If you have a deck, they can be some of the worst parts of a home to maintain for painters and homeowners alike. They are constantly exposed to the sun, rain, dirt, snow, and rocks. If you live in the greater Cleveland area, you know we are used to all weather conditions. Sometimes even on the same day!
There are many different types and brands of stain products on deck. They vary from solid color stains to transparent to semi-trans colors. Some large coating companies over the years have promoted “restoring or resurfacing” products.
There is not one color with transparent staining; it just stains the wood to different tones and brings out the other shades. Staining a deck using these products can produce many different shades of the shadow of color you choose. Every piece of wood is separate; some types are more than others. It is important to remember this when choosing a stain.
While usually better than waterproof wood, the semi-transparent stain doesn’t last as long as a solid color or paint. They soak into the wood, so they are thinner. They don’t create a paint film barrier with a slick surface to protect the wood.
Semi-transparent and transparent stains are mainly made to seal and protect the wood from getting wet. With these types of colors, they are very thin, like water. They are made to soak the wood and preserve its strength and integrity. These stains are more readily available in oil-based versions, which can be hard to work with.
Many water-based versions work well also. The downfall with some of these coatings is they need to be re-applied sooner than solid color stains. Thinner and not forming a surface film like paint does not last as long. It would help if you recoated these types every two years or once it is no longer waterproof. If water beads over the entire surface, you are still suitable for a while.
Most decks we come across are stained with a solid color similar to paint. Concrete color stains are the most commonly used for a few reasons. You can choose just about any color since it is a solid stain. It’s similar to paint. Closing to a painted surface will do cleaning and maintaining the deck easier. While paint can peel off any surface, eventually, it creates a barrier between the wood and the elements.
Like paint, the surface film will protect the wood because it is thicker, but it doesn’t soak into the wood as much. It is also better to do light coats, so you get more soaking in for a stronger bond. Soaking in primarily applies to new wood on decks that haven’t been stained. Why the paint would peel is caused by many different reasons. With decks, most of your problems can come from water issues.
Pro Tip – make sure water isn’t beading up on the surface of your deck. This means it is not ready to soak in any stain, so the product will likely fail.
A few different coatings over the years have been failures and have had lawsuits. One type was sold as a super thick coat to make your deck surface look brand new and last for years. Like many things in life, not everything holds up to its promises. When they fail and crack and begin letting water in, these thick coatings can also allow water to get underneath them and rapidly rots the wood of your deck. They are made to go on up to 1/16 of an inch thick.
Now, this might sound good to some people as thicker is better? It may work in some climates, but our weather varies greatly here in Cleveland. I imagine the temperature changes would have something to do with it besides the rain and snow pummeling onto the deck.
When your deck isn’t properly maintained, the wood can dry out and start to crack. Decks can rot quickly if they get wet too often and there is not enough sun to dry them out. Regular coatings prevent this to protect the wood. There are many issues homeowners in the Cleveland area can have with decks. Below are some of the most common reasons. They are also expressly excluded from every painting warranty I have ever reviewed.
If you are experiencing any of the issues mentioned above or want to have your deck professionally stained, contact the Picky Painters today. We can help ensure your deck is protected correctly and stays looking new with our professional coatings.