Springing Into Deck Staining Season
Spring is here! That means it’s time for outdoor projects like mulching/landscaping, fence installation, and quite possibly the most popular among homeowners—deck staining.
When deciding what projects you’d like to get done this spring, staining your deck should be at the top of your list for several reasons. Homeowners with wooden decks need to stain their deck once a year to keep it looking nice and to promote longevity.
Why Is Deck Staining so Important?
All year round, your deck is exposed to rain, snow, sleet, ice, and direct sunlight. It’s important to restain your deck regularly to prevent the impact that these conditions can have on the appearance, value, and quality of your deck.
Sunlight → Untreated wood takes a lot of damage from the sun. Appearance wise, sunlight can cause the color of the wood to change and its shape to warp. Beyond that, exposure to sunlight dries the wood out, making it much more susceptible to cracks.
How Deck Staining Helps. Staining your deck prevents the sun’s rays from penetrating the wood completely and ensures the deck’s longevity. It also improves the appearance of your deck and keeps the color looking great.
Moisture → When moisture from rain or snow melts into the wood, your deck can begin growing mold or mildew and may also expand and grow soft, causing you to have to replace planks and repair the deck.
How Deck Staining Helps. Deck stain helps prevent moisture from soaking into the wood by acting as a barrier between moisture and wood.
Dirt → Although it may not seem as serious as harsh weather conditions, dirt is another factor that can alter the appearance of your deck. Anytime the wind blows, it tosses around dirt, pollen, and leaves. Eventually, your deck gets darkened by the dirt. That’s why it’s important to clean the wood well before staining to ensure the best possible final result.
Preparing to Stain Your Deck
Whether it’s a brand new deck or a deck that’s been through some pretty severe weather conditions, it’s important to properly clean your deck before beginning the staining process.
Brand new wood needs to be cleaned to remove “mill scale”—a crushing of the grain that takes place during the milling process. If left uncleaned, deck stain may not properly penetrate the wood’s surface. Older decks may have dirt, mildew, old stains, and gray from the sun may be present. It’s important to use a deck scrub for the cleaning process, as it uses an acidic solvent to kill mildew and remove any dirt or grime that has built up. It is not recommended that you use a power washer, they can streak the wood and cause splintering. No matter the age of your deck, it’s very important to properly clean the wood beforehand in order to achieve perfect results.
As always, home improvement projects are best when done by a professional. If you want a great looking deck this spring/summer season, contact Handy-Matt about your project today!