New deck - to stain or not to stain?


Hi there --
My house in the Pacific Northwest is 47 years old, I've owned it for 8 years, and the deck that existed when I bought the house got so rotten in parts that this year I had it all ripped out and rebuilt. (The guy that owned the house before me had built the deck with non-pressure treated lumber, so without knowing it I was actually walking around on sawdust that looked like a deck.)
The contractor I hired to build the deck is also my neighbor and friend. He does excellent work and I trust his opinion unchallenged 99.9% of the time -- but this time I have to seek additional opinions.
He says I should not stain my new cedar deck unless for some reason I want it to be a different color.
I was under the impression that deck stain was pretty much required to protect the wood from bacteria, fungus, water damage, and mold.
He says no.
If he's right I will be happy -- pressure washing and restaining the deck every two years to keep it looking good has been a total pain. (It's a really big deck, rebuilding was 4K in lumber and 3k in labor.)
So what do you guys think? Is it necessary to stain the deck or not?
Thanks for any feedback you can provide.
FA
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I would at least oil now it with Cabots oil clear. It will go grey alot quicker without treatment, or a transparent stain that wont change its color. I would not do nothing, I have a cedar shake house. It will still need almost yearly maintenance even if you treat it now.
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FenderAxe wrote:

Typical Western Red Cedar? He's right- the stuff, to a certain point is rot-resistant, and covering it may even hurt. People pay extra money to build with that versus PT lumber for the looks, and for easier upkeep. Some people do seal it to keep the red color versus the silver it will fade to, but I'm rather fond of how it looks naked.
-- aem sends...
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He's right. Cedar has built in protection. That's why you use cedar, redwood, mahogany, ipe or teak. I'd preserve the natural color with Penofin oil though. Put a coat on every few years.
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It is not necessary to stain a deck. If you do, it will last much longer. Water is very damaging to wood, so whatever you do to help keep it dry will help. Expect a deck to last 10 to 30 years. Decks, especially large ones, are high maintenance.
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FenderAxe wrote:

We replaced our large desk with a "white" cedar desk a few years ago and put a clear Penofin treatment on it. It peeled off in about a year and I had the supplier's rep take a look at it. His findings "just the way it is".
I've NOT restained again but next sprint, after a cleaning/brightener, I might try another clear or transparent 'cause I miss the fabulous look of clear cedar.
Good luck.
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I've used Penofin for years. There is nothing to peel off. It is an oil that soaks into the wood. You must have put many coats to build up to anything peelable.
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wrote in message

Thanks everyone for your responses, I appreciate it! Still haven't decided what to do though. :-)
FA
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