Complete Porch and Deck Care


Rain, sunshine, snow, and sleet take a toll year after year. To stay ahead of the weather, deck owners must know how to test, clean, stain, and seal their decks. If you’ve already fallen behind in deck care, the information below will help you bring your deck back to its original beauty.

Tools and Materials

  • Clear Plastic
  • 80-Grit Sandpaper
  • Broom
  • Garden Hose
  • Pole Sander or Power Sander
  • Putty Knife
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint Roller
  • Goggles
  • Safety Mask
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Deck Cleaner
  • Stain and Sealer

Testing the Wood

First thing’s first: do you need sealant or stain? Sprinkle some water on the deck and wait. If it soaks in quickly, the deck will accept new sealant and stain. If not, it doesn’t need it yet.

Deck Cleaner

Deck cleaners remove dirt, stains from nails, mildew, and algae from the deck’s surface. Always use a cleaner before applying a finish.

  1. Remove all deck furniture and plants.
  2. Sand splintered or eroded areas with 80-grit sandpaper. Replace damaged boards.
  3. Replace nails with screws (optional, but recommended).
  4. Clean debris away. Clean between cracks in boards.
  5. Apply cleaner to entire deck with pain roller, sprayer, or push broom, being careful to avoid puddling.
  6. Allow around 10 minutes for cleaner to soak into deck.
  7. Rinse deck.
  8. Allow deck to dry two days before applying sealer or stain.

Applying Stain or Sealer


Always read the manufacturer’s directions before applying sealant or stain! Drying times also depend on the temperature and humidity. Don’t apply in the direct sunlight. Do not apply sealant to brand new treated lumber. Wait several weeks. Use an opaque or semi-transparent stain if you have replacement boards in your deck. That way, you’ll get the same color over the entire deck.


  1. Choose a day with temperatures between 50 degrees and 85.
  2. Remove all deck furniture and plants.
  3. Sand the entire deck surface. Replace nails with screws (optional).
  4. Sweep off debris and clean between cracks.
  5. Stir sealer or stain thoroughly, but do not shake.
  6. Apply a thin coat of stain or sealer, then go over it with a paint roller.
  7. Paint corners and areas near house with a brush.
  8. Let dry completely.

Now you can enjoy your deck for years to come!


For any other interior or exterior projects, come to Bauer Construction. We do it all, from disaster restoration to renovations, remodeling, and handyman work. Call 847-553-5331 and ask for Jeff. Or shoot us an email at

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