How often do I need to clean and seal my deck?
To ensure the absolute best protection and the best appearance for your deck, it should be maintained on a yearly basis. Decks take a tremendous beating from the weather and will deteriorate rapidly without proper care. We recommend a yearly powerwash and the application of another coat of sealer to keep your deck at its best.
Why doesn't water bead?
Certain sealers use paraffin wax as a protective ingredient. If the sealer used on your deck contains this wax, you will see water bead for a period of time after the sealer is applied. Other sealers use oils as their protective ingredients. Although decks sealed with an oil-based sealer will not bead water, they are fully protected from any damage that may be caused by water. The best sealers contain both paraffin wax and oil.
Will the chemicals kill my plants?
All the chemicals used to clean and brighten your deck are environmentally friendly and will not harm your plants, children or pets. The sealers, however, will kill plants if saturated. It's best to cover all plants and grass before sealing.
How do you clean the deck?
When wood has been weathered, it will have to be restored before it may be sealed. In our process, we first apply an environmentally safe cleaning chemical, then powerwash the deck. This removes all the gray discoloration caused by damaged wood fibers, and restores the wood to almost its natural color. Our powerwashers are custom designed for our company. They are low pressure and will not damage the wood surface. All decks, including new ones, should be cleaned before they are sealed. Once the deck has been powerwashed, we then apply a wood brightener to neutralize the cleaner and further restore the wood's natural color.
How soon can I seal my new deck?
We recommend you let your deck dry for a minimum of four weeks after construction of your deck before we apply a penetrating sealer. The problem with new wood is that the grains are closed and the wood still contains natural chemicals called tannins and mill glaze. If left to nature, it would take 3-6 months for the grain to open and the natural chemicals to leach out. By using a combination of powerwashing and mill glaze remover, we can speed up this process.
How long will the sealer last?
Most sealers will protect your deck for 18 months to 2 years on the horizontal surfaces and 3 to 4 years on all vertical surfaces depending on use and weather exposure.
What is the difference between sealing and staining?
When we use the term 'sealers', we are referring to a semi-transparent product designed to give your deck a warm natural appearance. Sealers allow the natural grain of the wood to show through the color. When sealing the wood, weathering, shade lines, sun exposure and wood structure greatly affect the color and evenness of the sealer. It is not uncommon for there to be lighter and darker color variations on the floor. Olympic and Total Wood Preservative (TWP) are two of the sealers we recommend. Solid base stains, on the other hand, are similar to paints and completely cover the wood surface. We only recommend using stains on the vertical surfaces of your deck. When stains are used on horizontal surfaces, like the floor of a deck, cracking and peeling usually occur within one year. A popular look for decks today involves using a stain on the railings and a sealer on the floor. The stain is usually tinted to match the trim of your house. We call this a two-tone deck.
How do you apply the sealer?
All sealers and stains are applied according to the manufacturer recommendations. They can be sprayed, brushed or rolled depending on the product and the specific deck. Some products require one coat and some require two. Please ask if you have questions regarding a particular product.
What if it rains after you seal the deck?
Most sealers need a minimum of 4-8 hours to dry, although this can vary depending on the weather and the condition of your deck. If it rains soon after we apply the sealer, look for water spots. These are lighter discolorations on the wood similar to water marks left on fine furniture.