What You Should Know About Deck Refinishing
Few outdoor additions to a home are more multi-purpose and have more potential than a great wooden deck. From hosting barbecues to just having a shady spot to sit and sip a drink, it’s always nice having a deck attached to your house.
However, wooden decks take a lot of abuse from usage and the weather, and they won’t last forever. Periodic deck refinishing can help protect your deck, keep it looking nice, and extend the value of your investment for years to come.
So in this article, we want to talk about why deck refinishing is so important, and how to know when it’s time for more finish.
The Benefits of Deck Refinishing
There are three big reasons to put a coat of finish on a deck.
1 – Sealing and weather protection
The main purpose of a deck finish is to protect it from the elements. The finish is water-proof, and will greatly slow down the effects of water damage on the deck. Most finishes also protect against UV rays from the sun, which could otherwise damage the colors on the deck. A clear finish can even preserve the natural look of the wood.
2 – Staining
Darker finishes are also available, which can be used to stain the deck. Staining dials up the contrast, so to speak, emphasizing the colors while also making the natural grain of the wood more prominent. This is excellent if you’re looking for a more natural look, which is still more eye-catching than the true color of the wood.
3 – An alternative to paint
Wooden decks should not be painted, as the paint will quickly become damaged from environmental exposure. Instead, you should look for a solid-colored finish that can have much the same effect as paint, but without leaving it vulnerable to wind, rain, and snow.
Signs That You Need A New Deck Finish
Even a good finishing job will need to be redone every 2-3 years. This is unfortunate, but it’s just the reality when your deck is exposed to the elements around-the-clock. So how do you know it’s time for a new coat of finish?
1 – Repairing damage to the deck
If you’re doing any kind of significant repairs to your deck, such as replacing cracked boards or getting rid of rotten spots, it’s going to need a full coat of finish at the end of the project. This ensures your repairs stick and hold together for years to come.
2 – Rusting fixtures
Take a look at the metal bits of your deck from time to time, including the nails and the reinforced joints. If you ever see rust, that’s a clear sign that the finish is no longer doing its job. Don’t forget to replace the rusted components first, or else they could undermine your deck’s construction.
3 – The water test
If you are uncertain whether your finish is still doing its job, there is an easy test. Get a cup of water, and pour out small amounts on a few different places on the deck. Then wait ten minutes. If all the water is still pooled on the surface, your finish is fine. However, if the water has been absorbed or has seeped into the deck cracks, the finish is too weak to protect your deck.
When And How To Refinish Your Deck
By far the best time for a deck refinishing is during the dry months, roughly from May to September. Too much moisture can prevent finish from properly sticking to the wood, and a rainstorm during the drying process can ruin the job. So you want it as hot and dry as possible, for best results.
This also means that we strongly recommend deck owners to inspect their deck every year in August, or thereabouts. If there are problems with your deck’s finish, you definitely want to take care of them before the weather turns cold and damp. Otherwise, the ice and snow could do a lot of damage, before you have another opportunity to do repairs or refinishing. You may also want to do another inspection in the spring, after everything thaws, to make sure that the winter weather hasn’t done any damage.
While you can do the refinishing yourself, it’s better to hire professional deck refinishing services. They have the tools necessary to cleanly strip off the previous coat of finish, as well as repair any underlying damage before laying down the new coat of finish. This will keep your deck looking great for longer, and can significantly extend its overall lifespan.
C.E.T. Painting is your choice for top-quality deck repairs, refurbishment, and refinishing in Westchester County. Since 2004, we’ve prided ourselves on complete customer satisfaction, and have been trusted with homes big and small across the region.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation on your deck refinishing or other repairs!