It’s late summer time in the Rocky Mountains and that means you’ve been out using your deck. BBQ’s, family meals or simply watching the sunset while sipping on some wine are all great fun on your deck. That is, unless your deck is starting to need maintenance, then it may just be a reminder of how much work you need to do on your weekend. Fear not, because here at Ace Hardware we can help you with the right products to make your deck last and keep maintenance down to a minimum.
Let’s face it in the Rocky Mountain region, snow, ice, rain and hail are all tough on a deck. But depending on where you live, the sun may be its worst enemy. Our atmosphere is thinner and the sun’s ultraviolet rays are stronger. This will lead to wearing out the wood in your deck. What can you do about his? Keeping a good coat of stain on your deck is very important. Unfortunately, staining, may be less fun than painting and we need to do it more often. A good paint can last 20+ years, but a good stain, not so much. Research your stain carefully and pick a quality stain like Superdeck or Penofin, which will last as long as possible.
Think about the color as well. Darker stains have more pigment and more ultraviolet protection. Many people are tempted to use a clear or natural sealer, especially on a fresh redwood or cedar deck. This is fine, but expect to re-do those finishes more often and expect them to not look as good as a stain with more color. A semi-transparent stain will protect better than a transparent stain but not as well as a solid-color stain.
My neighbors stained their cedar fence as they installed it. Then one year later they stained it again. I must say that it looks great and is wearing very well, three years later. I have re-stained my west-facing front deck that bakes in the sun every three years since I built it. It’s in pretty darn good shape and generally just takes a pressure washing to prepare for re-staining. I also have a dock that floats above the water, doesn’t get any wetter than a deck, but has zero shade at any time. Years ago I stained it and it was like painting a sponge. The poor wood was just begging for protection and soaked up about three times what a normal deck would. This shows how unkind the Colorado sun can be. I waited too long to stain the dock in the first place and it looks okay when stained but will never look like new.
What about wood preparation using deck washes and bleaches? Yes, these can be very useful as well. They are a great prep work before staining, especially for older, mold-stained wood. They’re a bit of extra work, of course, but that goes along with the old saying, “You get out of your work what you put in to your work.”
There are many options to deck staining and it can be a little confusing. That’s where the helpful folks at your local Ace Hardware come in. Don’t hesitate to come in and ask us questions. If you think about it, bring us in some pictures, they’re worth a thousand words and can help us get just what you need to get your deck refinished and get you back to enjoying those sunsets on your beautiful deck!