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Question #1 – What can I apply to my deck that will last more than two years?

Answer – Nothing!

A wood deck is certainly a thing of beauty, but only if it is well maintained from year to year. If your deck is showing signs of weather and wear, some simple maintenance and a fresh coat of stain or sealer could make it look new again.

Wood is a very difficult substrate to preserve on a horizontal plane.  It just doesn't hold up well to standing moisture and intensive UV.  The only good news is that it generally doesn't take very long to apply a refreshing coat to bring the deck back to life.  

Three secrets from the professionals:

1.  Wash the wood- Wood needs to be cleaned to balance the pH, remove dirt, and remove any coating that may not be effectively holding.

2.  Hand apply the stain - work it into the wood.  Spraying may be faster, but won't last.  Don't let a contractor spray your deck!

3.  Don't apply in direct sunlight; wait for the morning or afternoon to apply the material.  If the stain dries too quickly it won't have time to penetrate and grab the previous coating.

Washing decks has been a constant request since the beginning of Moorhouse Coating.  I would like to think I’m a professional.  Having cleaned literally hundreds of decks on my own, there are some basic tricks and tips I’m going to share.

Wood like any other substrate outside will deteriorate, fade and discolor.  Everyone wants to keep their deck looking new, clean and splinter free.  Most decks get a lot of use in the beginning of their life cycle with barbequing, parties, events and family gatherings.  But as the deck begins to fade or develop some wear, it really starts to look unattractive.

So, how do you bring your deck back to life?  Simple, clean it and replenish the lost oil or tannin in the wood.  Now, how that’s accomplished is the subject we’re going to discuss. 

If your deck has been painted, none of this information is going to be relevant, because someone took the easy way out and simply painted the deck to avoid the routine maintenance for a couple years.  However, what you probably realize is just because you paint it with whatever wonder product; you’re probably going to be painting it again, very soon.

Start by broom cleaning leaves and debris from the deck. Next make sure to cut back scrubs, trees and plants that are in direct contact with the deck.  Any living object touching the deck will only increase moisture and wood rot. 

Determine what cleaner would be appropriate for your decking surface.  We use TSP or non-phosphate TSP (better for the environment), OxiClean (hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate), Wood Brighteners and Oxalic Acid.  Rinse off the deck to remove pollen and residue.  The use of a pressure washer will speed up the process, but make sure to keep the pressure down and away from the wood.  A pressure washer can damage wood and it may never recover.  We use a 40 degree fan and move in the direction of the wood grain.  After the deck is water clean, we then use a garden spray to apply cleaner and then scrub with a giant brush.  After 20 minutes or so of cleaning and soaking, pressure washing the surface clean is all that’s left. 

Wait a day or so and evaluate how the deck looks.  You may need to apply a brightener or other wood treatment to bring the right color out for your species of wood.  After you’re satisfied with the condition of the wood, wait a few days for the moisture to leave the wood and then it’s safe to install the product. 

I usually wash my deck on one weekend and then rinse it off on Thursday and stain it on Saturday.  This way the water that the wash pressure washed into the surface has had plenty of time to evaporate and escape.

I’m a big fan of replenishing the oil or tannin of the wood species you have on your deck.  Petroleum products just don’t last and most of the major wood stains sold at the lumber super markets don’t hold up and just look cheap.  Do some research and find a wood pulp oil or plant based stain that will deeply penetrate the cleaned wood and replenish the surface.

If you have the time and want a beautiful deck, feel free to send us some pictures of what you’re trying to accomplish and we can give you some help over the phone.

Here’s too beautiful decks and great barbeques….

Need to renew and bring life back to your deck? Call or email us TODAY!

 

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