A deck is an invaluable addition to your home where you entertain your guest or simply unwind after a long day. Maintaining your deck is critical if you want it to look great and last longer. How often your deck should be refinished in Amador County, California depends on a number of factors.

Whether you’re firing up the grill, hosting a party, reading a book, or simply unwinding on a sunny afternoon, you deserve a beautiful deck. And for that to happen, we thought we should share some tips on when and how often you should have your deck stained.

When to Stain a New Deck

If you just installed a new deck, it’s important to have it stained to keep it protected against the harsh exterior conditions. Generally, all new decks should dry out for at least 30 days before they’re stained. While some finishes can be applied right after construction, it’s almost always better to let the wood dry out before any coatings are applied. Here are some general guidelines for different new decks:

• Pressure-treated lumber –this should be allowed to dry for about six months before staining.

• Kiln-dried lumber –allow kiln-dried wood to dry for one or two weeks to release any residual moisture that absorbed during the stacking and transporting process.

Green lumber –this is wood that is freshly cut. While it’s not the best material to work with since it can warp and crack as it dries, some still use it due to availability and cost. In most situations it can be stained in 2-4 months, but sometimes needs to be left for a year or more before staining it.

Whether you’re staining a new or older deck, always schedule your project when the weatherman predicts at least three rain-free days ahead. Additionally, don’t stain on a hot sunny day or when there is fog or excess moisture in the air. These conditions will compromise the quality and durability of the finish. When it’s finally time to stain it, remove the grey color and surface dirt with a light pressure washing, scrubbing and a good wood cleaner.

How Often Should You Stain?

How well your wood deck holds the stain depends on a number of interacting factors including, elevation, environmental exposure – which changes every year -, how it’s used, etc. For this reason, two decks of similar properties might require a different re-staining frequency (or maintenance cycle) depending on the factors they’re predisposed to. Here is what affects your deck stain’s durability;

Deck Stain Types

Stains come in different shades and levels of opacity, from completely transparent to solid stains, and everything in between. As a general rule of thumb, the newer the deck, the more transparent the stain. This allows the wood grain and natural beauty to show through. The tradeoff here is that more transparent stains wear off faster and will need to be repainted more often.

Solid stains are opaque, like paint, and are commonly used on older decks where you might need to cover up surface blemishes and imperfections.

Overall, to keep everything in excellent shape, a transparent stain will need to be re-stained every 9-18 months, while a solid pigment stain will need to be re-stained every two to five years.

Weather and Usage

These two are the most damaging factors to your deck stain. Wet and humid weather conditions wear away the stain and allow mold and mildew to penetrate into the wood. On the flip side, the UV rays of the sun will break down the stained surface and cause cracking, peeling and dry rot. For decks that are used less often, their stain will last compared to decks that receive regular heavy traffic.

If you want your deck to look great and enjoy the peace of mind that the stain will last, our team at Michael Hines Painting can help. Call us today on 209.256.4587 for a FREE estimate.

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