Answers to some of homeowners’ most frequently asked deck maintenance questions from The Deck Protection Experts:
Q: My deck is new. When should I seal it?
A: To test whether your deck is ready to be sealed, splash it with water. If the water penetrates the surface, it’s time to seal the wood. You should always clean your deck before sealing it to kill any mildew spores in the wood.
Q: I’ve heard conflicting information…Is chlorine bleach bad for my wooden deck?
A: Chlorine bleach is an effective cleaner for mildew — and little else. Products that are chlorine bleach-based have the chemical name sodium hypochlorite or calcium hypochlorite. Chlorine bleach-based products are not effective at all for removing surface debris and ground-in dirt. Bleaching a deck will not remove dirt, surface debris or the graying of the wood. Chlorine bleach tends to cause the deck to turn a silvery color. Chlorine bleach-based products are known to cause faster graying of the wood, and finishes tend not to last as long as they should.
Q: Why do I need to clean my deck with a cleaner before staining it?
A: Your deck is constantly exposed to the elements of nature as well as airborne dust and debris. Without a good washing, you would just be sealing in that dirt and debris. A good cleaner like DeckTechs PDC Premium Deck Cleaner will remove mildew, algae, and the graying of the wood (which washing with high-pressure water alone cannot). This prepares your deck for staining.
Q: What should I look for in a good deck maintenance contractor?
A: Some helpful hints when choosing a deck maintenance contractor:
- Check contractors’ ratings on sites like the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List.
- Be sure the company and its employees are fully insured, as DeckTechs is.
- Ask for references. Deck Techs has been serving the Greater Cincinnati Area since 1992 and is happy to provide references in your area.
- Ask questions about the products and processes to be used on your deck.
- Review all price estimates. Estimates that seem too high or too low should send up a “red flag”. Ensure you are comparing “apples to apples”.
- Be sure the contractor is professional, knowledgeable, prompt, and courteous.
- Beware of outrageous claims & promises. Follow the sound advice that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Q: Why do you apply only one coat of DeckTechs Premium Deck Finish (PDF) sealant / stain? Wouldn’t two coats be better?
A: A second coat of wood finish is neither necessary nor recommended. Because Deck Techs Premium Deck Finish (PDF) is a penetrating wood finish with a high solids content, only one coat is needed. A second coat would actually cause a buildup that would look shiny and feel tacky. This buildup would form a film that would eventually crack and blister. As a matter of fact, the first coat would begin to repel the second coat. If some shininess occurs, simply rub xylene (which is found in most paint and hardware stores) on the shiny area.