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Deck Preparation and Maintenance for New Deck Owners

Jun 13, 2008
Freshly cut grass, longer days and warmer temperatures mean summertime is quickly approaching. The time for cleaning up the deck and firing up the grill is upon us. However, harsh seasonal elements can wreak havoc on even well-maintained decks. Properly treated, your summertime hideaway can add value to your home as well as your family life.

Choosing Paint or Stain

The decision to paint or stain your deck is a very personal one. In some areas, you may be bound by a homeowners' association. Be sure to follow their guidelines for painting or you may find yourself paying fines or repainting. When making the decision to paint or stain your deck, take your everyday lifestyle into consideration.

* Do you have small children who may scuff it up? Do you have a child or teen who may skate or skateboard across it? Light colored paints shouldn't be considered if children regularly play on the deck.

* Do you have a pet that may scratch the finish? Stain is recommended if the family pet is allowed free reign on the deck.

* Is your deck covered? Most paints aren't as capable of withstanding the elements as stains can be.

For open-air decks or decks without protective shade, a stain with pigment is highly recommended. A stain without pigment lacks the ability to protect your new deck from harmful ultraviolet rays. Stains containing pigment act like a sun block for your deck, protecting it from cracking, drying and premature aging. Paint helps block harmful rays more easily, but often requires a protective coating to protect the paint itself from harsh weather. Be sure to read and follow the manufacturer's instructions and call them with any questions specific to their product.

Applying Stain to Your Deck

The very first step in applying stain or paint is to make sure your deck is clean. The entire surface must be free of oil, grease, dirt or anything else that may prevent stain or paint from looking its best. Cleaning the surface with a water hose will help remove loose particles, but using a cleaner will help ensure a nice, clean finish. The use of a wood cleaner and brightener will help bring out a nicer, brighter wood finish when using stain.

When your deck is clean and dry, you may begin staining or painting. Follow the manufacturer's instructions precisely for the best results. Take special care to apply the stain evenly over the entire surface. Uneven application may lead to doing the job over or using a darker stain to cover mistakes. Do not apply the stain in direct sunlight or if there is a chance of rain within the next 24 hours.

Protecting Your Deck's Appearance

The most important thing you can do is keep your deck clean. Many people make the mistake of using chlorine bleach to clean their deck. Chlorine bleach may actually harm your deck's new finish and cause it to look old and worn out before its time. Deck-specific cleaners are better for your deck and they are often inexpensive. Regular sweeping to remove dirt and dust particles is highly recommended. Occasional spraying with a water hose and medium water pressure also will help keep your deck clean.
About the Author
Learn more about TWP Products for wood decks or contact Shane Hester at WebFirstCreations for quality blog marketing .
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