Here at the House Painter in Albany we offer professional fence and deck staining and sealing services. Once you spend money and energy designing your dream deck it pays to protect it.
Protecting your deck with a high-quality deck stain is the easiest way to guarantee a lifetime of enjoyment and minimal repairs from the harsh elements in Albany NY and surrounding towns. Not all deck stains are created equal. there are several important things we keep in mind to help you select a stain that will safeguard your deck for years to come.
- The Top Two Causes of Deck Wear
Deck stain is a critical component to your deck, second only to the type of wood used to construct your deck . Selecting and applying the right kind of stain is necessary to avoid early signs of wear against the two main sources of weathering: direct sunlight and excessive moisture.
- Sunlight. Because your deck is constantly exposed to the sun, the light can slowly bleach away the wood’s pigment over time and dull its natural luster. Using a deck stain treated with UV protector can make a significant difference in guarding against the sun’s rays.
- Moisture. If your deck is left unprotected, rain, sleet, and snow can penetrate the wood fibers and cause rot and decay. Unlike house siding or fences, decks are horizontal, which means excess water can pool on the surface and accelerate the effects of weathering. Stains that form a film on top of the wood provide somewhat decent protection until the film starts to break down, leaving your deck vulnerable. The best deck stains penetrate the wood fiber itself to create a strong, lasting bond.
So Many Stains to choose from…….
There are several options for choosing a deck stain, each with their own pros and cons. Appearance, protection, maintenance, and climate are the most important things to keep in mind, as each stain type offers distinct benefits.
- Transparent: Because theyhighlit the natural colors of the wood, transparent deck stains look great when applied properly. However, since there are no additional pigments added, this type of deck stain provides the least protection against the sun and will require frequent coatings to prevent the wood’s color from fading.
- Semi-transparent: Semi-transparent deck stains offer great protection while letting the full grain of the wood shine through. The “semi” in semi-transparent refers to the UV-blocking tint that’s added, affording protection against sun exposure. These stains are easy to maintain and simple to clean.
- Solid or opaque: These deck stains can be compared to paint, meaning they’ll completely cover up the natural appearance of your wood. If you want your deck to match the color of your house, or if you’re going for a different look, this may be an option. Solid deck stains have good protection against UV rays, they are also the most susceptible to peeling.
The Secret is in the Base
Once you’ve chosen the transparency you want, you’ll also want to consider what the stain is made from.
- Water-based stains: Water-based deck stains are environmentally sound, but they tend to have unpredictable rates of absorption into the wood. This can lead to uneven wear, possibly even requiring wood replacement after a few years.
- Natural oil-based stains: Natural oils have deeper rates of penetration into wood than any other kind of stain. Instead of forming a semi-protective surface film like paint, natural oil-based stains sink deep into the wood for increased bonding and strengthening. Because of the tough bond they create, natural oil-based stains can go longer between re-applications.