Yearly Maintenance on Wood Deck for Various Deck Finish?


I am trying to select a good wood deck finish. I have found many info about the various types of deck finish that are currently available in the market. One thing that I cannot find info on is the type of annual maintenance that I need to do for the deck if I choose that type of deck finish. According to one of the DIY article that I find in the net, I am supposed to clean and apply a coat of finish on the deck yearly. But I am wondering if this is only applicable for some type of finish but not other. I don't think I can simply apply a coat of finish over existing finish; I believe I need to at least sand the surface first; otherwise, the finish won't stick that well, right? If I continue putting more and more coats of finish, I am afraird that the finish will be too thick, and may start peeling, right?
Currently I am considering between using "clear finish with UV protection" and "semi-transparent stain". Please tell me the kind of annual maintenance that I need to do if I choose either one of them. I will greatly appreciate if someone can tell me the step-by-step way to do this annual maintenance. Then I can evaluate whether this kind of finish is really appropriate for me.
By the way, what I want from the deck finish are: (1) prevent the pressure treated wood deck from turning grey in order to maintain the natural wood color or have a nice redwood color, (2) reduce water absorption into the wood, (3) reduce mildew on the wood surface, (3) annual maintenance is OK, taking too much time to do each annual maintenance is not OK.
The current wood deck finish that I have on the deck is semi- transparent stain. I pressure washed the deck and then applied the stain. I didn't do any annual maintenance because I don't know if I need to do this and I don't know how. By the end of the first year, stain had started coming off in the center of the deck (high traffic area). By the end of the second year, mildew started growing in where the stain had come off. Then I using stain remover to remove the stain, and did that over. But the same thing happened (just faster than before). I figure that I need to do some annual maintenance to keep the finish; this prompts me to ask around here.
Thanks in advance for any info.
Jay Chan
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The only maintenance that we do is to wash the green stuff from winter/ ( with 1 cup of clorox- 2 cups of water mix. then apply Thompson waterproof.
I mop the solution with a mop to clean it. Then in a couple days Hub applies the waterproofing by spraying it on.
Our deck wood is wolmanized wood. The waterproofing makes the wood dark, that it looks like it is brown.
shirleyann
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On Sep 14, 6:17 am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Shirley ann) wrote:

Thanks for sharing your annual maintenance plan with the use of clear deck finish. How do you clean it? Do you clean it with bleach along with scrubbing, or using bleach alone to do its job? When I cleaned my deck with bleach, I always scrubbed it after waiting 5-10 minutes for the bleach to take effect. But you said you used a mop; this leads me to think that you only used the mop to apply the bleach solution and didn't scrub the deck at all. May be this has to do with the fact that you did annual maintenance that kept the mildew in check; therefore, you didn't need to scrub. On the other hand, I didn't deal with the mildew until years-later that allowed the mildew to build-up; therefore, I needed to scrub and more scrub in addition to using bleach in order to remove the mildew. Do I understand this correctly?
The clear finish sounds easy enough to be maintained annually. I may remove the semi-transparent stain from my deck and try the clear finish this time around.
Jay Chan
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The semi transparent stain or a solid stain are not going to work well. No matter what quality you buy, it is going to peel after a year. Railings and other vertical parts will be OK, but the deck itself is not going to hold up. I've tried various products over the past 20 years. They all peel and the wood turns gray. Live with it or replace the deck top.
If I was re-building, I'd use either Ipe, mahogany, redwood, cypress or cedar, in that order. I'd give it a coat of Penofin oil every year as it has good UV protection.
The other choice is a plastic type material with solid color.
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I have read your suggestion of using ipe/mahogany/redwood in your other posts. And I agree with you. The natural beauty of those types of wood should require less maintenance than using stain to get the nice color. And I don't like the plastic look of those man-made material either. I would definitely switch to use of those natural woods next time. But I am afraid that will be many years later because the pressure treated wood deck seems like will out-last me. Please let us how the natural wood deck holds up when you finally decide to build a new deck with natural wood.
Anyway I am sorry to hear that the semi-transparent stain (and the solid stain) will not hold up after just one year. Sound like I need to clean / sand / re-stain the wood deck every year if I use semi- transparent stain on my deck. This option doesn't sound that good:
1. If I rent a floor sander to sand out all the semi-transparent stain from my deck before applying a new coat of semi-transparent stain, I will have to pay for the rental every year and I will need to run the risk of creating a lot of toxic dusts from the pressure treated wood.
2. If I only light sand the deck (to allow a better adhension for a new coat of semi-transparent stain), the remaining stain will show through the new coat of stain even though their color are the same, and the areas that have 2 layers of stain will look different from the areas that have been sanded through and only have one new coat of stain; this will look odd; I know this because I did this once before.
Seem like I am better off using clear finish because the annual maintenance for clear finish sounds like much easier than using any kind of stain (no sanding involved). Of course, I will need to talk with my wife to see if she like the color of the clear finish.
Jay Chan
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"Jay Chan" wrote "Edwin Pawlowski" wrote:

Jay, adding to what Ed said, this is the easiest way to go and will look nice. Your problem just now is it was stained already. What you actually wanted was a 'thompsons water seal' (oil based) product that isnt a stain so much as an oil finish. This gets pretty much just mopped on once a year and done with it. Like the lady said before, wash it with some bleach and let it dry out to get at the mold you have now. My have to scrub a bit with a stiff bristle brush in bad spots but after that, an annual job pretty much.
I built my Mom a porch extension in movable parts back in 1981. Although we've had to replace various steps or a board or two over the years, she's still got that porch. (it comes apart in sections, gets loaded in her trailer when she moves, then comes out at the new place). All we've ever done is the oil seal annually over the natural wood ( cedar in this case).
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Thanks for the reply.
I am under the impression that oil will be absorted into the wood. Will this be a problem if I later on decide to use a water based finish? Will the trace of oil left on the wood causing problem with adhesion? Having said this, I may not have a choice because the clear finish product that I am thinking of getting is also oil-based product. I guess I just have to use it.
Jay Chan
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"Jay Chan" wrote

Yes, so you wont do that later.

Jay, thats exactly what everyone has been telling you not to add if you want low maintenance. Do not add a 'varnish etc' finish over the oil. Just the oil. Simple, works, protects the wood, and some come with a little 'stain colorant' to even out the deck looks.
For that high traffic area, consider getting an outdoor sort of runner. Be sure it's made for outdoor or it will hold water and cause mold. Some are a light airy weave and won't stay 'wet' longer than the deck itself. In fact, the deck might be a little dryer under that part. Mom has a nice one I got her ages ago. It's a light woven sort that looks a bit like tatami (except much looser) and of a nylon weave that doesnt hold water. Took me a bit to find it but it's out there.
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Holey Smokes Thompsons is now a oil base? It used to be a Horse Shit ,Parrafin based product I would never buy this brand ever. I will give them credit though there advertising made it a household name
This gets pretty much just mopped on once a year and

The once a year application is a good idea. Heck it even makes thompsons last longer

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wrote in message

all wood left to the elements will eventually turn grey. The pigment in a stain gives U.V. protection The darker the stain the more protection it has. TWP (total wood protection) is what I have been using the last 5 or so years. Properly applied It wont leave a hard finish that peels away and unlike others that have to be stripped off before recoating you can stain right over the old finish. of course you should spray a bleach and water mix and then wash /pressure wash the dirt and mold off before re staining. TWP semi transparent wont peel but heavy traffic will wear away the pigment and like Ed says it should be refinished every year. of course a busy guy like me acassionaly skips a year here and there.

still prefer the look of real wood. but after 11 years I am constantly replacing a few 5/4 cedar deck boards. After years and years of working on other peoples houses, I am starting to think low maintenance is the preferred way to go
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Read this: http://www.wolman.com/wcbasics_step1.asp
Use this: http://www.wolman.com/pdf/datasheets/P_2_43.pdf
Then this: http://www.wolman.com/product_detail.asp?ProductID=10
I'm not pushing Wolman products, just making the point that you need to start from scratch, use a top quality product, follow their directions, and don't mix brands that may be incompatable. According to the paint rep, if you do that you should be able to go 2-3 years, pressure wash without stripping, reapply the same product, and your "annual" maintenance will gradually extend to 4-5 years.
Red
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I doubt that there is a product that can do away with annual maintenance. The semi-transparent stain that I have on my deck is "supposed" to last 2-3 years; but it starts wearing off in high traffic area after just one year. I pretty much accept that I will have to do some annual maintenance as long as I have a wood deck. Therefore, I am looking for a finish that doesn't require a time consuming annual maintenace to keep its nice look. For now, seem like a clear finish is a better bet, and I will totally remove all the stain from the wood deck, and start this over with using clear finish.
Jay Chan
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Jay Chan wrote:

I've yet to find _any_ finish that lasts indefinitely outdoors. Ultraviolet light does them all in.
The best recommendations I've received are to use penetrating oil finishes instead of film-forming finishes. With the oils, you just put on a new coat every year or so. With the film finishes (e.g. varnish, polyurethane, stain), you have to prep the surface before applying a new coat. Therefore the oils are less maintenance.
--
Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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wrote:

You are right. The oil will penetrate into the wood. More importantly, the annual maintenance is as simply as washing with soap and water, waiting for the wood deck to dry, and then applying the same oil finish over the wood deck (that is according to Penofin Oil Finish web site).
I can also apply solid stain over existing solid stain finish (this is based on what the customer support of Flood Deck Finish said). But I will have to sand to feather the edge where the stain has peeled off. This is in addition to wash and dry the surface first before sanding. Seem like a lot of work.
Based on my past experience with semi-transparent stain, I probably only need to light sand the surface, and apply the semi-transparent stain over the existing surface. The problem is that I will definitely get a dual-tone effect on the surface because the old finish will show through. This doesn't look nice at all. If I must use semi-transparent stain, I will definitely remove all the existing semi-transparent stain and then apply new finish from bare wood.
The clear finish may or may not need to be totally removed before re- applying a new coat for annual maintenance. I am getting conflicting info about this. The customer support from Flood said that I need to either waiting for nature to wash out all the clear finish before re- applying a new coat, or manually removing all the clear finish before re-applying a new coat. On the other hand, the salesman in HomeDepot told me that I can simply clean the surface and then apply a new coat over the old finish of the same type. This is confusing.
I think I will take the path of the least resistence, and I will try Penofin Oil Finish. The reason is that their web site explicitly says that we can re-apply a new coat over the old coat. This should make the job of annual maintenace on the wood deck a lot easier than other finish.
Now the question is whether I should try the Penofin Oil with tone or no tone at all. Having some tone on the finish may look nicer. But I am afraid that I will end up getting a dual-tone effect next year when I re-apply the same oil finish over surface that have the finish partially worn off. I think I will try the oil with tone this year and next year. If I end up getting a dual-tone effect, I will just have to pressure wash the whole deck to remove the finish and start over with oil finish that doesn't have any tone. This is the plan.
Jay Chan
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You are right. The oil will penetrate into the wood. More importantly, the annual maintenance is as simply as washing with soap and water, waiting for the wood deck to dry, and then applying the same oil finish over the wood deck (that is according to Penofin Oil Finish web site).
I can also apply solid stain over existing solid stain finish (this is based on what the customer support of Flood Deck Finish said). But I will have to sand to feather the edge where the stain has peeled off. This is in addition to wash and dry the surface first before sanding. Seem like a lot of work.
***************************************
Use the Penofin. Great stuff. Avoid the solid stain. You won't get a full season and it will start to peel on the horizontal surfaces.
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Yes, I will use Penofin Oil Finish. I have already got a can from their local dealer. The local dealer showed me how to apply the oil without wasting too much because the oil can be very runny. Originally I planned to use a roller to apply the oil; but he said this would waste too much oil. Seem like I need to use a pad (for large area) and a brush (for edges and narrow surface).
I will see how this goes next week after I am done with my driveway this weekend (too many projects, too little time). Luckily, I am expecting two dry weeks; therefore, I should have a lot of time available.
Thanks for suggesting that product.
Jay Chan
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wrote:

Read this: http://www.wolman.com/wcbasics_step1.asp
Use this: http://www.wolman.com/pdf/datasheets/P_2_43.pdf
Then this: http://www.wolman.com/product_detail.asp?ProductID 
I'm not pushing Wolman products, just making the point that you need to start from scratch, use a top quality product, follow their directions, and don't mix brands that may be incompatable. According to the paint rep, if you do that you should be able to go 2-3 years, pressure wash without stripping, reapply the same product, and your "annual" maintenance will gradually extend to 4-5 years.
Red
when I was lazy I used to go 2-3 years between maintenence. LOL that really caught up to me. 4-5 years for maintenence. I find that hard to believe
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