Whether your deck is made of pressure-treated lumber, cedar, redwood, or teak, everything from the sun’s UV rays to rain and snow to simple everyday use creates wear and tear on the surface. Sooner or later it’ll need refinishing. Telltale signs that your deck needs a bit more attention than just a good scrubbing are: peeling; when water no longer beads on the surface; grey wood (an indication of dead wood fibers); and splintering (the wood is drying out).
As with almost any paint job, expect to spend most of your time prepping: A good strategy is to devote one weekend to cleaning and prepping, and the following weekend to applying the finish. No matter what the situation, time spent properly at this stage means the final finish will last longer and application will be quicker and easier.
Pro Tip: The best time to refinish a deck is in mid-to-late spring, early summer or early fall, when the surface temperature of the deck is above 50°F, but below 90°F, and when the humidity level is low to average. (If you can’t put your hand on the deck and leave it there without getting uncomfortable then it’s too hot.) Best times to work are in the late morning or late afternoon, when the surface is not in direct sunlight.
A thorough pressure wash is most likely needed. In addition, mildew and mold must be removed by bleach or other products designed for that purpose. Finally, sanding may be needed, as well as the replacement or repair of any wood severely affected by the elements.
By using an exterior stain or coating, you can keep your wood siding, fence or deck protected and looking its very best for a long time to come. If you have a deck or fence that is starting to look dull or run down, you may be able to save yourself money on a replacement and give it a face-lift instead. You’ll feel like you have a whole new deck or fence, and you’ll pay a fraction of the price. Coatings will help to lock in the stain or protect the natural wood. Coatings will protect against water damage and freezing, and they will keep the color looking vibrant longer.