Is It Time to Restain Your Deck?

Deck Painting

Is It Time to Restain Your Deck?

If you haven’t restained your deck in two to three years, it’s probably time! Here in Northern Virginia, it’s necessary to restain your deck every few years because they are exposed to the weather elements. As professional painting contractors, we advise our clients to assess their deck stain every year, with the expectation of needing to restain every two to three years.
Four factors determine how frequently restaining is needed:
      1. Frequency of usage
      2. How well stain was applied
      3. Exposure to weather elements
      4. Type and quality of stain product
Importance of Stain:
It’s crucial to maintain the integrity of a stained surface to avoid damage to the underlying material (which is usually a wood product). Stain protects in much the same way that paint does. It acts as a protective barrier between underlying material and elements like water and sunlight.
When the underlying surface is becomes exposed, you’re more likely to end up with wood rot or other damage. Then rather than just restaining the surface, repairs must be made before restaining. This will cost you more and take more time to address.
1) Type & Usage:
If your deck is a high-use or high-traffic area, you can expect a fair amount of wear and tear. That probably puts you on track to restain every two-three years. However, if you rarely use your deck, that helps reduce the need for staining. You can probably wait three to four years – assuming the deck isn’t taking a beating from the weather.
As with paint, the quality of the stain has a big influence on the life of the stain. We recommend using a high-quality exterior stain product appropriate for your outdoor space.
2) Application:
A professionally applied stain with proper preparation that includes thorough cleaning will likely maintain its integrity a bit longer. We suggest a professional power washing before staining. (Professional power washing can avoid damaging the surface of your deck.) So proper preparation and professional cleaning can buy you time before you need to restain your deck.
3) Weather Exposure:
Basically, an uncovered deck exposed to weather such as snow, sun, and rain is likely to have the stain wear down more quickly than a well-covered porch. But it’s important to note that any amount of sunlight, rain, snow, or ice can affect the integrity of the stained surface.
4) Quality & Type of Stain:
As we said earlier, quality matters. When working with an exterior surface such as a deck, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality product. Also, the type of product can affect the life of the stain.
        • Depending on weather exposure, a solid stain surface (looks more like a painted surface) is more likely to peel in under a year.
        • A semi-transparent stain is absorbed by the wood better and is likely to last longer.
        • A heavy, oil-based stain will last the longest on a horizontal surface compared to a water-based stain. It also provides the most natural stain appearance.
Home Works Painting can help you determine when it’s time to restain your deck. We also can assess your existing stain and guide you on appropriate stain selection.
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