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When Can I Paint, Stain or Seal My New Pressure-Treated Wood Deck?

After an Archadeck of Raleigh-Durham crew completes construction on your new pressure-treated wood deck, you might be wondering why we don’t stain or seal your deck. New pressure-treated wood needs to dry after construction before it can be stained or sealed. This process can take many months depending on your deck’s sun exposure and the weather patterns after construction is complete. Without waiting for the wood to dry, stain and sealant would not penetrate the wood properly, diminishing its ability to protect the wood from weather damage.

Raleigh Pressure Treated Wood Deck Without Stain

Why Does Pressure-Treated Wood Need Protection?

Pressure-treated wood is a porous material. Without stain, any type of paint or sealant, rainwater, dew or snow can easily penetrate the decking. The wood will then swell until it dries when it will shrink again. This pattern of swelling and shrinking can cause damage to the wood such as splits, checks, splinters, cracks, and other blemishes. Protection from UV rays is also necessary for insurance against fading, discoloration, and warping.

How Long Should I Wait to Stain My New Deck?

Pressure-treated wood has been through a process that applies preservatives into the wood, making the wood wet. It is important to wait for the wood to dry before sealing a new deck, but at the same time, you don’t want to wait too long. Drying can take several months. We recommend beginning to test the wood around 90 days after your project is completed, but this is just a general suggestion. Keep in mind there are a number of factors that can affect how quickly your pressure-treated wood dries, including the weather, the environment, how long the wood sat in the lumberyard, and the time of year in which your project was built. The best way to know for sure if your pressure-treated wood is dry is to test it.

Unfinished Pressure Treated Wood Pergola Raleigh NC

How Do I Know When My Pressure-Treated Wood Is Dry?

A simple water test will tell you if your new deck is dry and ready to be treated. Place a few drops of water on the deck. If the water beads up, you’ll need to wait a few days and check it again. If it absorbs into the wood quickly, your deck is dry and ready to be sealed or stained.

Would you like to NEVER paint, stain, or seal your deck again? Consider upgrading to composite decking.

Who Will Stain or Seal My Pressure-Treated Deck?

It is important to protect your investment with proper care and the first step in keeping your deck structurally sound and great looking is proper staining or sealing. You can always choose to stain or seal your pressure-treated deck yourself, or you can hire a professional to do it. There are many tips and tricks for how to complete the process available online. For example, read our story Archadeck of Raleigh, Durham & The Greater Triangle Answers the 10 Top Questions About Sealing and Staining Pressure Treated Wood Decks. We are also happy to refer you to a professional service that will stain or seal your deck for you.

Questions About Staining or Sealing Your Deck?

If you have more questions or concerns about staining or sealing your Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill or Cary deck, please give us a call. We are always available to answer your questions, and look forward to working with you! 919-973-1523

Check out our related content:

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Raleigh-Durham Deck Builder
What are the Costs of Maintaining Pressure-Treated Wood Decking?

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