(NC) - As the heat of the summer winds down to eventually give way to fall rains, it's the perfect time to start thinking about applying a stain to your deck to protect it against the oncoming punishment of our harsh Canadian winter.
Contrary to what many homeowners currently believe, experts say the late summer or early fall is the best time to apply a protective stain to your deck.
According to Philip Caron, technical trainer at Sico Paints, the late summer or fall is the ideal time for a stain application of your wood surfaces. "A lot of people are not aware that the spring is not the best time to apply stain to wood surfaces such as a wood deck," says Caron. "You have to give your surfaces the time to properly dry and recover from the excess humidity left by the ice and snow."
So to rejuvenate and protect your deck for this winter season, take advantage of a beautiful sunny fall afternoon and try these following helpful tips to give your deck a face-lift.
"The ultimate fine finish and durability of your staining project begins with the proper preparation of the surface," explains Caron.
For wood that requires routine maintenance
The first step is to clean the surface with an exterior wood restorer such as Formula 22, to eliminate loose grey wood fibres and stains caused by mildew, dust and moss. Let the solution work for about 15 minutes. Rinse the surface with a pressurized clean water jet. Let the surface dry for 2-3 dry sunny days. Sand the surface to remove any residue. If the wood is new it must be sanded to eliminate glazing from the planning process during manufacturing.
For wood that requires stripping beforehand
For wood previously stained, painted or varnished, strip the stained surface with the exterior remover Polyprep or Formula 44, a softer acting stripper especially formulated for exterior wood surfaces with stains that are deteriorating and already peeling. Rinse, then let dry and sand the surfaces. It is important to use 80 grade sandpaper as any grade lower will lead to poor results.
Sico's alkyd translucent exterior wood stain will take care of almost any and all of your exterior wood care needs. This stain is a beautifully effective product for several exterior applications.
"Gone are the days of buying different products to stain your shutters, balconies, decks and fences," says Caron. The multi-surface stain allows do-it-yourselfers the ability to complete almost all of their exterior wood staining projects simply and efficiently with one product.
Caron says the translucency of the stain's finish creates a very "trendy wet look" and highlights the beauty of the wood grain. "It adds unparalleled richness and depth to exterior wood, including popular and rich grains such as Cedar and Sequoia."
The stain, which is offered in 24 exquisite wood colours, also provides superior durability. "The specialty selected alkyd resins formula creates a water resistant micro-porous film that provides unequalled protection against weather and UV rays and makes it exceptionally resistant to cracking, peeling and fading," he explained.
More information on exterior wood staining is available at www.sico.ca/en-ca
Visit my home inspection website at www.electrospec.ca
Gil Strachan is a professional home inspector, representing Electrospec Home Inspection Services in east-central Ontario since 1994.