Untreated and unstained wood is susceptible to moisture damage and mold, mildew, and insect growth. Staining protects against these issues while highlighting the natural beauty of the wood grain.
To see if a deck is prepared for staining, lightly mist the surface with water. It accepts a fresh coating if the water absorbs rapidly.
Prevents Wood Rot
Wood rot can cause serious damage to your deck and your home. It’s caused by moisture and fungi that mix with the wood and create a porous surface. Staining the deck minimizes this problem by creating a protective seal over the wood.
It’s important to choose the right stain and to apply it correctly. It would help if you always used professional experience with this process. Before staining, deep clean the deck to remove mildew and dirt build-up. Testing the wood to see if it can absorb the stain is also a good idea. This can be done by dripping water on the wood and seeing if it beads up.
Once the stain is applied, you should limit access to your deck so that the stain can soak in. This can take up to 24 hours.
Prevents Water Damage
Water damage is one of the most damaging things that can happen to a deck. If left untreated, the wood can warp, crack, and splinter. Deck staining creates a barrier that helps to prevent this water damage.
Quality deck staining will also protect against fading and natural wear. Several types of stains are available, including semi-transparent and solid stains. These stains will change the underlying color of the wood but leave its grain pattern intact.
A deck may be stained. After sweeping and cleaning:
- Use a paint pad applicator or roller to deliver an even coat of stain to the entire surface area of the deck.
- Use long, even strokes to get the best results.
- Allow the stain to dry for 24 hours.
Prevents Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew grow on bare wood and thrive in damp, dark areas. If left unchecked, they can wreak havoc on your deck and home.
If you see a patch of mold or mildew, you must immediately scrub the area to remove it before staining. Then, if you have a choice, use a bleach solution with a higher percentage of chlorine. Otherwise, try a more environmentally friendly hydrogen peroxide spray.
You must also make sure the wood is completely dry before staining. This could take a week or more, depending on the time since your last pressure treatment, the weather conditions, and the general climate of your region.
Stain acts like a protective skin shielding wood from moisture and small particles. Without a stain, your deck could crack and warp. Untreated wood can grow mold or mildew and become home to wood-boring pests. It can also be damaged by harsh sunlight, which can bleach the color and cause fading.
Sunlight and rain wear down a stain, so it needs to be replaced regularly. The frequency depends on the type of stain, weather conditions, and climate. When you plan to stain, test the wood for proper absorbency by dropping a few drops of water on the surface. If the water beads, you must sand the deck and try again lightly. A dry deck is ideal for staining.
Prevents Damage to Your Home
When a wood deck is left untreated, water can seep in and cause wood rot. When a deck is stained, moisture is trapped, and the board’s natural grain pattern and appearance are preserved.
Staining protects your deck from insect infestation as well. Insects are prevented from making their way into the boards and eating away at them, which can cause the wood to rot and damage your home’s structure.
A professional exterior painting service will provide various stain options for your home’s outdoor wood surfaces. If you’re not ready for a full-on paint job, try a semi-transparent stain that adds a light tint but allows the wood’s natural color and grain pattern to shine through. This also offers weatherproofing and UV protection.