By: Tim Gilliam
Nature’s weathering elements, inferior products, and substandard ser-vices are the main reasons why decks look and weather so badly. Chances are you have run into one or all of the above and are in search of the best technique to bring back its original state.
Our redwood deck refinishing technique starts with mild washing to remove soot, dirt, black mold, algae, and previous coatings. Step number two and most important is sanding. Sanding is absolutely es-sential because it will remove stubborn coatings, and weathering while unearthing fresh raw smooth wood. To skip the sanding technique would compromise your entire redwood deck refinishing project.
A mild brightening rinse will follow the sanding process to remove dust and debris while brightening the wood to its purest state. The bright-ening rinse also helps eliminate and prevent mold, mildew, and algae.
The final step is application of the protective coating. The best way to show off your deck’s beautiful grain is with use of a transparent or semi transparent sealer. Solid opaque stains are available for an even look in any color. All coatings are applied the old fashioned way with brush. All of our coatings allow for simple maintenance to be performed to keep the surfaces protected and looking their finest at all times.
Our coatings allow for simple periodic maintenance to keep your in-vestment looking its finest at all times. Weather conditions will dictate when it is time for redwood deck maintenance. Weathering character-istics will vary in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. Over time protective coatings will dissolve and fade and is natural.
Maintenance consists of establishing an estimated schedule for ser-vice. Redwood is a bit more porous than other hardwoods and can accept more of protective coating which translates into longer protec-tion. We generally recommend maintenance service at 8 to 12 months for oil base sealers and 2 years for solid opaque stains. Maintenance should be performed whenever visually necessary in lieu of estimated service timeframes.
Redwood deck maintenance entails a mild surface wash to remove debris that has landed on the surface over time. Spot sanding may be employed to remove stubborn stains and debris. The wood will be cleaned and brightened to promote natural color. The protective coat-ing will be re applied to protect for another period of time.
The best way for day to day maintenance is to sweep or blow with a leaf blower. This is the safest way to remove surface dirt without harming the coating. Mild hosing at quarterly intervals will remove stubborn dirt and contaminants. Excess water should be squeegee’d off after hosing. Frequency of day to day maintenance will vary for Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego and the particular microcli-mate your are located in.
After such intense preparation it makes sense to use only the finest protective coatings. Our protective coatings are specifically formulat-ed for redwood. This means they have special solvents and pigments to penetrate and protect to the highest level. In fact we have custom colors and formulations specifically made to our specifications.
Oil Base Sealer
Why oil base? The old fashioned way is still the best. Oil and pig-ments penetrate into the wood and protect inside and out. Oil sealers will enhance the wood grain giving it a natural rich and vibrant matte appearance. These oils highlight the varying natural attributes of each piece of wood for a stunning look. Varying tint shades are available to achieve the particular color desire. Over the course of your projected time frame, the sealers will eventually dissolve back to bare wood. Mild cleaning and re application is all that is needed to keep the wood protected and looking amazing.
Water Base Opaque Stain
Water base opaque stains allow for a unique solid appearance. Alt-hough more traditionally used for Pine and older decks, solid stains are recently more popular because they allow for the ultimate even appearance. They are also available in any color you can think of for a custom look like none other. Maintenance is a breeze by simply mopping the surfaces clean and re-applying.
Protecting Your New Deck
We cannot stress how important it is to protect your deck correctly from the beginning. Who wants to go through deck restoration, right? It is essential to apply a coating that is specifically formulated for red-wood. This allows for easy periodic maintenance moving forward. We recommend to stay away from water base semi transparent and semi solid stains and any film forming finishes such as varnish or pol-yurethane. These type of coatings are not maintainable and can be unsafe when wet.
Protecting your new investment consists of a very light finish sand to remove mill glaze and open the grain. This will allow the oil base penetrating sealer to delve deep into the boards. A brightening agent will be applied to remove tannins and help prevent black mold and al-gae.
New decks will be coated with oil base sealer to enhance the look and protect. Various tints are available to achieve the color and aesthetic you desire. Your investment will be protected for its projected time frame and maintenance can be performed easily.
Over time boards can become loose and need tightening. Sometimes boards can become damaged and succumb to rot or termites. We can perform repair on both of these problems and replace wood with like kind as needed.
Redwood Deck FAQ
- What is the best way to protect a redwood deck?
- Why has my redwood deck weathered gray?
- Are water-based products good for protecting redwood decks?
- Can I alter the color of my redwood deck?
- What is general upkeep for a redwood deck?
Penetrating oil-based finishes protect redwood decks the best because they can keep the wood looking natural. Furthermore, these finishes allow for ease of future maintenance. The key to protecting redwood decks is applying a natural looking and maintainable protective coating.
Natural oils inside the redwood oxidize to produce a gray appearance. The gray or oxidized appearance of a redwood deck is only a microscopic thin layer that can be easily removed with proper refinishing techniques. Our “Clean, Sand, Brighten and Seal” method can bring back its original and pristine appearance.
Water-based products are not maintainable finishes. Water molecules aren’t able to penetrate into the grain as well as oil-based sealers and end up sitting on top of the redwood – creating a layer of film. Like varnish or urethane, water-based finishes will weather unevenly and crack and blister.
A redwood deck’s natural color can be altered using tinted oil-based finishes. Most oil-based finishes that are formulated for redwood are available in a variety of colors. These colors may change in appearance when they are applied to the redwood itself.
A redwood deck should always be coated with an oil-based penetrating finish. This finish should be applied periodically to keep the wood protected and nourished. Periodic maintenance and upkeep will prolong the life and extend the natural beauty of the redwood deck.
I am as passionate about the services our company provides as the day I started as Teak Masters' only employee in 1997. For 2 decades I have been obsessed with continuing to developing state of the art refinishing techniques and application of the finest cutting edge wood coatings modern science can create. I have training certifications and have been hired as a consultant for esteemed companies such as Benjamin Moore, Arborcoat, Messmers, Dewalt, Porter Cable, TWP, Sikkens, Tropitone, and Brown Jordan.