Keeping your deck maintained is a must. It will prevent issues like rot, mold and mildew, warping, splitting and insect infestation. There are numerous different finishes to choose from but no matter which stain color you pick, maintenance is essential.
There are some things you can do to keep your wood deck looking preserved that don’t require a complete refinish, as mentioned in the followed post:
Wood Decks – Bob Vila
Seasonally, sweep away leaves, needles, twigs and branches. Remove debris buildup between boards; it can impede ventilation, causing moisture and standing water to remain on the surface and aid mildew growth.
Annually, clean thoroughly with deck detergent from a home center or hardware store. Mix according to label instructions and spray on, then let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Use a stiff brush to remove stubborn dirt and grime.
After cleaning, allow two to three days for drying. If you decide to refresh or change your color, apply stain followed by at least one coat of waterproof sealer.
See the full post here: Wood Decks – Bob Vila
To prepare your deck for staining, you first want to sand out any rough edges so the stain will look even and permeate the wood smoothly. Then it’s time to wash and scrub to remove any grease, dirt or existing finish that will prevent the penetration and durability of the new stain. Be careful if you use a pressure washer because it can damage the wood fibers.
You might need to use some type of soap mixture and a scrub brush to remove things like grease and algae. There are formulas that are specifically made for cleaning decks, but you can also make up your own mixture with sodium percarbonate (oxygen bleach), soap with degreaser, and warm water.
If your soap also has borate in it, that will help keep the algae away. Examples of products that contain borate are some laundry detergents like Tide and Whisk. You can also buy concentrated borate to spray on the wood that you dilute with water.
Letting the wood deck completely dry before you apply stain is essential, and it could take several days. This video demonstrates the prep work and finished product:
In the above video, they mix in the polyurethane with the deck stain (5 parts stain to 1 part polyurethane) and apply a couple coats, letting it dry thoroughly in between. I love the dark, rich colored stain that he used.
So, back to the question of when is the best time to stain your deck. Many people think that spring and summer are the optimal seasons for deck upkeep, although that might have more to do with nicer weather bringing on thoughts of summer barbecues and outdoor parties.
The problem with the spring season in Colorado is that it is when we normally get a lot of moisture, but humidity and stain don’t work well together. The hot summers in this state can cause the stain to evaporate before it soaks in, so you don’t get as good of coverage.
This post offers more tips on the right timing for applying deck stain:
It is ideal to stain your deck in a season that experiences mild temperatures. Extreme heat or sun can work against you when you are staining your deck. The direct sunlight can cause the deck to dry too quickly which will leave water marks. If the weather is forecasting for no rain, and you can expect the temperatures to be below 80 or 85 degrees Fahrenheit, make a plan to stain your deck. This will allow the weather to work with you opposed to against you.
Read the full post here: When Is the Best Time to Stain a Deck?
Always check the forecast for rain before staining the wood so you have a couple dry days to work with. Plan ahead to apply the stain during a time when there is some shade on the deck so that the surface temperature is between 50 and 90 degrees.