Wooden decks require regular maintenance to help preserve its color, grain, and longevity. All year round, your deck is exposed to rain, snow, sleet, ice, and direct sunlight. It’s important to restain your deck to help prevent the impact that these elements may have on the wood. But as with staining or painting any surface, it’s important to take the necessary preparation and application procedures to ensure you get the protection and the look that you desire. Here are the top three reasons to stain your deck, and some helpful hints for prepping and staining:
- Prevent Sun Damage
Untreated and/or unsealed wood takes a lot of damage from the sun. Its color changes, its shape warps, and it dries out much faster than it would naturally, making it much more susceptible to cracks. Putting a high-quality stain, on your deck prevents the sun’s rays from penetrating the wood completely and ensures the deck’s longevity.
- Repels Moisture
Just like the exterior paint of your home, deck stain can help prevent moisture from soaking into the wood. Although stain doesn’t cover the wood in the same way that paint does, deck stain acts as a barrier between moisture and wood. Water-soaked wood can begin growing mold or mildew, and may also expand and grow soft, causing you to have to replace planks and repair the deck.
- Avoid Cracking
Many people fall victim to the false notion that sealing a deck with deck sealant will solve all potential wood issues, but cracking is one thing that sealants alone won’t help or prevent. Between the sun and the natural drying process, your exterior wood can easily become cracked. Using an oil-based stain will help keep necessary moisture in the wood while keeping excess water out, preventing both cracking and moisture buildup or warping.