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Your deck is a major part of your home. It's where you spend warm summer evenings relaxing with your family and weekends sharing a barbeque with your friends and neighbors. You want the material of your deck to last as long as possible and to weather summer storms as well as winter elements. The best way to protect your deck is to have it stained on a regular basis.
Staining your deck not only highlights the wood grain and improves its overall appearance, but it will also increase its lifespan by preventing rot and insect infestation. Deck staining will also prevent the wood from absorbing moisture, which can freeze causing costly damage. When it comes to choosing deck stain colors, there are plenty of options, from natural-looking clear wood stains to bold solid colors. While you're looking for one to suit your project, you should consider that a clear stain will bring out the wood grain, while a solid color will reveal very little of the woods natural color. Many homeowners leave their pressure-treated wood as is because they think that you can not apply stain to treatment. This is not the case. There are many different shades of stain that can complement the look of treated wood.
When to Re-stain Your Deck
Homeowners should re-stain their decks periodically. The lifespan of your deck stain will depend on several different factors including:
- The elements: direct sunlight is the biggest threat to your deck because it can cause the stain to dry out and weather much faster. Rain can also cause damage, especially if your deck is not treated. The wood can soak up the water and when the temperature cools it can freeze, causing cracks. With each season cycle, your deck can become a little weaker.
- Foot traffic: Once you have applied a good deck stain, typical use of your deck will not begin to show signs of wear for several months. Gradually, the stain will begin to wear as the small particles of dirt beneath peoples shoes rub on the decks surface like sandpaper.