As summer approaches, we’re spending a lot more time in the great outdoors. From backyard cookouts to kids running through the sprinkler, in these warm months, the outside of your home becomes just as important as the inside. And possibly no outdoor space sees more activity than our decks! However, the average deck receives very little tender loving care.

So how can you ensure your deck is in the best shape to make memories for years to come? All it takes is some regular upkeep by power washing and staining your deck on a consistent schedule. Staining your deck not only makes it look great, but the right stain will also waterproof it, keep it from warping, and protect it from the elements. Ready to tackle the job yourself? Here is a homeowner’s guide to the dos and don’ts of staining your deck.

The Do's and Don'ts of Staining Your Deck

DO

1. Check the weather first.

Make sure you power wash and stain your deck on a day where it’s not too hot, and the upcoming forecast is clear of rain. Too much harsh sunlight or wet conditions can compromise your results.

2. Clear your deck before getting started.

Remove all furniture and decor. Sand down any rough spots or splinters. Protect any nearby plants, and sweep away any dust or debris, which would leave you without a smooth finish.

3. Start with a wash to avoid imperfections.

A pressure wash is the best tool for this, but a hose can also be used. After washing, allow two days of drying time before applying the stain.

4. Choose the right stain for the job.

A transparent stain will allow the grain of your wood to show through. However, they do require more upkeep to keep your deck looking great. Solid stains last longer and are more durable, but the thicker paint type texture will cover the wood itself.

5. Hire a professional if you need help!

Just because you can do a job on your own doesn’t mean you should! If you get stuck or want to ensure professional results done right the first time, don’t’ be afraid to reach out for help. You can contact our ProTek team about a quote right here.

DON’T

1. Skip treating your deck for too long.

Plan to restain your deck every 1-3 years. Power washing can be done more often. By maintaining a consistent care schedule, you’ll keep your deck in the best condition possible.

2. Go for the cheapest option.

Choose a quality stain from your local home improvement store instead of going for the lowest cost. A quality stain will consistently repel water, keep your wood in the best condition, and prevent your deck from being tarnished by the sun.

3. Forget to protect your house.

Before you begin, always prep your space! Use painters tape to avoid getting stain on your house or any other structures or fixtures that also connect to your deck.

4. Don’t skip posts, railings, cracks, stairs, etc.

Avoid patchiness in your coverage! Be sure to apply stain in any cracks, railings, stairs, etc. Small brushes will come in handy for those hard to reach spots. Be sure to use long, even strokes where possible for a uniform finish.

Don’t rush the process.

When it comes to applying stain, slow and steady produces the best results. When the job is done, allow 24-48 hours of drying time before you use the deck again.

So there you have it! These quick tips will get you on your way to enjoying your deck all summer long.

Ready to wash and stain your deck? Our ProTek team is now serving homes in Middle Tennessee. Reach out for a consultation!

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