A deck is a great investment because not only does it enhance the value of your home, it adds useable living space and increases your family’s overall enjoyment of the outdoors.
But most decks are made of wood, and wood naturally deteriorates over time. The effects of UV rays and moisture can slowly degrade the condition of a wood deck, causing it to look grey, black, or make even the most durable, weather-resistant stain start to peel and flake. Sadly, by the time you notice that your deck needs re-staining, it’s probably already past that point and should be restored or remediated instead.
Why Does Deck Care Matter?
Decks look really great in the first 6-12 months after a fresh coat of wood stain. You might notice some very mild peeling in the first year, or a few tiny surface scratches from frequent use, and shrug them off as being normal wear and tear.
But even the tiniest cut in the protective film provides the perfect opening for oxygen and moisture to get underneath the stain coating. Once that happens, it is only a matter of time before the peeling proliferates to larger sections of the deck.
The good news is that with regular care (cleaning and spot touch-ups), you can maintain your stunning wood deck’s natural beauty without going to the trouble of having to stain the entire thing. Not only will this keep your deck’s surface looking brighter and fresher between stain jobs, it will also prolong the time frame between staining. Sounds great to us!
Maintenance Tip #1: Cleaning
Stained deck surfaces will benefit from a yearly wash with a recommended wood cleaner. Wood cleaner is specially formulated to remove pollen, mildew and other biologicals from the surface. Why is this important? Removing mildew and other fungi will help slow down the aging process and extend the life of your wood stain.
Maintenance Tip #2: Spot Touch-Up
While most people gladly touch-up interior walls that have been gouged or scratched, very few bother to touch-up deck stain, instead allowing the whole thing to slowly erode and eventually lead to a much bigger stain restoration project. Although you may not have considered touching up your deck stain, we strongly recommend it as a tactic to stop peeling in its tracks.
Once a year, inspect the deck for any peeling, scratches or gouges. Wash the surface with a mild solution of wood wash, then wait at least 48 hours to thoroughly dry. Use a little bit of sandpaper if you need to even out the scratches or edges of the peeling, and then apply a thin coat of stain only to the areas that need touching up.
Don’t worry if you notice a slight color variation between your fresh touch-up job and the weathered stain. This is perfectly normal due to UV fading and our experts believe that the prolonged lifespan of the overall deck outweighs the slight visibility of these touch-ups.
A deck certainly adds to the ways you can spend more time outdoors and entertain friends and family at home, and with a little extra care and easy regular maintenance, you’ll be able to get many more years of enjoyment from this functional, fresh-air living space.
YOUR NEXT PAINT JOB STARTS HERE! JC Licht is the Midwest’s largest dealer ofBenjamin Moore, the highest quality paint on the market. For paint, tools and tips in-store or online, visit shopjclicht.com.