To ensure the absolute best protection and the best appearance for your deck, it should be maintained on a yearly basis. Decks take a tremendous beating from the weather and will deteriorate rapidly without proper care. We recommend a yearly powerwash and the application of another coat of sealer to keep your deck at its best.
Certain sealers use paraffin wax as a protective ingredient. If the sealer used on your deck contains this wax, you will see water bead for a period of time after the sealer is applied. Other sealers use oils as their protective ingredients. Although decks sealed with an oil-based sealer will not bead water, they are fully protected from any damage that may be caused by water.
All the chemicals used to clean and brighten your deck are environmentally friendly and will not harm your plants, children or pets. The sealers, howerver, will kill plants if saturated. We will do our best to cover all plants and grass before sealing.
When wood has been weathered, it will have to be restored before it may be sealed. In our process, we first apply an environmentally safe cleaning chemical, then powerwash the deck. This removes all the gray discoloration caused by damaged wood fibers and restores the wood to almost its natural color. Our powerwashers are custom-designed for our company. They are low pressure and will not damage the wood surface. All decks, including new ones, should be cleaned before they are sealed. Once the deck has been powerwashed, we then apply a wood brightener to neutralize the cleaner and further restore the wood's natural color.
We recommend you let your deck dry for a minimum of four weeks after construction before we apply a penetrating sealer. The problem with new wood is that the grains are closed and the wood still contains natural chemicals called tannins and mill glaze. If left to nature, it would take 3-6 months for the grain to open and the natural chemicals to leach out. By using a combination of powerwashing and mill glaze remover, we can speed up this process.
Most sealers will protect your deck for 18 months to 2 years on the horizontal surfaces and 3 to 4 years on all vertical surfaces depending on use and weather exposure. Please ask us about the life expectancy of any particular brand.
When we use the term 'sealers' we are referring to a semi-transparent product designed to give your deck a warm, natural appeearance. Sealers allow the natural grain of the wood to show through the color. When sealing the wood, weathering, shade lines, sun exposure and wood structure greatly affect the color and evenness on the floor. We recommend using Total Wood Preservative (TWP) deck sealer. TWP is a synthetic oil based sealer that offers a long wear in Michigan weather. Solid base stains, on the other hand, are similar to paints and completely cover the wood surface. At Deck Detail, we only recommend using stains on the vertical surfaces of your deck. When stains are used on horizontal surfases, like the floor of a deck, cracking and peeling usually occur within one year. A popular look for decks today involves using stain on the railings and a sealer on the floor. The stain is usually tinted to match the trim of your house. We call this a two-tone deck.
All sealers and stains are applied according to the manufacturer's recommendations. They can be sprayed, brushed or rolled depending on the product and the specific deck. Some products require one coat and some require two. Please ask if you have questions regarding a particular product.
Most sealers need a minimum of 4-8 hours to dry, although this can vary depending on the weather and the condition of your deck. If it rains soon after we apply the sealer, look for water spots. These are lighter discolorations on the wood similar to water marks left on fine furniture. If your deck has water spots, please contact us immediately to have the sealer re-applied.
All work will be completed in a workmanlike manner according to standard practices. We guarantee our work for one year. We are certified by all major deck care product manufacturers. We carry full general liability and worker's compensation insurance.
Sealer colors are Natural, Cedar, Rustic and Two-tone. The pictures below are of cedar wood.