New cedar deck, stain now or wait?
We just had a new deck built, duradeck "floor" with cedar railings (western red cedar) and stairs.
We went to the BM store and were told to wait untill spring to stain it because the wood needs to dry/weather a bit and also the mill glaze needs to wear off. It was very lightly sanded (top of the railings) but other then that nothing has been done.
I live in Vancouver, Canada and we get a LOT of rain here in the fall/winter, will this effect the deck if its not stained. Also, because we're at the end of summer its already getting wetter, the chances of getting 5 to 7 days without at least 1 heavy rainfall is slim to none.
The wood seems dry already but???
Should we wait untill spring or do it now?
Thanks for any help. :)
You could put a clear sealer over everything but get one without wax in it (like Thompson's has) or you will have to wait a full season or so to be able to stain it. If it is cedar you don't really have to do much to it at all if you don't mind it taking on that weathered look.
I don't understand the BM dealers response to wait. Cedar, whether it be clear or STK is very dry to begin with so waiting isn't really that necessary. The mill glaze is a fact, you would need to lightly sand the surface to open the pores of the wood to accept stain. But I would say do it now prior to winter otherwise it will gray out and be hard to get back to a uniform color to receive a transparent or semi-transparent stain.
I have noticed that if you apply the same semi transparent finish to a new cedar deck vs. a weathered cedar deck, the finish will tend to hold up better on the weathered wood. I believe this is due to the fact that new cedar tends to be laden with its own natural oils, preventing the finish from penetrating as deeply as it could.
Obviously weathered wood has to be restored to remove dead gray wood fibers and restore the natural beauty of the wood. This restoration process, I believe, also helps the wood take the finish better.
My concern with allowing the wood to weather "naturally" for several months unprotected is the risk of mold or mildew infestation. Once mold or mildew has established itself in the wood, it can be very difficult to remove fully. Even when the wood looks like it has been cleaned, there can be spores in the wood that can cause premature failure of your finish.
Since all wood decks require ongoing maintenance to keep them looking new, I prefer to protect the new wood right away and when it's cedar, I just assume I will be redoing the job within about a year. After that first time you restore and refinish the cedar, it becomes much easier to maintain.
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