Restore a Deck
When to Restore a Deck
Over time we gradually adapt to changes. In the case of wood decks, its color, strength, and overall appeal starts to fade. Most people become oblivious to it, until friends and family are coming over. If not cared for properly wood can fade and weaken over time. Actually, if a deck is installed without staining and sealing it, you will notice a significant difference within the first month or two! If you have a deck stained and sealed from the start, you will notice a drop in quality in about a year. People begin wondering at this point on how to restore a deck to like-new condition.
Hire a Professional
Making a deck look like new again can greatly improve the image of a house. If someone is planning on increasing their home’s value a little bit, this is a great ice-breaker. Most people love when a new home has a deck. Don’t turn them off with a run-down version of it! To get the most out of a restoration, it’s a great idea to hire a professional. A decking contractor has experience and knowledge of how to keep a deck in its prime-time the longest. This way you don’t have to perform this process more times than necessary.
Steps to Restore a Deck
Step 1 – Scrubbing the Deck
The first step of restoring a deck is to prepare it for staining. Before any staining, the deck should be scrubbed clean. If the deck still has stain on it, it must be removed. We will often use a stain stripper for removing the stain. After the deck has been cleared of any staining and has been cleaned, it’s time to stain and seal the deck.
Step 2 – Staining the Deck
After scrubbing, decks commonly look pretty naked. We need to cover it up with some nice deck staining and a sealant. Choosing a stain color is up to the homeowner, but Redwood has always been a very popular color. Deck staining is a great way to protect a deck from Mother Nature and general wear and tear of use. After you stain your deck, it’s time to seal it. A deck sealant is the best way to protect a deck from water damage. Choose the driest time of year in your area to do this part. We do not want a deck to be ruined because it rained before the deck finishes drying.
Step 3 – Enjoying Your Restored Deck
When all is said and done, we’re left with a beautiful new deck that draws attention. The deck becomes the centerpiece of conversations. Now all that’s left is to grab some furniture and use it at will. Now that’s how you restore a deck!
Best Time to Stain a Deck
Finding the best time to stain a deck is like selling stocks, and not just because they start with an “s”. Both of them require good timing. With bad timing, you could be better off throwing your money into a wishing-well and hoping for a pretty deck. Most people also have the theory that staining is something that can be done year-round. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The most important thing you need to know about deck staining is that timing matters. Timing is key in terms of weather circumstances. Those of you in a hot southern state such as Florida are most likely warm year round. If you wanted to, you could stain year-round. Your weather is more or less the same. As long as it isn’t raining you can stain. For the rest of us, don’t choose the best weather for outdoor activities because not the best choice of weather conditions.
What Season is the Best Time to Stain a Deck?
What is the best time to stain a deck? Staining is really best done in the fall season because the weather is perfect for most places. If your weather is inconsistent with what we consider “fall time”, then pick the time of the year that more suits your area’s fall. For example, living in a snowy mountainous region wouldn’t be suitable for a deck staining in the Fall. Tt’s probably going to continue snowing significantly more now than if you did it in the summer time. Actually, if you live in a snowy mountain, it would be better to get a screened in porch than a deck… at the very least get a roof for your deck. For the rest of us, spring and summer time is the worst time to do this. Spring time is supposed to be when the rain comes through and the flowers bloom. The only piece we care about is the rain (not to be anti-flowers here). Rain means moisture, and moisture means a ruined deck. Even without the rain, the humidity alone has the potential to ruin your stain. Woods soak in a lot of moistures, making this the opposite of the best time to stain a deck.
The Drier the Better
I know what you’re thinking: “but it’s so cold the rest of the year!” I feel your pain, but as it turns out, September is not too cold for us, but just dry enough to be the best time to stain a deck properly. Really any time between August and October is an ideal time for staining your deck. If you know it’s going to rain this weekend, wait until a dry weekend rolls through (or the driest time for those that can’t escape the wrath of Mother Nature). Depending on your location, the time of year may change slightly. Not to sound like the fine print of a commercial, but for best results choose the driest time of year for your area.
Deck Down Time
Now that you’ve decided when to stain a deck, you want to know how long for stain to dry. You’re in luck! It’s about a day or two, depending on your weather. After the stain/sealant has dried, it’s time to enjoy your new gray deck! Wait, why is my deck gray? To prevent graying (which comes from the Sun shining on a deck without UV protection), use a sealant that has color and UV protection to keep your deck and home exterior looking it’s best. Without UV protection you will notice graying within 3 months of sealing. Finally, when is it time to re-stain? Unfortunately stain doesn’t last a lifetime. You can expect to re-stain your deck every couple of years.
Seek a Professional
There are a lot of things to know when it comes to deck cleaning, staining, and sealing. For this reason, you could save yourself the hassle of Googling the whole weekend. We both know what really happens when you plan on doing home improvement: you look forward to it, prepare for it, and then realize you don’t know how to do it. It is highly recommended, as with all home improvements, to consult or hire a professional. In this case, a local deck repair, deck sealing, or deck staining company would know about what, when, and how to seal a deck. After all, they live in the area and probably have a bit more experience in the field.
The winter was mild and March has been cold and windy with a slow start for pressure washing and exterior restoration companies. At Carlton Cleans we have been servicing prior customers this March when weather permitted. The picture is of a no pressure washer cleaning and recoat with Cabot ATO on IPE and Cedar. Both woods are good quality and contribute to residential curb appeal when maintained properly. The stained woods look nice in the snow.
Algae and mold will grow on a hard wood deck like any other surface around the exterior of your home when the environment is moist, warm and shady. When your hard wood deck is covered in algae or mold it gets slippery and unsafe. Carlton Cleans, LLC provides a scrub brush cleaning service followed by wood brightener on hard wood decks such as IPE. We do no use a pressure washer in cleaning hard wood decks. We will remove the unwanted organics restoring the wood to a clean natural state.
The service will not restore the wood to the deep wonderful color you saw when the wood was new. The surface color will still be changed from the sun and general out door environment but the algae and mold (green/black) will be removed. The deep colors you saw when the hard wood was new will come out when the wood is wet (after a rain but disappears when its dry) or when a translucent oil is applied. The oil will bring the color back full time for a few months, maybe up to 6 months if the wood is well seasoned. Due to the density of hard wood oil will not penetrate deep thus the short oiled life.
We recommend having regular cleanings to keep the deck safe and beautiful. Continual oiling exterior hard wood is not cost effective, however, if you are have many special occasions during the spring or summer than getting an oil treatment that year may be worth the expense. The pictures will look great on an oiled hard wood deck.
Carlton Cleans refinishes old peeling acrylic stains or paints. Carlton Cleans starts the prep process by brushing the deck with Safe Wash using elbow grease. After the deck is cleaned it is rinsed with a pressure washer. The deck is allowed to dry for at least 2 days than peeling acrylic pieces are scraped and in some cases feather with a sander. The dust is blown from the deck and repainting begins. All painting is done by hand using brush and rollers.
The wood deck, especially made from fabricated or composite wood, is an affordable option for homeowners. Wood planks or beams are used to construct walkways, stairways, and wraparound porches for houses built above the ground. For example, wood decking can provide a wraparound porch to cover the crawl space under the house.
According to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a wood deck should have a life expectancy of about 20 years. For wood decks located in dry areas, the lifetime of the wood deck may extend up to 25 years. In southern climates, the lifetime of the wood deck is considerably shorter (10 to 15 years). In the North, the lifetime of the wood deck is 20 to 30 years. If your home is located in Maryland or Virginia, therefore you should expect a life expectancy somewhere between 10 years and 20 years, but it will depend on the amount of humidity in your local climate.
Your wood deck’s long-term sustainability also has to do with the quality of the manufacturing process that was used to prepare the wood materials for the deck.
When you consider deck restoration, you may not feel qualified to estimate the condition of the wood deck. How many years of use have you gotten out of it? How much time have you spent cleaning, sealing, and restoring the deck to its original condition? Especially if you have taken over a home without this information, you can benefit from consulting a deck restoration expert. Your well-qualified Virginia deck restoration or Maryland deck restoration expert will provide an estimate so you know exactly what you will have to pay before agreeing to the job.
Power Washing Service and Deck Sealing
Caring for your brand new deck.
Should I use a power washing service? Having your deck properly cleaned and sealed is essential to its longevity. Cleaning and deck sealing should not be a one time thing; it needs to be done every couple of years. Most professional power washing service and deck cleaning companies will offer a deck maintenance program so that your wood deck looks good all the time and lasts for years to come. In this article we will answer some common questions home owners have pertaining to deck maintenance.
How soon can I have my new deck cleaned and deck sealing completed? Many people have heard that you should let your deck “dry out” for a year prior to having a power washing service clean and seal it. This is a myth. Truth be told, most of the damage is done to your deck in the first 6 months or so.
After 12 months the wood can be split and cracked from water damage and will have turned gray from the suns damaging UV rays. At this point it isn’t too late to have a power washing service clean and protect it. With a brand new deck sealing is better sooner than later. A professional deck restoration company can take moisture readings in the wood. They can let you know for sure when your deck is ready to be sealed. Usually within 1-3 days, depending on the climate and location of the deck, it will be ready for a proper cleaning and deck sealing.
Power Washing Service for an Old Deck
Is it possible to restore a deck that has aged? Depending on the situation an older deck can be brought back to life. As long as the boards aren’t too warped or rotted. Getting rid of all the gray dead wood fibers is not a problem. Some sanding and a power washing service clean may be necessary before it is sealed. Your deck contractor may offer a power washing service and deck restoration service.
Even if there is some structural damage a deck contractor could probably do some repairs for you before cleaning and applying deck sealing. A quality deck cleaning services and power washing service contractor should be able to make an assessment of your deck before attempting to restore it. That way you know what to expect.
DIY Deck Sealing
Can I clean and apply deck sealing on my own deck? It is possible for a do-it-yourselfer to restore their own deck. I recommend they have some knowledge of the chemicals used and experience in using a pressure washing unit and to hire a professional power washing service. Wood is very soft and when hit with too much water pressure it can easily be marked and scarred. Some people don’t realize the skill and knowledge that is required in restoring a deck properly.
Hire a Professional Deck Sealing and Power Washing Service
I don’t recommend letting anyone lacking the experience to touch your wooden deck. When a wooden deck is cleaned and sealed improperly it will only cost you more money to have it fixed and done right the next time.
Deck Sealing Without a Proper Deck Cleaning?
Can I just seal my deck without washing it? The answer to this question is NO!. Not if you want the sealer to penetrate properly and last. The number one reason a sealer fails is because the wood was not prepared properly. Even a very expensive sealer is not going to do its job unless the wood has been prepped correctly. That is why it is recommended to hire a power washing service in preparation for deck sealing. Special chemicals need to be used to remove dead fibers, dirt, mildew and other pollutants and it all has to be cleaned using low water pressure washing so the wood isn’t damaged. In some cases a deck sealer stripper is used to remove an old failing sealer, it is important to remove all traces of old sealers so the new sealer can adhere to the wood.
Compatible Deck Sealing
Most sealers will not adhere to each other and some sealers won’t even adhere to itself after a certain amount of time. Contractors using the proper stripping technique will depend heavily on their chemicals to do the work so the right amount of low pressure can be used.
Deck Cleaning and Stripping Process
After the cleaning or stripping process a neutralizing step is then needed. The reason for this is because the cleaner or stripper used is considered a caustic and will leave the wood with a high PH level. Deck sealing does not adhere well or properly in this situation. A neutralizer is sprayed on the wood to lower the PH and leave the wood more acidic so the deck sealing will protect. Done right, the deck sealing will last a couple years like expected.
Deck restoration and property maintenance is a wonderful service when done right. It saves you money by protecting your added living space. Understand that not all power washing service and patio cleaning companies have the proper knowledge. Just like any industry there are the unethical companies out there just trying to make a buck. So, be sure to ask the contractor what his methods and techniques are so you can get the deck sealing and power washing service you expect.
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Deck restoration will help you to maintain the investment you’ve made in your home. Your deck is an outdoor extension of your house, providing you the space to both relax and entertain friends. A knowledgeable Deck Cleaning Professional can restore your decks beauty, while applying a protective finish, which will more than double the lifetime of an untreated deck.
Replacing your deck may cost as much as twenty-times the amount of restoring an existing serviceable deck, and the longer you put off having your deck restoration, the more damage weather can do. Mother nature works day and night, 365 days per year, to destroy your decks integrity. The sun’s UV rays break down the fiber in the wood, leaving your deck vulnerable to further degeneration, even as the damp underside of your deck provides a near-perfect environment for mold, mildew, and fungi to quickly spread. So why wait until your deck loses it’s natural color, or begins to decay and fall apart – when treating it promptly can eliminate these problems?
Hiring a licensed/insured Deck Cleaning Specialist, guarantees the best results in maintaining your deck’s appeal and safety for many years to come. Their careful use of pressure washing equipment, along with scrub brushes and hard work; should give your deck a clean, new look. Then by using a preservation product such as high-end penetrating stain, formulated with non-drying oils; your deck should hold up to the harshest weather. Reapplication every 2-3 years is necessary to maintain maximum protection and beauty.