“…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!…”
First, it needs a quality finish that is applied properly. There are three types of coatings. Clear finishes allow the natural beauty of the wood to show through, but the protection they offer is minimal as they allow the U.V. rays to penetrate. Semi transparent finishes, as the name implies, allow for some of the wood to show through, offer U.V. protection and are best for wear and tear.
Solid stains offer the most U.V. protection, are great for covering discolouration and other imperfections of the wood surface and offer unlimited colour options.
Colour and the look increasingly play a role in deciding what the finish choice of the deck will be.
Cleaning is the other important measure that has to be performed on a regular basis (at least twice a year but preferably more often). Using a biodegradeable mild detergent, applied with a long handled nylon brush is the recommended cleaning between staining. Pressure washing is not recomended unless the pressure is set very low. In that case a water hose can do almost the same thing.Lignin is the resin that bonds wood together. The sun’s ultraviolet rays constantly attack wood surfaces and eventually break down the lignin. As a result, dirt can get inside the wood between the fibers. Moisture from the snow and rain penetrate deep inside the wood, making it swell and then shrink when it dries. That will cause wood to split and eventually cracks develop. In addition to cracking problems, when moisture stays in the wood, mold and mildew are created.
Does your deck have pressure treated wood sold before 2003?
Many Toronto homes 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.
For Deck Staining in Toronto, please call 416 733-7767.
In Toronto the summers are short and humid and there is a small window of opportunity to finish a deck. For that reason booking your contractor ahead of time is a wise decision.