Maintaining a New Deck


Old 06-06-01, 05:41 AM
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I should have the deck done next week. How long should I wait before I stain it?? Also, I heard that to clean it use bleach instead of a deck cleaner, because it's cheaper and does a better job. Is this true??
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Old 06-07-01, 12:45 PM
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The wait before you stain issue has to do with Pressure treated lumber only. PT lumber is put into a chamber, the chamber is flooded with CCA (copper chormated arsenic), and then the container is pressurized to force the CCA into the wood. The amount of CCA and the length of time in the chamber produces different levels of protection from acceptable for constant ground contact (.040) to no ground contact. The wood is removed from the chamber and shipped to your store. The pt wood is typically heavy feeling because it is soaked through and through.

You need to let the wood dry to the point it will not cause the finish to be ruined from the excessive mositure. 8% to 12% moisture levels should be acceptable. There are moisture meters to give you the exact moisture content.

Your lumber will dry quicker as a deck than as a pile of lumber since typically 4 of the 6 sides are available to air. You will hear waiting periods from as short as a couple of weeks to months or even a year. A couple of weeks in Arizona would be very different from a couple of weeks in Oregon. When the lumber has dried out, then you can stain.

If you stain before the lumber has dried out, your finish will fail prematurely and you may get strange cupping and warping. A month or two of strong summer heat should dry out most lumber fine. If you have a wet season, give it more time.
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