It is likely your home’s deck serves many purposes. It provides a place for you to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather on a sunny day. Or it’s a place for you and your family to have get-togethers and parties. Decks give homes more usable outdoor space by extending the living area of your home. For that reason, it isn’t uncommon for homeowners to make this a home improvement priority if they don’t have one. One thing is for certain, whether you have a deck or are interested in adding one, you’ll want to know how to care for it.
There are two different options when it comes to decking material in most cases. The two most commonly used are wood and composite. Composite doesn’t require much in the way of maintenance. You may need to clean it from time to time to keep it looking like new, but other than that, it can withstand the elements quite well. Most manufacturers provide a warranty of up to 25 to 30 years. How long a composite deck lasts will depend greatly on the material itself and its manufacturer.
The most common and the least expensive option for decking is wood. You can create a deck of any size or dimension of your choosing. It can be high off the ground, look like a floating deck, or simply match up to your home to create almost a patio effect. For wooden decks, there is maintenance. If you don’t keep up with your wooden deck, it will start to deteriorate over time. Even wood that has been pressure treated will start to have problems after a few years of UV exposure and the elements. To protect the deck surfaces, most people will stain a deck. This gives it a beautiful finish and protects it against the elements. Is it time to restain your deck? We explain what you should know about restaining your deck when hiring a professional and just how they get amazing results.
How Often Should I Restain My Deck?
One of the biggest questions homeowners have when it comes to painting or staining their deck is how often they should do it. Certain factors will contribute to how often you should stain your deck, including where it’s located. For a pool deck, for example, you may need to restain it more often as it is exposed to pool water and UV rays. Horizontal surfaces almost always need to be stained every 2 to 3 years. While you can perform it more frequently, every 2 to 3 years is average. There is no rule that says how often you should or shouldn’t stain your deck— It would never hurt to do it more frequently.
Weather Reports Matter
Is there a right or wrong time when you should apply stain to wood? Yes. Wood stain needs to be applied to completely dry wood. That means you need to wait for dry weather before applying any type of product. The stain will not adhere to dampness or peeling wood. A good rule of thumb is to wait until temperatures are above 50° Fahrenheit. The ideal levels are between 50° and 90°. You’ll also want to make sure that humidity isn’t out of control. Too high humidity can cause the stain to take longer to dry. It is also a good idea to avoid direct sunlight. Too often, the idea of warmer weather means being in the sun. This is not good for staining deck material, however. When choosing a time of day, you’ll need to choose one that doesn’t have direct overhead UV rays. This will help your wood absorb the stain better, giving a perfect finish.
Preparing for restaining
We can’t stress the importance of preparing for staining services enough. When you work with a professional, they will likely sand portions of your deck to smooth the wood and remove blemishes. Over time the wood can start to splinter or flake. This will give an uneven finish and a rough feel. Your contractor should smooth and fill areas as needed.
One of the best ways to eliminate paint, contaminants, or even wood that is chipping is with pressure washing. Pressure washing will completely eliminate any buildup of dirt on wood, giving it a better surface for restaining. Does your deck have paint? Would you like to switch to a stain instead? In order to do so, you’ll need to remove the paint completely to have a fresh, clean surface. Pressure washing is a great choice for removing flaking paint and debris. It can also clean in between the boards, giving you a clean slate to begin restoration.
Applying Thin Coats
Instead of applying a heavy coat of stain, you’ll want to have a thin coat supplied instead. This gives the stain a head start for being absorbed into the wood. It will give you a consistent finish from board to board that looks natural. If you try to apply too heavily of a coat or many heavy coats, the result could look blotchy. It could also be washed away after the first ring. When you apply a heavy coat, it often looks like you have great coverage. But it is merely a mirage. The stain won’t be able to absorb as well with so much on the surface.
Hiring a Professional
Are you considering refinishing your deck on your own? It can seem like the perfect summer activity for any homeowner. However, most find the process of prepping and staining the deck to be quite time-consuming. After renting or buying a pressure washer to clean the deck, prepping the surface, and taking the time to apply several coats of stain, it almost feels like hiring a professional for deck staining in Pittsburgh, PA is a solid choice. That is because it usually is. Professional services may be more affordable than you think. Take a chance, and contact your local pressure washing & deck staining company for information and a quote. With a new finish on your deck, you can enjoy this amazing addition to your outdoor living area year after year.