Did you just build a new patio or deck or contract a company to build it for you?
A new deck contains varying degrees of moisture and debris that you do not want to seal into the wood. This makes it difficult to understand if you should stain a newly built deck. The first rule of thumb is to wait at least two to three months before staining a brand new deck.
This ensures that the moisture and debris exits the wood for you to seal the deck later. You will want to seal a new deck eventually. Sealant protects your wood in the future. Consistent rain and snow increases the chances of your wood deck becoming waterlogged. Once a deck is waterlogged it loses value and typically needs to be replaced.
If you live in an area where it rains frequently wait until a two month period when rain is least frequent. Try to avoid seasons such as the spring when large amounts of rainfall come down. Stray away from staining the wood in the winter months to prevent ice from being sealed into the wood.
A great way to test if your deck or porch is ready to stain after a recent installation is to drip a small amount of water on the wood. If the water soaks into the wood quickly it is ready to stain. This indicates that the wood is dry and not filled with a large amount of water. If the water sits on top of the wood for an extended period of time or does not seep into the wood at all, wait several months to let the wood dry out. Sealing wood that is highly saturated with water is unwise, and it causes additional problems in the future.
Also consider that all stains take different periods of time to dry. Check to see how long a stain dries before applying it to your deck or patio. Check the weather to establish an appropriate time to put a layer of stain on your deck. Various stains require two or three coats, so account for this time as well.
A wise homeowner stains her deck or patio after its installation. This fights off unwanted grime and protects the wood from simple everyday gusts of wind and falling branches. Extend the lifespan of your deck and increase its value by thinking ahead and covering it with a layer of sealant. Think about the amount of time after you install the deck to assure the most effective layer of protection.
Tell us about your experience with staining a deck after a recent installation. How long would you wait until you stained your new deck or patio?