Should You Stain Your Deck?
Is there anything better than enjoying a beautiful deck in the summertime? Warping, graying, and sun damage will decrease the aesthetic and longevity of your deck. There are several options to combat this, one of which is to stain your deck. Staining your deck has several benefits. Not only will it help bring out the colors of the wood, but it will also protect your deck from water and sun damage, and keep it looking new and beautiful.
How Often Should You Stain Your Deck?
Most experts will recommend you stain your deck once every two to three years, but that’s a guideline more than it is gospel. What your deck is made out of and how old it is are important factors to consider when deciding how often to stain your deck. If your deck is brand new, you’re going to want to wait at least 30 days before staining, so the wood has time to dry out properly after construction. Pressure-treated lumber should be given two to three days to dry before staining.
What type of stain you use is also a huge component in terms of frequency. Obviously, a better, higher quality stain will last longer than one of lesser quality. Of course, this might mean spending more money, since higher quality usually means more money. The thing to keep in mind, though, is that when you use a lower quality stain, it means buying more often, whereas a more expensive but better brand means fewer trips to the store or a general trend of spending less money on having your deck stained.
When Should You Stain Your Deck?
If your deck is looking bleached from the sun, grayed, or simply not looking like its usual, lustrous self, it might be time to restain. If you’re feeling uncertain, there’s an easy test you can do to check if it’s time to have your deck restained. Just sprinkle a small amount of water onto the deck. If the water gathers and beads up on the surface of the wood, you can stand to wait before heading to the store. If the wood absorbs the water, however, it’s probably time to stain it.
Of course, there is prep work to do before you can start staining. Make sure to move all your patio furniture and plants, and anything else you have sitting on your deck before you start. You’ll want to clean your deck with a good pressure washer, to get rid of any mildew that may have gathered so you don’t seal it in when you stain it. You may also find it necessary to sand the wood down, and, if any boards are especially damaged, to remove and replace them.
It’s also important not to apply your stain directly in the sun. This will dry out your stain too quickly, and the wood won’t absorb it. You’ll want to check the weather for a couple of dry, not too sunny days in a row when you can apply the stain.
Staining a deck is hard work, but the results are definitely worth it. It means beautiful, richly colored wood, and helps prevent many different types of damage. Throwing a BBQ with your family and friends, sitting out in the sun with a good book, or just watching the kids play in the yard with a cup of coffee will make all the work of staining your deck worth it.
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