You're Probably Not Staining Your Wood Deck Enough. Here's Why

A wood deck can be a great addition to your home. Decks add extra living space for you and the family to enjoy time outdoors and are the perfect place to sip on some morning coffee before going about your day. However, just like the rest of your home, maintaining a wood deck and protecting it from the elements takes some work. To ensure that your deck doesn't rot or crumble from exposure to humid and wet weather, you have to seal it in some way (you don't want to accidentally find out what happens if you don't seal a wood deck) and one of the most popular ways to seal a deck is to stain it because it preserves that beautiful wood finish.

The problem with staining is that most people don't restain their deck enough because it can be hard to tell when that wood finish has started to wear down (unlike paint where you can see when it starts chipping). The general guideline is to restain wood decks once every two to three years. This is important to protect the wood from fading and developing growths of mold and mildew which can ruin the look and integrity of your deck.

Why you need to restain your deck so often

The reason you need to refinish your deck every two to three years is because that's how long the average deck stain will hold up against the elements. While some stains may last up to five years, most do not. If you aren't sure if your deck stain is still working, you can easily test it by pouring some water onto your deck. If the water is soaked up and absorbed by the wood, it means it's time to stain your deck again. If the water sits on top of your deck in beads, your deck stain is still going strong and you can wait a little longer.

However, it is important to not wait too long past the two or three-year mark because, although not restaining in time enough won't immediately ruin your deck, it can lead to bigger problems and more costly repairs down the road. While staining a deck is traditionally time-consuming and backbreaking work, you can make it much easier (and save your knees) by using a broom to paint your deck instead of a small paintbrush. Also, check out why winter is an ideal time to build a deck.