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Spring Deck Prep Tips

It's finally spring! Time to move out the patio furniture and get ready to enjoy the great outdoors.

But, before you do, make sure you clean, restore and protect your deck so you can get the most out of it during the spring and summer months ahead. Here are some deck prep tips from the experts at Wolman Wood Care Products:

? Clean the deck thoroughly to remove embedded dirt, fungus stains and gray surface wood with a formulated deck cleaner like Wolman Deck & Fence Brightener. The weathered gray wood left behind from last year's sun exposure, black or green stains from mildew, moss and algae, or brown-black tannin bleed common on new Cedar can ruin the look of your deck. Even newly built decks can require cleaning to remove invisible surface barriers like mill glaze on new Cedar or excess wax on pressure-treated wood. These invisible barriers can prevent the adhesion of protective coatings, including colored stains and clear sealers. Wolman Deck & Fence Brightener, removes surface barriers, gray wood surfaces and even the toughest of stains and restores the wood to its natural beauty without bleaching or yellowing, like chlorine bleach can.

? Strip any deteriorating or unwanted finish. If the colored stain on your deck has seen better days - or if you want a different look - now is the time to strip your deck's finish. Products like Wolman DeckStrip Stain & Finish Remover remove both oil and latex solid or semi-transparent stains and clear finishes and prepares the wood for the reapplication of protective finishes and stains. Deckstrip works fast, and can strip years of multiple coatings buildup in 15 minutes.

? Once the wood is restored and your deck is rid of any surface barriers or unwanted finishes, it should be sealed with a protective water repellent finish. You may want to apply a semi-transparent stain to enhance your deck's appeal, or a transparent finish to let the natural wood color and texture show through. But, even if you are undecided on whether or not to stain - or on the deck color - it's important, at minimum, to protect it with a clear water repellent. Water repellents stop spring showers from penetrating the wood surface, which can cause swelling, shrinking, warping and cracking. Many water repellents, including products like Wolman RainCoat, also contain a mildewcide that will impede the growth of mildew on your deck during the warm months ahead. Look for products like Wolman RainCoat, that offer a guarantee on water-repellent longevity, as they will provide longer lasting protection so you won't have to apply a new coat every year.

Preparing your deck for spring will protect your investment in it and enhance the enjoyment of your outdoor living space. For more information on Wolman wood cleaners, strippers and water repellent finishes, call the company's technical service department at (800) 556-7737. Or, visit the Wolman web site at for more helpful deck care tips.

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