Need to protect my deck

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Old 07-30-14, 08:10 PM
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Need to protect my deck

Not sure if this should be in in the paint/finishing section, but it is for a deck so...

I just finished a deck at my new-ish house. I've built many a deck however I've never really been happy staining painting them. This new deck is built completely of pressure treated and I really do just want to leave it as bare wood, without stain....Not that I believe stain really protects wood that well anyhow...

I'm hoping to hear back with some suggestions on how to best protect my PT deck for a very long life, without significantly changing the finish.

I know products like Thompson's water seal are made to do this but I've never found it to have very long wear.

My summers get hot and winters cold and snowy.....Toronto, Canada and all....

Any suggestions on how I might make this deck not mine, but my son's problem long after I'm gone?
 
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Old 07-31-14, 04:21 AM
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TWS does a good job if you don't care if the deck turns grey BUT as you know it's short lived and needs to be reapplied every 6-12 months ..... and it's always best to clean the deck before applying or reapplying any stain/sealer.

You might want to consider a translucent or toner stain. They are almost clear but have a hint of color and last longer than clear sealers like TWS. Generally a semi-transparent stain will last longer than a translucent stain but whatever coating you apply to the deck will have to be redone on a regular basis [usually 2-4 yrs dependent on the environment and quality of the stain used]

Deck stains do more than just color the wood! The form a protective barrier between the raw wood and the elements. Generally if water still beads over the coating you still have good protection, if water soaks in - you need to clean and recoat.

PT wood will last a long time unprotected but will last a lot longer if it's kept clean and sealed.
 
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Old 07-31-14, 05:09 AM
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Short of using those composite material decks there is no one-time or long lasting protector available. The whole point of TWS or stains is to help retard the harsh UV affect of the sun. I think once or twice a year application is going to extremes but re-applying any type of protector will only be good for about a two year span depending on the environment.
 
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Old 07-31-14, 12:02 PM
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Thanks for the advice guys.

So if I understand correctly then, staining my deck every 2 or 3 years will protect my deck better than TWS? I really don't want to have to do it that often, nor do I like the oily deck that I'm left with.

I like this idea of a translucent stain. I wasn't specifically aware for such a thing but it makes sense to me that there would be a product that has "stain' properties, but without the pigment.

Can anyone recommend a good quality stain that will protect well, and still have minimal affect on the color?

Two other questions:

Is there a best time of year to apply this stuff?

As far as how well it will perform for protection - Is there any difference between rolling on vs using an airless sprayer? I have both options available.
 

Last edited by TorontoJoe; 07-31-14 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 07-31-14, 12:49 PM
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Whenever you spray a stain [or any coating over wood] it's best if you back roll/brush it, that works the stain into the wood instead of just letting it lay on top, gives better and longer lasting protection.

I've had good results using SWP's DeckScapes stains although Silkens, Cabot, SuperDeck and others have good reps. Sometimes coatings fair better/worse in one climate compared to another so it would be a good idea to check locally to see what is proven to work best in your area.

If TWS is still oily a day or two after it is applied, that means it was applied too heavy.
 
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Old 07-31-14, 03:06 PM
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Well - If I'm going to be back brushing or rolling anyhow, no use in using the sprayer. Just another thing to clean up

I'll check out the stains you recommended.

So, stain in the fall?
 
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Old 08-01-14, 04:29 AM
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If this is a new PT deck, the wood needs to dry out from the PT process before being stained. That can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months. It all depends on how wet it was when installed and the environment it's exposed to. Other than that, you can apply the stain anytime the weather conditions are favorable.
 
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Old 08-01-14, 07:25 AM
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Too late but you should have used composite materials. You and I are the same in that the maintenance of wood outside is not something we want to have on our to-do list but with actual wood there now, you will need to maintain it.
 
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Old 08-01-14, 12:59 PM
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I've lived in only 2 houses that had decks, both with wood decking planks. In the cumulative total of 8 years, I only had to stain one time. I think the biggest differences are quality of product used, and thoroughness of prep work performed before the stuff goes down.

And I would never use Thomson's Water Seal on any outdoor wood product, based on extensive research I did when looking for something suitable for treating DOT timber pedestrian bridges I was responsible for, back in my working days.
 
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Old 08-04-14, 03:48 AM
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olympic makes a good product - uncertain if you can find it in any apron/vest store, tho,,, we did some municipal work in augusta ( ga ) & the bid documents had spec'd the stuff,,, pricey as i recall but it was 8yrs ago & i drive by it each master's golf season,,, impo, any opaque latex stain is just another form of paint & paint is not traffic-resistant in any form
 
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Old 08-04-14, 03:59 AM
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any opaque latex stain is just another form of paint & paint is not traffic-resistant in any form
While solid latex stains do resemble a thin coat of paint, it's important to use a deck stain and not a siding stain. Although they may look the same a siding stain won't hold up to either the traffic or the increased exposure to the elements. While there is a big difference between some brands/lines of deck stains, there is no reason for a quality deck stain applied correctly to look good for several yrs, longer if the conditions are favorable.

Unless I'm mistaken, the big box stores carry both Olympic and Cabot deck stains but not big selection, just what they can get a low price.
 
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Old 08-04-14, 04:13 AM
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good morning, mark - thanks for chiming in,,, as you know we're not painters but have had to redo the atl deck several times - we do use sher-wms products but even their's is ( if nagzilla's on her game ) annual due to pedestrian traffic,,, i just shake my head as she won't allow product change & leave 1 of my guys here for a day
 
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Old 08-04-14, 08:30 PM
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Thanks all. Sorry for taking so long to get back. I was off to my father-in-law cottage for the long weekend and (thankfully) he has no internet access or cellular reception.

What he does have and what I helped him finish over the past couple of days is a 1400 sq ft cedar deck. I helped him finish up the railing but the decking has been down for a year. (he's retired and moves at an according pace) He stained with semi transparent last season and this stuff is largely worn off in spots. It looks bad and now he MUST do it again. (or rather I'm invited back to do it.) A neighbor was also over and we were discussing the matter. He's of the opinion that he will only ever use pressure treated and not finish it at all as if you do you'll "become a slave to your deck" like my father-in-law. He figures it's more desirable to just replace the decking every 10 or 12 years. (cant believe he gets that kind of life out of it near Bancroft, ON) True though that once you stain....you're going to have to keep staining.

It did give me one IDEA that I'd really like some opinions on....

Take a product like this: Cut N Seal | Cut N Seal Pro Guard Soft Green 946ml | Home Depot Canada (Cut-n-seal)

I used this stuff on all the cuts of my PT wood as the name implies.

OK

If this is supposed to preserve my ends...Then wouldn't it be a great deck preservative Something I could apply to the entire deck? If so it would not only protect the deck but leave me with a nice natural finish....No?

Also Mitch - Appreciate your take on composite. And you're quite right. Only thing is that I didn't want to use composite for the same reason I don't want a solid stain or paint...I want the look and feel of wood.
 
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Old 08-05-14, 03:45 AM
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Your link just brought up the HD website and not the product

Since that stuff is formulated to go on cut ends, I wonder if it would effectively soak into smooth wood. I don't know but I expect it wouldn't wear well against traffic, sanding moisture and UV rays.

There is a big difference in the quality of the different brands of deck stain, some last a lot longer than others. Siding stains look just like deck stains but will not hold up long on a deck.
 
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Old 08-05-14, 09:55 AM
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Sorry. This is the stuff: Cut-N-Seal

You are quite correct. I just visited their site and it says :

Cut-N-Seal is not recommended to replace pressure treatment.
Do not use to recoat pressure treated wood surfaces.

--
Seems clear that the two choices are 1)Stain and repeat as needed or 2) replace decking when it goes.

Cabot is on sale right now for $37 a gallon and it seems to have a good reputation so I think I'll be giving their transparent stuff a try. Apparently it doesn't filter uv quite as well but I think its a good trade off.

On the topic of ends. I noticed that some of the cedar decking I was working with over the weekend had some kind of wax rubbed into the ends. Anyone ever try sealing ends this way? Was it just regular paraffin wax?

I was even thinking I could rub some in to those nasty splits that develop vertically in the 4x4 posts as they dry....I hate those splits.
 

Last edited by TorontoJoe; 08-05-14 at 09:59 AM. Reason: Omission
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Old 08-05-14, 10:18 AM
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The vast majority of decks I've stained have been PT pine. I'm not sure what the wax is that sealed the ends but it might hinder the stain from adhering well
 
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Old 08-05-14, 10:31 AM
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Once again, very good insight. Thanks

I did that with glue once on a different type of project. Where it was left on the stain didn't penetrate and it looked awful. So much sanding to bring it back.

Maybe worthwhile if not staining but certainly not if a finish is going on.

Thanks for that.
 
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Old 08-05-14, 10:40 AM
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Ya, the glue seals the wood which makes it next to impossible for the wood to accept any stain. Glue is still useful when building stained woodwork but all the excess that gets on the face must be wiped or sanded off. The glue only needs to be on the ends where they meet, none where the finish goes.
 
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