Frequently Asked Questions: Decks
Decks: Keeping them looking new
Decks: Matching old and new sections
Decks: Matching color
Decks: White spots
Decks: Shiny areas
Decks: Dark stains
Decks: Redwood, predipping wood
Pressure treated wood
Pressure treated wood: Safety
DECKS: KEEPING THEM LOOKING NEW
We are at 6500 feet (1982 meters) in elevation, so we get snow in the winter. I have used Thompson's water seal, and other products, but without a doubt I have had to replenish the finish on my decks EVERY SUMMER because they lose their "new" look by then. Given the harsh elements of sun and snow, how often would you anticipate I would have to replenish the finish on my decks once I've used Deck Boss? Naturally , I'm hopeful you'll say NEVER. Thank you.
Well, we wish we could say you would NEVER have need to replenish any stain on your deck just like we wish we never had to rewax our cars or vacuum the carpet. The truth is that decks get dirty, just like cars and carpets. When applied properly, Deck Boss will protect the wood of your deck for many years, regardless of its appearance over-time. Eventually the deck will accumulate dirt and pollution and lose its new appearance--which does not affect the protection of the wood in any way, since our products penetrate and monolithically bond with the wood making it impossible to remove. Most other stains simply lay on the top of the wood and wear off, exposing the wood to all the natural methods of deterioration. Deck Boss is both environmentally safe and does not wear off as conventional stains often do, but it cannot stop dirt from accumulating on your deck! One way to help your deck stay looking new is to powerwash it once a year, and possibly apply a light coat of Deck Boss afterwards, depending on how "new" you want it to appear. This is called "maintenance", just like steam cleaning your carpets or washing your car. Deck Boss includes ingredients which are designed to counteract all methods of deterioration including U.V. damage.
When you receive our literature in the mail there is a whole pamphlet entitled "Why Do Decks Turn Grey" which talks more about this issue. The secret for obtaining minimum maintenance along with longer beauty for your deck is completely dependent on you following carefully the instructions included in our brochure entitled "Instruction for Application." These include proper preparation and application procedures plus adequate quantity of product. Any short cuts or changes will only reduce the finished appearance and jeopardize the integrity of your deck.
My deck is brand new, why do I need to powerwash it?
How long has it been since the lumber for your deck was cut in the lumber mill? Is it fair to say it has been several months or more? What would your freshly washed face and arms look like if for several months they were exposed to all of the outside climatic conditions of sun, rain and pollution. Would they look brand new? You can take a white kleenex and wipe your face after a few hours of being washed and it will be covered with a black residue.
The new decking you describe was first cut and stacked for shipment. After sitting around in a lumber yard for sometime, then being handled several times with a fork lift and other equipment before it is delivered to your building site is once again exposed to more abuse from sun, dirt and handling. You must therefore correct this problem by powerwashing the entire deck area with a minimum of 3,000 PSI powerwasher. In addition, it may be necessary to sand all sections of the deck to remove any blemishes or shipping marks prior to applying Deck Boss. By powerwashing the entire surface you will insure maximum penetration of Deck Boss. Remember, proper preparation prevents poor performance.
DECK: MATCHING OLD AND NEW SECTIONS
I've recently added an addition to my deck. I would like to be able to stain both sections so they match. Is this possible with your products?
Yes, it is simple to obtain a uniform color on your old and new deck when using Deck Boss. Make sure you pressure wash each section with a minimum of 3000 PSI pressure washer to prepare it for product. Then carefully follow all of our instructions for preparation and application including sanding, especially on the old deck. You may need to experiment with mixing different shades of Deck Boss to match the old and new sections as well as applying extra product to the older section.
DECK: MATCHING COLOR
I used Deck Boss on my redwood deck, and it looks great! But the support beams under the deck do not have same finished color although I used the same product on both surfaces. What happened?
In the first place your problem is simply an aesthetic one which has little to do with the long term protection of the deck or support beams. In the meantime, the situation you describe could be the result of several things such as different wood species, lack of proper preparation (powerwashing and sanding), and/or vertical surface as opposed to the horizontal surface of the deck. A horizontal surface will absorb about 2 to 3 times as much product, therefore providing a different tone of color, as a result of additional use of pigment. The solution is to powerwash and/or sand the support beams to remove any surface film or blemishes, then apply as many coats of tinted Deck Boss as necessary to obtain your desired tone. However, if the species of wood and the type of cut are significantly different, you may not be able to obtain an exact color match in appearance, but it should be very close and pleasing to you.
Two years ago I had a cedar deck built. I used Cabots clear stain to preserve it. After one year it's covered with mildew and has lost its original beauty. I followed the directions to a "T". The deck is on the sunny side of the house. The next year I purchased a deck cleaner and started all over again. Now I have the same problem this year. Can you help me solve this problem?
Yes, we have the solution for your problem. However, remember there is always a certain amount of maintenance involved, much the same as with an automobile finish. We do not recommend a deck cleaner, since they are at best a cheap fix (aspirin). Remember the following three things to assure yourself success when using Deck Boss:
1. proper preparation, 2. proper application procedures, 3. adequate quantity of product, with as many applications as necessary to achieve long-term aesthetics and performance.
Please realize that a deck is like the windshield or hood of your car: it gets dirty! Question: What does dirt or dead bugs on your windshield have to do with the strength or durability of the glass? Nothing! Likewise, pollution and dirt on your deck needs to be removed regularly if you want your deck to retain its beauty.
Yesterday I used your product to stain my deck, and last night it rained! This morning when I woke up there are milky white areas on my deck. Is the entire deck ruined?
No, the white spots are simply condensation. There is moisture between the wood and the product, which will evaporate and disappear completely when the wood and Deck Boss dries. All you need to do is be patient!
DECKS: WHITE SPOTS
I applied your product Deck Boss yesterday and now my deck has white spots on it. What is happening?
The situation you describe is common where the temperature is low and/or the moisture content in the wood is still very high. The deck has water contained below the surface or possible dew above which has not yet evaporated. The resulting white or milky appearing spots are simply the result of oxygenation and will gradually disappear as the wood dries out. However, if it rains on the deck before the Deck Boss can dry the problem will continue and it may be necessary to roll on another coat or 2 of Deck Boss after the deck dries to blend in where the water spots were. The condition you describe can be the result of pre-existing moisture content or from rain or morning dew on the surface after application of product and prior to the Deck Boss completely drying. The spots will disappear in a few days.
DECKS: SHINY AREAS
My deck has shiny areas after applying three coats of your product.
Your problem is a preparation and application error. Either you applied product in direct sunlight, causing the solids in Deck Boss to surface film due to the rapid evaporation of the carrier (dried without penetrating the wood) or you did not allow each application to thoroughly penetrate. You may have applied too much product in a particular area which was not properly cleaned, so it was not as porous as other section of the deck and therefore the resins dried on the surface rather than penetrating into the wood as intended. You may also have a large amount of flat grained wood, as opposed to vertical grained premium wood, which will not accept product as readily. The solution to most of these problems is during application of product, touch the surface periodically to see if it is tacky or sticky, and if so add water by misting lightly or rollering directly onto the surface. This will act as a vehicle to carry the Deck Boss solids further into the wood. To rectify this problem if the surface is completely dry, powerwash and/or lightly sand the affected areas and reapply product paying close attention to the above instructions.
DECKS: DARK STAINS
My 15 year old deck is marred by dark stains from potted plants, while dirt, leaves, twigs, and debris have filled spaces between the boards. Can my deck be saved or do I need to replace it?
A deck receives the worst abuse of any structure. Sun beats down and damages the surface, rain makes it swell and twist, furniture scrapes it, feet grind in dirt, debris and pollution fills the cracks between the boards, mildew develops in corners and under pots, and stains discolor the once pristine surface. Enduring all this, its no wonder that after a while a deck looks the worse for wear. And all this with no maintenance!
You can restore most of your decks original appearance-- even the original color. But this requires a cleaning and a maintenance program that should be an annual event, like cleaning out gutters or waxing the family car, and should be done during the dry season just before or after the summer heat. Your deck will show its appreciation by quietly glowing with it's restored color. The basic components for a good maintenance program are cleaning, color restoration and refinishing. The first part, cleaning, is probably the most labor intensive. If your deck hasnt been cleaned in a while you may have to work harder to get down to the real wood.
Debris that builds up between boards slows water drainage, keeping wood moist and contributing to the growth of mildew. What you want instead is to get maximum air circulation around each board. Use a minimum of 3,000 PSI powerwasher to clean the surface and dislodge most of the debris between the boards then use a putty knife or handsaw to clean out the more stubborn substances. This process also will reveal any boards which need to be replaced due to rot.
You may need to widen the opening between the boards by making a pass with a circular saw with the blade set to match the thickness of the wood. Recommended spacing between boards is 1/4 to 3/8 inches (6.3 to 9.5 millimeters). After powerwashing and cleaning out between the boards we recommend that you sand the entire surface with 40 grit paper with a 12,000 or more, OPM electric sander. After this process re-sand the surface with 80 grit, or higher, sand paper to take out any swirls created by the harsher paper. This will open the pores of the wood to permit the maximum level of penetration of Deck Boss. Once completely sanded, rinse the deck off with the powerwasher to remove all excess sawdust. Then follow the simple instruction for using Deck Boss. The secret in this case is to apply Deck Boss in the cool of the evening by flooding on as much product as the deck will absorb. You can literally apply 1 heavy coat right over the previous one provided the previous product has soaked into the deck. It is not necessary to allow drying time between applications--you are simply filling the empty cells of wood with Deck Boss in much the same way you would re-soak a dry sponge used for washing your car. When applying Deck Boss to a deck in the condition you describe, it is not unusual to apply 5 or 6 coats of Deck Boss. Continue following all directions for use to assure yourself of a long lasting deck.
DECKS: REDWOOD, PREDIPPING WOOD
I am using Redwood decking that is being milled from wine vats. What prep work can I use to assure proper adhesion of a deck stain?
Your question, while unique, has a very simple answer. Obviously the redwood is well cured and contains many of the natural resins and ingredients which were once in the live healthy redwood tree. A great amount of tannin compounds and other natural ingredients from the wine have now absorbed into the wood, they need to be stabilized. Therefore, once the wood is milled the most important thing to do is to immediately pre-dip every piece in Deck Boss. This process will provide the ultimate in performance and appearance. In short, if you pre-dip each piece of redwood as it is milled in one of our Deck Boss tinted formulas at least three separate times and another coat or two once the deck is built, you will have an unbelievable showpiece. This process can easily be accomplished by building a long box with a bottom, two sides, and two end caps. Then line the box with plastic wrap and pour Deck Boss into the long box, which now resembles a sluice box. After soaking each piece for a minute or so simply stack to the side, making sure you wipe off excess drip area. If it is not possible to pre-dip, then the next best process is to set up two saw horses, lay out a string of boards, and roller Deck Boss on all sides of each board, making sure Deck Boss penetrates the surface and is not building a surface film. This process should be repeated three or more times in a covered area, protected from sunlight and heat. Continue applying Deck Boss as long as the product continues to penetrate the wood.
After completing the pre-dipping or roller application process, install the boards with a minimum of 1/2 to 3/8 inch (1.27 to .95 centimeters) space between each board. This allows adequate space for air movement and will help prevent debris buildup in the future. Be sure to dip the end of each board in Deck Boss as it is cut, to complete the application process. After the deck is completely built, apply another coat or two of Deck Boss. For this final coat we recommend the clear formula to insure long lasting protection and beauty.
The above process answers your question as to adhesion. Deck Boss is designed to be molecularly compatible with the wood, which means that the natural resins and oils contained in Deck Boss penetrate the substrate and bond permanently with the cells of each piece of redwood. The natural ingredients contained in Deck Boss join with the natural resins, oils, tannin compounds and other ingredients within the redwood to prevent them from leaching out in the ensuing years. Other popular stains simply lie on the surface, and only provide a short-term benefit of good looks. The secret is to not cheat or cut corners, but rather use all the Deck Boss possible. This may mean obtaining only a net coverage of 20-40 sq. ft. per gal (1-1.5 sq. meter per liter or two). Remember: Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten.
I would like to know if Weather Bos is listed by any consumer organizations as to performance on decks. I would also like to have a sample of Deck Boss to test on my new deck.
It is not the policy of Weather Bos to send samples, due to the possible misuse of the product. However, we will be happy to provide you with the name of your closest Weather Bos supplier. About the Consumers Report: in independent tests where our directions for use were followed properly, the performance of Deck Boss has always been far superior to other products. However, when organizations independently choose to test the benefits of Weather Bos products without our participation, there is no way for us to know how they may apply our products, or even what their criteria is for performance. Unfortunately, organizations such as you describe rarely follow our directions for proper preparation and application and often don't use adequate quantity of product. Thus, the results may not meet the approval of some self-appointed authority. These organizations often make the assumption that if the deck does not look beautiful at a specific time in the future that this means the product has failed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Deck Boss is designed to penetrate into the wood, and not merely coat the surface with a nice coat of pigment. Remember, the aesthetics of the deck have nothing to do with the long term protection and performance of the below surface. Example: what do the dead bugs and pollution on your cars windshield have to do with the strength, durability, and performance of the glass? Nothing! Homeowners know they must clean and maintain all types of surfaces in and around their home: carpeting, windows, floors, roofs, siding, sidewalks, driveways, etc. However, they often think the deck will magically keep itself clean and always look beautiful. Imagine for a minute if you were to leave your laundry for a year or so on a clothesline suspended over your deck. After winter and summer weather exposure what would your clothes look like? Why would your deck, a horizontal surface, look any different? Please carefully read our brochure Why Do Decks Turn Grey?
Deck Boss is designed like no other coating product since we include a special balance of ingredients to counteract all methods of future deterioration. Deck Boss bonds molecularly with the wood, creating a bond that, once dry, is impossible to remove. It may be necessary to powerwash the deck once every year or so to maintain its original beauty, and apply a light coat of product to brighten the wood again much the same as washing and waxing your car. But once Deck Boss is applied properly to your deck, it will protect your wood forever, regardless of the appearance. Most stains just lay on the surface of the wood. Deck Boss penetrates the substrate to give you long lasting protection. A huge advantage is that Deck Boss is environmentally safe and up to 70 percent solids, whereas many stains and finishes are up to 90 percent volatilizes which evaporate, leaving you only 10 percent solid content.
Unfortunately, the public has bought into the misconception that if the deck no longer looks good, the product they used has failed. In many cases this is true, for the products used often consist of primarily evaporative carriers with a small amount of added pigment. With Deck Boss if you follow the directions and apply a minimum of 3 or more heavy applications after the surface has been properly prepared by powerwashing and or sanding, the results will be far superior to other products on the market. However, if you simply apply Deck Boss to the wood as it was installed, it would be like driving your car into a paint shop with all the road film and pollution on the surface and asking them to just shoot a coat or two of paint on it!
PRESSURE TREATED WOOD
I've moved into a house that has a pressure treated, unstained deck. I've heard that pressure treated wood is dangerous. Is this true? Can I use your product on pressure treated wood?
Pressure treated wood is treated with CCA (Chromated Copper Arsenic), which can leach into the soil, or into your body if you get a splinter. We highly recommend that you treat your wood with Deck Boss, as this will seal in the toxic ingredients. In addition, several applications of Deck Boss will provide you with long term protection plus the beauty of the natural wood. However, the green tint of the pressure treated wood will often effect the finished tone of the deck.
PRESSURE TREATED WOOD: SAFETY
I have been told that we should use pressure treated wood for our new deck because it will prevent damage from insect, mildew, and other forms of deterioration. Our local lumberyard has also told us that pressure treated wood is safe to use. However, when we questioned them as to the ingredients contained in the pressure treatment process they became evasive. What is the truth regarding this issue?
The following is information on pressure treated wood, which is used throughout the world to prevent insect infestation of wood. It reveals the use of extremely toxic chemicals, and is highly regulated by the EPA. The fact sheet below describes how to handle these materials, and you can see from the wording, which was mandated by the EPA, how potentially dangerous this product really is. This type of product is rarely necessary, except in specific, controlled environments. While pressure-treated wood uses dangerous chemicals for one purpose--to kill insects--Weather Bos is designed to protect against ALL methods of wood deterioration, by using natural resins and oils to restore the wood to its natural, healthy and resilient state while protecting it from damage the sun, insects, general wear and tear, etc.
When all pressure-treated wood (which is tinted a green or brown color), has been used, Weather Bos can be used to encapsulate the dangerous ingredients and prevent them from leaching out into the surrounding soil and local environment.
The EPA requires the following [Consumer information sheet on inorganic arsenical pressure-treated wood (including but not limited to CCA-Chromated Copper Arsenate)] information be given to every customer when purchasing any amount of pressure treated lumber. However, we often find that lumber retail yards are very reluctant to provide the required information.
"This wood has been preserved by pressure-treatment with an EPA-registered pesticide containing inorganic arsenic to protect it from insect attack and decay. Wood treated with inorganic arsenic should be used only where such protection is important."
Inorganic arsenic penetrates deeply into and remains in the pressure treated wood. However, tests have shown that there is a potential problem for leaching into surrounding areas of use. Exposure to inorganic arsenic may present certain hazards. Therefore, the following precautions should be taken both when handling the treated wood and in determining where to use or dispose of treated wood.
Use Site Precautions: Wood pressure-treated with water borne arsenical preservative may be up and disposed of after construction and the treated wood is securely covered preventing human contact of food item.
--Do not use treated wood under circumstances where the preservatives may become a component of food or animal feed. Examples of such sites would be structures or containers for storing silage or food.
--Do not use treated wood for cutting-boards or counter tops.
--Only treated wood that is visibly clean and free of surface residue should be used for patios, decks, and walkways.
--Do not use treated wood for construction of those portions of beehives which may come into contact with the honey.
--Treated wood should not be used where it may come into direct or indirect contact with public drinking water, except for uses involving incidental contact such as docks and bridges.
--Handling Precautions: Dispose of treated wood by ordinary trash collection or burial. Treated wood should not be burned in open fires or in stoves, fireplaces, or residential boilers because toxic chemicals may be produced as part of the smoke and ashes. Treated wood from commercial or industrial use (e.g. construction sites) may be burned only in commercial or industrial incinerators or boilers in accordance with state and federal regulations.
--Avoid frequent or prolonged inhalation of sawdust from treated wood. When sawing and machining treated wood, wear a dust mask. Whenever possible, these operations should be performed outside to avoid indoor accumulations of airborne sawdust from treated wood.
--When power-sawing or machining, wear goggles to protect eyes from flying particles.
--After working with the wood, and before eating, drinking, and use of tobacco products, wash exposed areas thoroughly.
--If preservatives or sawdust accumulate on clothes, launder before reuse. Wash work clothes separately from other household clothing.
Approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
From a recent report from Environmental Canada: Health Protections Branch:
....toxic effects of wood preservatives and pressure-treated wood have been seen in both animals and people. The effects range from slight illnesses to death. Accidental illnesses or deaths were traced to improper or careless use of the preservative chemicals or treated wood in the workplace or in the home.
....some people heavily exposed to preservative chemicals such as used in pressure treated lumber either in the home or in the workplace have become seriously ill; a few have died.
....studies in the smelting and metal-processing industries have shown that arsenic and chromium (which are present in CCA-type wood preservatives) will irritate the skin, and may cause or promote some forms of cancer.
In the United States I used a product called Dura Deck, which I believe was made by Weather Bos. Is Deck Boss the same product?
Dura Deck was produced for a specific U.S. market. Deck Boss is the global market equivalent, with all the durability and protection of Dura Deck, plus additional ingredients for specific climactic regions of the world.