Step 5 - Staining the Deck
We will apply the stain/sealer by HAND BRUSHING the complete deck making sure extreme care is given by making sure no stain gets on anything but the deck. We typically only apply 1 coat to the verticals. For an extra charge customers like to have 2 coats applied to the floor and tops of rails for added protection, since once coat typically looks dry on the deck flooring. The products we typically use are TWP-100 series transparent stain, Olympic Semi-Transparent deck stain, and Sikkens Srd transparent stain. You want to stay off the deck for several hours and up to a day after the deck has been completed.
Rain - If rain occurs shortly after staining the deck will typically repel it. If the rain leaves rain marks we apply another light coat to the floor of the deck. Rain usually does not rinse off the stain, it usually will leave water marks. If rain is in the forecast, a lot of times we will come out and just do the verticals.
Frequently Asked Questions.
When do you come back to put the furniture back on the deck?
We don't put furniture back on decks. The deck stain is still wet when we finish. It is the homeowners responsibility to put the furniture back.
Do you use oxgenated bleach on decks?
We only use oxgenated bleach on uncapped composite decks to help control the mold spores. You do not want to use oxgenated bleach on wood, it destroyes the lingin fibers that hold the wood together. We use safe biogedragable chemicals formulated
for the wood and a brightener that rebalances the PH in the wood. Any form of bleach is very damaging to the wood.
Do you carry Insurance?
Yes, all of our employees are covered. We carry workman's compensation and 1 million in liability insurance. Ask us for our certificate when you hire us and we can fax or email you a copy.
I just built a new deck does it need to be power washed?
Yes, even new decks need to be cleaned. The product we use is mill glaze away by Bio-Wash. When new boards are planed at the mill it compresses the fibers and leaves a glaze on them not allowing them to accept a sufficient amount of stain. New cedar decks will also need to be sanded after they are washed, so the stain can spread evenly.
It rained this morning, can my deck be sealed today?
Yes, when the temperature is over 70 degrees and in the sun it only takes a few hours for the deck to dry out. The stain companies (for liability purposes) want the deck to stay dry for 2 days before sealing and 5 days after sealing. In Michigan we all know that it is rare that it not rain for 7 days.
Do you spray your stain?
No, all of our stain is hand brushed, even the floor. The exceptions are gazebo ceiling/roofs, fences, and Clear sealers.
When can I use the deck?
We recommend that you put the furniture back on the deck that evening or the next morning. You can usually walk on the deck a few hours after is has been sealed.
How long do I wait to stain or seal a new deck?
Each stain manufacturer has different waiting periods, so you will get different answers from everyone. Olympic says it can be sealed immediately, while TWP would like 60 days. Supreme Deck recommends you wait at least 30 days for any sealer, but no longer than 3-4 months. We hear many deck builders recommend to let the wood season for a year, this is not a good idea for a new deck. They have chemicals now to open up the wood so it can accept more stain.
Why are there ring marks on the deck?
The marks are from plant pots and door mats, etc. Since these items are rarely moved they do not receive the same amount of weather as the rest of the deck. Therefore, they usually leave different marks.
Do you need to do the underside of the deck?
It is personal preference. We can clean it for you and clear seal it. Most people just clean it though. The underside does not weather like the floor does because it is shielded from the elements.
Why does my Trex deck have spots?
Even composite deck need to be maintained. In the fine print most companies say their products are low maintenance. A light pressure wash and a composite deck cleaner will remove the spots for 1-2 years. Unfortunately, They will come back again unless the deck is sealed with a composite sealer.
Do you schedule your jobs so we can remove the furniture?
We try not to schedule the jobs unless the water supply is in the garage. It is extremely difficult to schedule around Michigan weather. We will remove the necessary furniture as needed to start the job; however we do not put it back on. If you would like us to make a separate trip back to put furniture back on the deck when the stain is dry, there will be a trip charge of $75-$125.
Do you call prior to coming to start the deck?
Since we don't collect deposits we usually do not call prior to starting your job. Since the job is performed outside, and we have everything we need, we don't need anyone to be home. Most of our customers are out at work and we find most are not home anyway.
Can you give me a quote over the phone?
A professional deck care company should not be quoting over the phone with out seeing the job for the first time. Most customers do not know what the previous coating was, how many coats, height of deck is over the ground, amount of rails on the deck, or the exact square footage. There are several things that affects the price, we will come out for NO CHARGE and provide you with a written quote.
Why is your bid more than the other guy?
You need to be careful of fly by night and start up companies that buy a power washer from Home Depot and think they can restore decks. There is a lot more to restoring decks than slapping a coat of stain on them. Companies that do decks on the side can only compete on cost. Most times they end up cutting materials, spray the stain, quote prices over the phone, do not provide written estimates, or even carry insurance. Be careful of companies advertising deck washing for $99, upon completion the price is always more. Furthermore, they usually use high pressure to grind on the wood to remove any existing coatings, instead of using chemicals the right way. This can easily chew up the wood, destroy your deck, and end up costing more in the long run. We are priced to be competitive with quality deck care companies with a history, not start up businesses without experience. Since 1991, we have serviced over 20,000 customers and know how to do decks the right way. We strive for your repeat business.
Can I provide you with the product?
In our quote we will provide all the products that are needed to complete your job. We only like to use top rated sealers and stains. Over the years we have used almost all the popular products on the market and have found pros and cons with each. Most of the products found by homeowners are hard to spread, dry too fast, are film building, and are not contractor friendly.
Why didn't my deck hold up after a year?
There are several reasons why deck sealers and stains do not hold up. The most common is that the deck was not prepped right. Anytime a finish is applied all of the previous coating must be removed. If it was not all removed the new coating will not penetrate all the way into the wood. Another reason is that an inferior product was used. Typically from Home Depot, Lowes, and other high volume box stores. They carry products for novice users and don't carry the high quality oil products necessary to protect your deck. The last reason is that the stain was probably sprayed, which usually comes out uneven on the flooring.
How long can I expect my deck to last?
You can expect your deck to last 2-3 years on the rails and 18-24 months on the floor with one coat. Typically with 2 coats to the floor you can get closer to the 24 month range. Most customers maintain their deck on a bi-yearly basis.
I bought a new house a I would like to do it myself
You are a new property owner that is preparing to stain your deck for the first time since you purchased your home. The problem now lies in the fact that the previous owner has already stained the deck with a color that is just awful in your opinion.
The first step in this process is the need to remove all of the existing deck stain. In order to do this, you have 3 choices for stripping the existing deck stain.
1. Your first and probably the worst choice is to use the power of your pressure washer to remove the deck stain. This is the worst choice because it damages the wood and will cause you to have to sand endlessly to repair the damage or may even require the replacement of some of the damaged wood. This is the number one mistake homeowners make.
2. Your second choice for removing the deck stain is to sand and sand and sand some more. You get the picture, this will require quite a bit of time to complete the deck stain removal. Not to mention all the areas that you can not reach with your sander because it does not fit.
3. The third option-the best option- for deck stain removal is to use a chemical stripper to remove the deck stain. Not only does it make it easier to remove the deck stain, it also helps to prevent the damage from using too much pressure.
When choosing your product for stripping the deck stain, be sure to check the label of the product for the active ingredients. Do NOT use a product that is labeled as a & Deck cleaner and brightener because all you are really purchasing is bleach. Look at the active ingredients and if is says that the active ingredient is & sodium hypochlorite; then what you have is bleach. This will not remove the previous finish from your deck. What you need to look for is the active ingredient & sodium hydroxide, otherwise known as soda ash or caustic soda.
To purchase deck cleaning chemicals and stain click on our store link below:
If you would like to purchase TWP, TWP 1500, Olympic, Duckback Superdeck, Penofin, Rymar, and Messmer's stains, visit The Stain Depot for low contractor prices on all deck maintenance materials.