Home maintenance tasks are always necessary and rarely fun. Cedar decking requires regular maintenance, like most other parts of your home. Indeed, because moisture and sunlight can cause cracking, warping and fading, you should regularly reapply stain to your decking materials. Portland typically enjoys dry, warm autumn weather – the perfect conditions for staining cedar decking.
Here are a few reasons why we recommend fall as a wonderful time to re-stain your cedar deck:
Portland’s winter rains haven’t yet arrived.
Pacific Northwest weather patterns are highly predictable. You can bet we’ll have several months of wet weather during the winter. Don’t wait until the rains arrive to stain your decking materials, Portland homeowners. Deck stain will not stick properly in wet conditions.
Your deck furniture is out of the way.
Fall brings cooler temperatures, so you’re probably already spending less time on your cedar decking. September and October are natural months for cleaning and storing patio furniture. Once you have a nice clear cedar deck, Portland denizens, why not go ahead and take care of that deck maintenance? You’ll thank yourself in the spring.
Plenty of time for your deck to dry.
As far as cedar decking maintenance goes, the most crucial characteristic of Portland’s autumn weather is that it usually includes dry spells. Depending on how long it’s been since you applied stain, you may need to wash your cedar decking using a pressure washer or specially made deck cleaner. Then, you will need to let the deck dry completely before applying stain. The same rule applies to staining decking materials; Portland homeowners should leave time for deck stain dry completely before the winter rains arrive. Fall is the perfect time for staining a deck because it is typically dry.
There are many options for deck stains. If you’re environmentally minded, you may want to choose a water-based stain. Keep in mind, however, that water-based deck stains cannot stand up to the weather as well as oil-based stains, so they must be reapplied more frequently. Oil-based stains are more effective because they actually penetrate cedar decking, whereas exterior paint and water-based stains simply create a sealed surface for decking materials.
Portland residents will also want to consider the different tints that are available for a cedar deck. Portland certainly isn’t the sunniest place in the country, but it still sees a few months of dry, hot, sunshiny weather, which can cause cedar decking to fade. Paint or solid deck stains provide the most protection from UV rays, but they are also the most likely to peel. Transparent stains allow the natural color of the wood to shine through, but they must be reapplied at least once a year. Semi-transparent stains are a good compromise between these two options; they contain a UV-blocking tint that will protect your cedar deck, Portland residents.
Whichever stain you choose, once you’re out on the cedar decking, enjoying the autumn sunshine while you work, you may find you actually enjoy maintaining your cedar deck!
[ photo by: alex_ford ]