2 coats each, which is undoubtedly the Best Deck Stain on the market, making the wood bullet-proof using this product multiple deck stain applications.

Snow-Deck's Worst Enemy

Which ever product you use, don't forget the deck! Knowing it's far too easy to sit back down coming in from the driveway after breaking your back shoveling the drive. Stay warm and Good Luck.

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