All decks require periodic maintenance to keep them looking great and to prevent rotting and deterioration. There is a dizzying array of products available for deck protection, leaving many people wondering , “should I use stain or sealer on my deck?” Each type of product has different advantages and characteristics, so the answer will be different for everyone. Here, I just want to give you a few basic differences to help you make a good choice of deck stain or sealer.
Do I Use Stain or Sealer on my Deck?
Here in New Jersey and Philadelphia, we have many hazards that attack our deck surfaces, including rain, snow, ice and even the sun! To protect against the first three, you need something that will waterproof your deck, preventing the moisture entry that will cause rot. A sealer can do this effectively, or a quality exterior stain. Sealing out moisture is definitely the most important part of protecting a deck here in the New Jersey area.
Protecting against the sun is more a matter of preference than need. Ultraviolet light will cause most kinds of wood to turn gray over time. If you wish to preserve the color of your wooden deck, you will want to use a tinted sealer or a stain. These will add color to the wood and provide UV protection. The darker the color you choose, the more UV rays will be blocked.
Whether you choose a stain or a sealer to protect your deck, there are several important items to remember:
– Always clean your deck thoroughly before staining or sealing.
– Check your deck yearly to see if it needs to be re-stained or re-sealed.
– Your choice of product is limited by what has been previously applied. For example, you can paint over stain, but you can’t stain over paint.
– Only apply stain or sealer to your deck when it is thoroughly dry (usually 2-3 days of consistently dry weather) and when rain is not expected for at least 12 hours.
– It is best to stain or seal your deck when the temperature is between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brennan’s Custom Painting provides professional deck care services to New Jersey, northern Delaware and Philadelphia. If you have any questions about pressure washing, sealing or staining your deck, please give us a call – we are happy to help! We offer free estimates, and we guarantee you will be pleased with our work.