Periodic Maintenance and Staining will Protect your Deck for Many Years.
“…when it came time to stain my deck I was overwhelmed with the extent and difficulty of the task. Ecopainting did a superb job. My deck looks great!”
A residential painting customer from Oshawa.
A deck is a great addition to someone’s living space. It can increase the value of a property, but most importantly, it serves as a gathering place for friends and family. Being an outdoor structure, a deck is exposed to severe weather elements that can damage it structurally. A neglected deck can develop all kinds of problems including cracks, raised grain, mildew and severe wood deterioration. There are measures that can be taken to protect the deck surfaces and keep it looking good for many years to come. First, it needs a quality finish that is applied properly.
Basic Types of Stains as Defined by their Opacity
Clear or translucent finishes allow for the most natural beauty of the wood to show through. The better ones contain additives to protect against UV damage but translucent coatings offer the least protection. They should be re-applied, as a minimum, every two years.
Semi transparent stains, as the name implies, allow for some of the wood to show through, offer U.V. protection and are best for wear and tear. These need to be applied on new wood or wood that is stripped from any old finish. Some manufacturers offer a semi-solid version that is almost opaque but has a little transparency. You can get two or three years service from a well applied semi transparent coating.
Solid Stains resemble flat paint and contain a lot of pigment. As a result solids offer the most U.V. protection and are great for covering discolouration and other imperfections of the wood. Solid stains are a good choice after stripping an existing finish and the wood looks uneven. In fact, if you know you are using an opaque stain, complete stripping of the previous stain is not necessary. All failing coating should still be removed and prepped in a way that is similar to exterior painting prep. Solid stain can be tinted with any possible colour which helps with your exterior decorating decisions. If your prefer the rustic look of wood keep in mind that you need to achieve that with colour. Opaque stains will not allow the wood colour to show through but they are thin enough to show the texture.
Cleaning Your Deck
You can clean the dirt from your deck on a regular basis (at least twice a year but preferably more often). Use a biodegradable mild detergent and apply it with a long handled nylon brush. Be gentle so that you don’t damage the wood, especially at the edges. Pressure washing is not recommended unless the pressure is set very low. You are better off to use a water hose instead of a pressure washer for the rinsing. Pay close attention to the deck around the barbeque and clean any grease.
Water and moisture is the worst enemy of deck stains. Make sure the deck drains well by cleaning the space between the boards. Leaves and soil can be built up in there over time.
Does your Deck Have Pressure Treated Wood Sold Before 2003?
Some homes may still have pressure-treated wood that contains Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) on their decks and playground structures. CCA is a water-borne preservative containing arsenic, chromium and copper. It is used to protect wood against fungi, insects etc. In 2002, the Canadian Medical Association Journal noted that “High levels of ingested arsenic can be fatal, it may damage nerves, stomach, intestine and skin and is a known carcinogen. A Connecticut study found that soil samples taken from beneath CCA treated decks, contained on average 20 times more arsenic than control soil. That level was twice as high as the US Environmental Protection Agency found acceptable. If you have an existing structure made of CCA treated wood, other than replacing the wood, sealing it regularly with a penetrating oil based sealant is the next alternative. Sealants can reduce the amount of arsenic released by as much as 90%. The Healthy Building Network cautions that the wood should never be sanded and no deck washing products should be used. Elevated arsenic levels may exist in the soil and sand underneath the deck structure. Fencing or screening off areas underneath will prevent access by children and pets. In addition, planting a ground cover, like grass, will provide a barrier between the soil and human or animal contact.
Some Testimonials from our Deck Staining Customers
“Hope all is well and this hot weather hasn’t made working too bad for you and your crews. I haven’t had a chance to thank you for the deck work. It looks great and I love the colour. Your team did a wonderful job and were very professional and as I mentioned you had great customer service. We’ve had many compliments on how great it looks now.”
Rose D. (Pressure Washing in Don Mills). Rose’s deck was pressured washed and had most of the existing stain removed by power sanding. After examining the condition of the deck, the customer decided to use an oil based opaque stain from Benjamin Moore.
“This year, when it came time to refinish my deck, I was overwhelmed with the extent and difficulty of the task. Ecopainting stepped up to the job and did a superb job for a great price. My deck looks great! I will certainly call on Ecopainting again.”
Bruce T. (Deck Staining in Thornhill). Removing the existing but failing Sikkens finish was very difficult. We first used a chemical stripper that removed most of the finish. There were some areas that were very stubborn and needed to be sanded off. After neutralizing the surface and waiting for it to be dry, we applied new Cetol Deck Finish. This was an alkyd based translucent product that created a look resembling the look of finished furniture.
For Deck Staining in the GTA, call us at 416 733-7767 to schedule an appointment. Our summers in Toronto are short and humid. As a result, there is a small window of opportunity to finish a deck. We limit our availability to about 10 -15 decks every year. Scheduling your deck ahead of time is a wise decision.