Not only does your deck’s finish provide style, but it also provides essential protection against wood rot, insects, UV damage, moisture intrusion, and more. If you wait until the finish is in bad repair, the damage may have already been done. To better understand the refinishing process and proper maintenance, we sat down with our Estimator, Christophe, to best answer 8 of our most frequently asked deck questions. Tune in as we break down the when and why for deck refinishing maintenance.
We approach each project with a detailed process designed to turn dry grey wood to a like-new condition. The process starts with resetting all raised screws and/or nails so we don’t sand off the heads. Next we sand the deck to a like-new condition, removing all previous coats of stain. Where we stand apart from our competition is the acid wash. It sounds harsher than it really is. We use oxalic acid (the same chemical that makes kidney stones) to wash the deck, remove some leftover stain between the boards and in the screws, and to restore the PH of the wood to prepare the wood pores to receive stain. Last, we apply a full saturation coat of an oil-based wood-penetrating stain.
Another feature that sets us apart from our competitors is our maintenance program. In Central Oregon, the dramatic shift between the cold wet winters and hot dry summers causes extreme expansion and contraction of wood surfaces. On decks, this means any stain that builds on the surface will flake and delaminate. Unfortunately, it also means there are no real one-and-done applications that will offer long term protection. Our process uses a wood-penetrating stain that can flex with the wood. It does, however, dry out rather quickly and so requires a maintenance coat yearly or bi-yearly depending on the deck. We have more than 500 customers on our maintenance program, and they are all smitten with having their deck looking like new year after year.
Stain is more temperature sensitive than paint, so the deck staining season tends to be shorter than the paint season, particularly in heavily wooded areas. In Sunriver, for example, temperatures drop below freezing at night starting as early as mid September, and so we cannot stain decks later than that timeframe. In other areas, such as Redmond, dryer and warmer conditions allow us to work later in the season.
We also pay particularly close attention to pollen. Pine pollen in particular presents a significant challenge to deck staining. Every year, during the two to three weeks when the pine trees release their fury, we have to take additional precautions.
We can refinish most wood surfaces, including hardwoods like mahogany. Generally, the decks we cannot refinish have a type of product that does not allow for sanding. Any solid color stain with silica sand in it, such as the ‘restore’ products sold at big box stores, essentially ruins the deck. If we try to sand it off, the silica sand melts and gums up our sanders. If a deck has such a product on it, we recommend a replacement.
Size matters! Our estimators can give our customers an idea of timeframe on site once the estimate is completed.
Absolutely. We have a full service carpentry division that can complete deck repairs as needed. We can also evaluate a deck for replacement, if conditions warrant it.
The average lifespan of a deck in Central Oregon is 20-25 years. Once the substructure starts to fall apart, a replacement is imminent. We have specialized deck building teams that can tackle a rebuild. Every deck we build we want to make a 30 year deck. If a deck is too damaged to refinish, we recommend using the money that might have been spent on restoring it toward the replacement.
It takes 24-48 hours for stain to fully dry. We call our decks “barefoot friendly” because once they are done drying, they are smooth to the touch.
We do move furniture if needed!
Routine care is the way to go! Our team at Webfoot can perform annual inspections, catching rot, damage, and compromised finishes early. This maximizes your peace of mind and minimizes the need for larger-scale repair and restoration down the road.