Now that you’ve finally had your deck construction complete, you only need to apply the final finishing touches. But, there are some things that you need to note when it comes to deck finishing.
- Stain or sealant: which is best?
The most popular choice is deck staining. This is because stains highlight the natural beauty of wood, it soaks well into the wood, and they provide a variety of options such as:
- Solid stains are the most preferred since they last longer than the rest, but they are challenging to reapply.
- Transparent stains; this would require you to refinish the deck on an annual basis; it’s an easy-clean option.
- Semi-transparent; lasts longer than the transparent option but presents a challenge during cleaning.
- Semi-solid stains; lasts for 2 to 4 years, longer than the transparent stains but, they peel really quickly.
A different option is a sealant. Sealants also come in varied options; clear sealants help repel water, but they don’t protect against UV rays.
On the other hand, the pigmented sealant is better for protecting the wood deck against UV rays.
Today there’s the option of a combined stain with a sealant. You basically get the best of both worlds.
- Should I apply a deck finish right after construction?
Simple answer no.
A new deck should be allowed to weather for 6-12 months at least so that the raw wood is allowed to dry. The moisture in new wood would prevent the stain from soaking well into the wood grains.
In addition, when deck staining is done too soon, the moisture on the wood would definitely be locked in, which would quickly cause wood rot and decay.
So, unless your wood decking is a KDAT (kiln-dried after treatment), do not attempt to stain the wood right after construction.
- How about staining or sealing composite decking?
While composite decks are low maintenance, you may be wondering if applying a finish would help keep them in perfect condition.
The answer to this depends. Is it a Trex composite? If yes, no sealing or painting is needed.
If it’s a newer version of composite decking, the answer is no finishing. But if it’s a first-generation composite deck, staining or sealing can help restore the deck’s beauty.
Another thing to note is, while you can apply a stain or a sealant on your own, it’s best to hire deck services if you want to get it right the first time.
Deck Services in Midlothian, VA
At Childress Construction, we can assist you with your residential deck needs. Whether you need deck repair, finishing, or construction, we handle all deck-related issues.