A well-built, attractive deck is a delightful addition to any home. A deck not only adds value, it also gives you a convenient gathering place to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with family and friends. Yet if your deck isn’t protected from the elements, it can become susceptible to water damage and break down much faster, leading to the need for premature replacement. To prevent this from happening and maintain the life of your deck, it’s important to stain and reseal it every three to four years. But what’s the most ideal time to do this?
How Weather Figures Into Deck Staining
Deck staining depends a lot upon the weather. The temperature and weather conditions have to be just right for optimal results. If you’re considering restaining your deck on your own, keep these key tips in mind.
- Avoid high temperatures. If you plan on staining your deck in the summer, be aware that the summer heat can be a problem. If temperatures rise and get too hot, the stain could dry too quickly, resulting in lap marks and uneven penetration. To avoid this issue, either choose a day that’s forecasted to be cooler and overcast, or start early enough in the day that you’ll be able to finish before it gets too hot.
- Avoid low temperatures. On the other end of the spectrum, temperatures that are too cold can negatively affect the staining process as well. If the temperature dips too low (below 32°F) before the stain completely dries, it can slow the curing time and stop stain from adhering and penetrating fully. When staining in the spring or fall, make sure the daytime temperature is forecasted to rise above 50°F.
- Watch out for the wind. Wind can be a problem when staining because it can blow debris like leaves and twigs onto your wet stain, leaving behind smudges and imprints that mar the surface of the deck.
- Don’t apply stain in direct sunlight. Whether it’s hot or cold, if you apply stain in direct sunlight, you run the risk of flash drying. This occurs when the stain dries too fast, which impedes penetration, gives the surface of the deck a splotchy, irregular appearance, and shortens its lifespan. For this reason, cloudy days are best for staining.
- Keep the rain away. Obviously you can’t apply stain when it’s raining, but even if it’s dry, it’s still important to keep an eye out for any rain that might be in the forecast. Choose a day that’s forecast to be free of moisture for at least the next 24 hours to prevent the stain from being washed off before it dries. High humidity can affect your deck staining as well. Remember that the higher the humidity is, the longer it will take for your deck to dry.
Need a Painting Pro?
If deck staining is on your honey-do list, the cooler days of fall are the perfect time to do it. Don’t think you’ll have time to do it this year? Call on the craftsmen at Handyman Connection! From deck staining to handyman deck repair and general home repair, we do it all. Give us a call today at 1-800-88-HANDY and fill us in on your home remodeling and repair needs.