Deck maintenance, repairs, restoration, staining and sealing
Mile High Decks specializes in the following services for the Denver Metro area decks
The first step in our process is to clean off all remaining stain, moss, mildew and grime. We do this by spraying an environmentally friendly cleaner on the deck and let it do its thing. Next we rinse off the deck with a pressure washer. We are very gentle as we rinse the deck and rely on the cleaner to do the work rather than the pressure washer. The cleaner tends to darken the wood, which leads us to our next step of applying a brightener and rinsing that off as well. At this point we would point out any dry rot that may have come to our attention during the cleaning process
We return after the deck has had enough time to dry (this amount of time varies based on the exposure of the deck, current weather conditions and type of stain we will be using). We start by replacing any damaged boards and tapping in any loose nails. Next we do some light sanding. Between weathering and the cleaning process we’ve found that most decks need some degree of sanding. We pay special attention to the tops of handrails, benches and the floor. We understand how painful slivers can be. We then apply the first of two coats of a high quality wood stain.
After you apply the wood stain it is a two coat stain so after the first coat has dried completely we return to apply the second and final coat. Dry time varies depending on current weather conditions and exposure. As a general rule we recommend waiting 24 hours before using your newly restored deck.
New wood has what is called “mill glaze”. This occurs when the boards are milled and the heat of the saw draws the oils and resins to the surface of the board and seals the pores. This can make it difficult for any stain to penetrate. Over time these pores open, but the wood ages. To prepare the wood to accept the stain we lightly clean the wood to remove the mill glaze and open the pores.
New Deck Construction:
If you need new deck construction we recommend calling today. Dedicated professionals will give you the best quality work.
Staining Your Deck:
When a deck is stained with a proper sealer is does two things. First it replaces the oils or resins in the wood to protect it from the rain. Secondly it has some degree of pigmentation which acts as a sunscreen and keeps the wood from graying. The more pigmentation the more the UV protection. However, the more pigmentation a stain has the more it looks like paint.
PREPARE THE DECK SURFACE
Before staining your deck, be sure the wood is dry and free of contaminants. Stain that’s applied to damp surfaces won’t adhere well and can crack or peel.
Clean wood is important, too—clean the surface of mildew stains, dirt, debris and contaminants. To clean and prep the deck for staining, wash it with a good Wood Cleaner, rinse with clean water and let it dry for two to three days.
A FEW TIPS BEFORE YOU GET STARTED STAINING YOUR DECK
- Apply stain when air and wood surface temperatures are between 50°—90°F. Avoid applying in direct sunlight.
- Don’t apply stain if rain is in the forecast over the next 12—24 hours.
- Test a small area first and let it dry to make sure you’re pleased with the result.
- If you’re covering a large area and using multiple gallons, mix them together to make sure of color consistency.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT STAIN
Cabot offers a full range of high-quality wood stains, in a variety of colors and opacities. Here’s an overview:
Wood Toned & Clear Stain—These clear and lightly tinted stains are nearly transparent, so they allow the most wood grain and texture to show through.
Semi-Transparent—Lightly pigmented, these stains impart more color the surface than wood toner stains, while still letting you see the wood grain.
Semi-Solids—Our unique semi-solid/semi-opaque finish masks most of the wood grain, but allows you to see some of the wood texture.
Visit your local department store to find all of The different stains available to you or one of our service experts will refer you to one.
Solids—Choose these stains if you want a rich, vibrant opaque finish that completely hides the wood grain while allowing very little of the wood texture to show through. View solid colors.
HOW TO APPLY STAIN
- Natural bristle brushes are the best choice for effectively working the stain into the wood fibers and cells.
- Start by heavily coating the open end-grain of the boards. Then brush 2—3 boards at a time, from one end to the other in long, smooth strokes.
- To avoid “lap marks” make sure that the leading edge is kept wet and that you brush wet stain into wet stain.
- On new decks, apply only one coat of oil-based deck finishes.
- For composite decking—that’s decking made from recycled plastic materials and wood—follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Keep in mind more stain is not better. If you over-apply, stain may peel or crack when exposed to moisture, or produce a sticky surface which can prevent it from drying properly.
MAINTAIN YOUR STAIN
Remember, decks take a lot of abuse so you’ll need to reapply stain from time to time. Not sure whether it’s time to reapply stain? Here’s a rule of thumb: if the stain is still repelling water, it’s still performing. You may just need to clean the deck this season.