How do I stain this deck properly.

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6 years ago I had my deck "professionally" stained. Within two years it looked like this.
http://www.frontiernet.net/~toller/deck.jpg
I cleaned it up and restained it myself. Within two years it looked like it did before. I cleaned it up more carefully and tried again. Same result.
It is on the northside of the house, in Rochester NY. There is a small overhang next to the house. The part next to the house is great, but the rest is horrible.
What can I do to make it last more than a year? I used Behr water based solid stain. I don't recall what was used 6 years ago, but I think it was the same material they used on the house.
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overhanging trees?
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Toller wrote:

Best bet is more sun and less moisture. You may be able to use some sort of moss control. The problem is not the finish, but the conditions where it is located. That is going to be a tough one. Maybe replace the wood with a man made material and do a lot of power washing?
--
Joseph Meehan

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I would think that ipe, no stain, and power washing would also work.
Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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There is about 1500sf of deck that we rarely use. I hate to think what it would cost to replace the decking.
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Toller wrote: ...

I fear I don't have a lot of personal experience with moss control. My girlfriend comes from moss country (West Washington State) but about all I have picked up is that it is an ongoing fight and they use materials I am not familiar with.
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Joseph Meehan

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A few observations:
Once you apply a solid stain to your deck, you can't just "clean it up" when it comes time to re-do the finish. You have to *strip* the old finish completely off before re-staining.

More sun might help get rid of the green stuff, but it will aggravate the peeling.
Solid stain works many wonders like hiding the ugliness of badly aged wood, but solid stain is notorious for peeling, especially on horizontal surfaces exposed to rain and sun.
I don't have any direct experience with it, but Tim Carver recommends a new product called DEFY which is epoxy-based and supposedly does not contain any ingredients which serve as nutrients for green growth like in your picture, and it is supposed to have excellent UV resistance.
Best best would be to completely strip the solid stain from your deck (not fun), let it dry thoroughly and then power-sand to get down to undamaged wood. Then stain it with high quality semi-transparent (not solid) stain (like perhaps DEFY).
NOT support
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pretty easily. I will see if I can find the Defy.
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No, you do not. I've restained my deck a few times in 20 years. Just did it again last summer and changed the color. All I did was clean it up.
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spray moss with bleach, wait awhile and hose off well
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I see several problems here that adds to the moss/ mold problem and unless corrected, will most likely continue until the deck completely rots out. The gap seams between the floor boards are too tight. I'm going to assume there is nothing only dirt under your deck and fully or partially closed up underneath. There is a vast heat differential above and below your deck. There is a haven for mold and fungus to grow under your deck and floor boards are always damp below because there isn't adequate air flow. There are shadows of trees or another structure on the deck, the amount of sun and time/directional exposure are also determining factors and is why it needs to be corrected. Several things I would do to fix this job: Take up the deck boards and power wash the under side of each board to get rid of the migrating mold as it is coming from underneath. White wash the boards with lime and a coarse brush. Power wash again several days later. Lay all boards out flat and dry-flip over to dry undersides. After drying, stain the undersides with a transparent color wood stain wash, it penetrates deep into the wood and will get darker after each coat, I prefer to see the wood knots highlighted. Stain the top sides equally. Allow all stringers to properly dry out after washing with lime. Get rid of any vegetation that is growing under the deck. Lime the ground and lay out a fabric plant blanket and cover with 3/4'' crushed stone. Allow for air flow to pass under the deck- get rid of bushes, or open sides that are closed up and add vents if needed. Stain all stringers and posts with a good wood preserver. Do not allow vegetation to grow around posts or sides. Replace all boards and allow at least a 1/2'' gap between each board so air can flow thru. Apply one last coat of transparent stain to the top side with a roller and handle.
Dark solid colors get very hot in the summer months and will peel faster than lighter colors. White paint or stain although repels heat is the worst thing anyone can apply to a deck. It will be impossible to see from the glare. Transparent colors in an exterior stain can be mixed up to match. Because they are thin, they penetrate the wood better and do not lay on the top surface like solids. "Less is more".

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Toller your issue is simple , the other ideas are misguided. You have a NE exposure in shade and mold is growing , its normal and unavoidable to an extent but can be controled. In your past cleanings the mold was not killed off the bare wood and is ruining your finish, mold eats paints. If its in fact peeling and not also boards holding water from the crown of the wood facing up. If boards were instaled crowned down so boards don`t hold water then mold is the only issue. Get a garden sprayer and cheap laundry bleach, use full strength, spray it now and it will look better. If you want to restain, powerwash, then kill the mold off the bare wood by spraying and powerwash it again. You don`t get rid of mold by just power washing, its spores remain in the wood alive to ruin your finish again. After wood is dry restain with the same product if you wish. Add a mold killing additive-although one is in your product already and should be enough. 2 things here, once your deck looks dirty in the months ahead, its actualy mold again, so spray on some bleach to keep mold from growing again and ruining your finish. Second, Solid Color stains do peel, Semi Transparent are better for decks but require more maintenance. But stripping it is not worth it now.
If you kill the mold off the bare wood with Bleach full strength and keep it bleached whenever its dirty [actualy mold] it will last longer. dirt washes off, mold doesn`t, but at first looks like dirt.
You need warm days and nights to stain properly, as the directions state. I live in shade with alot of wood and use a garden sprayer to apply 2-8 gallons bleach every year for Mold Control, it always comes back. A garden sprayer and laundry bleach will be your best friend. You might need to use it every month or so in certain areas.
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Toller your issue is simple , the other ideas are misguided. You have a NE exposure in shade and mold is growing , its normal and unavoidable to an extent but can be controled.
Misguided - LOL , you must be good, you can even tell to which direction the house is pointing by looking at boards. I agree with the bleach, but mold eating oil based paint/stain is erroneous. Mold thrives in warm,damp and dark places. The mold is migrating from underneath the deck. If wood stays wet, NOTHING will adhere to it properly. Cure that problem and then you'll have the mold problem cured as well.
What about all the mold that is under the deck "m Ransley" ? Is he supposed to ignore that. By in large, if he listened to you, he would never get rid of the mold , fungus issue. good day dp

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danimal, Toller said its the NE side, read. Mold does eat paint, a fact. Yes he should ignore the underneath of the deck, thats one stupid idea to sugest he should, its not being stained. Ive had the same deck for 25yrs in shade with similar issues.
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The logic here according to "m Ransley" contends to be - " All houses that face NE have paint eating mold. I disagree and it doesn't matter who said what, I suggest that a house facing NE has nothing to do with promoting a healthy culture of mold and has all to do with the construction of the deck, proper staining and ventilation. Any deck built close to the ground that has wet soggy earth under it, that is out of the sun and never dries out, "Will" cause this problem. The deck acts lick a wick and sucks up all the moisture and dampness. The mold problem is originating "UNDER" the deck and the fact that the deck is facing NE, doesn't have anything to do with that. Under the deck must be cured first to rid the problem of mold. The construction needs to be altered slightly so the deck can breathe easier. Your home and his are two different homes. The logic that you apply to his house, does not apply to yours- there are two many factors against this logic to make it an even comparison. Common sense should prevail here to look for and to fix the actual causes of any problem and not look for temporary bandaid solutions with bleach.

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Actually, the deck is about 8' off the ground; it is off the first floor above a walk out basement. It is reasonably humid though, as it backs up to a woods with a creek.
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Danimal get your quotes right , re read. I never said anything about All NE eposures, but N is usualy where issues start. Since when is Tollers deck ground level, thats a new one on me.
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Seems this mans issue is a creek and a wooded area. I guess you live next to one as well ?

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Yes the deck is 20ft from a lake in shade. Nobody stains the underneath of a deck unless they sit under it and look up.
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