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Old 02-12-2018, 01:40 PM   #1
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Default Deck Problem

new to the forum but had this issue last summer. I've done many decks, but last summer had a problem.

So a client calls me out to check out his deck. Says it has not been stained in 10-12 years, since he moved in. Looks like it was never stained, at least any sort of color, overall looks like pretty good condition. Deck is about 6 inches above the ground.

My process:
-Power Wash/Clean
- Sand with orbital sander 80 grit
-blow off dust
-2 coats SW SuperDeck in a solid stain.

Client calls me up about 2 weeks later and asks if the stain should be peeling. I respond no and check it out. Around the natural cracks in the wood there is some pealing. Maybe in like 4-5 spots, about 5 inches a piece. I call my SW rep and he comes out to take a look. We inspect the rest of the deck and take a 5 in 1 tool to the rest, rails, boards, etc. and can't get anything to come up or even scratch. Rep thinks it was a combo of the boards being old and too cracked, and the deck being so close to the ground, and moisture coming up from the bottom.

I offer to re sand and re stain. Guy wanted me to do the entire deck, with a huge floor sander. (Boards are screwed in from the top). I tell him its not necessary but he insists and says I have to sand EVERYTHING down and re do it. I told him there was no way I was re sanding the entire deck and re staining it. Eventually mutually parted ways.

Thoughts? Anyone have similar issues? This is the first deck i've ever had an issue with, and wondering if theres a way to know this before hand.
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Old 02-12-2018, 02:26 PM   #2
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Thoughts on why it peeled?
-Maybe moisture content was too high, did you test?
-Even 80 grit paper on an orbital turns into 200 grit if not changed often enough, and can leave a sort of glaze on the wood, drastically limiting a stains ability to penetrate/adhere.
-It was a solid stain. Solid stains can peel.

If you had a deck that was never stained, I would've done everything in my power to persuade your customer to use a non-film forming stain. If they don't agree to a penetrating oil stain, I just pass on them.

Only other suggestion would be to get a moisture meter and test in multiple areas to confirm the wood is dry enough to accept the stain.
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Old 02-12-2018, 02:30 PM   #3
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should have used a deck brightener to remove the dead wood fibers instead of just shoving them into the wood with a powerwasher and sanding. Eventually they will come off, attached to the stain.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:23 PM   #4
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Sanding then power washing is better since you get all the dust out of the wood. Using a cleaner and brightener would certainly have helped also. The stain wasn't the issue or else it would have failed across the entire surface. Could moisture from underneath caused the stain to peel? Yeah, I guess so, but that's not the case here.
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:00 PM   #5
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This is why decks are such a crap shoot. You can prep them properly and still have issues. In this case, yes, it DOES sound like moisture is migrating from below, but, part of the blame should be on the homeowner who, 1) Never had any kind of coating applied to the deck, and 2) Who lets a deck go untouched for 10-12 years?

That guy was expecting some kind of miracle. I know when I run into those type of deck refinishing projects, I put conditions into the contract stating that the deck wasn't properly maintained for 12 years and that it is possible to have areas of premature failure due to the neglect. Now, that likely wouldn't hold up in court, but, at least it acts as an education tool for the HO who, at least, will now not expect miracles.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:33 PM   #6
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Speaking of Decks: Does anyone use Floor & Deck PAINT? Do You like it? Does it last?
I ask because I did a solid stain (Olympic) on the deck floor and the steps to the walkway, they are a mess after 1 season AND YET, floor paint on the steps into the house are as sound as the day they were painted. I was thinking of redoing the trashed steps with the same paint as the steps into the house. Any thoughts on this one?
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:13 PM   #7
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This is why I prefer not to do exterior paint jobs. Unless it’s new material ready for paint/stain.


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Old 02-13-2018, 01:52 AM   #8
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Decks is a Art , try Dont use solid stain peeling one day for sure
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PACman View Post
should have used a deck brightener to remove the dead wood fibers instead of just shoving them into the wood with a powerwasher and sanding. Eventually they will come off, attached to the stain.
I did, I sprayed it on before I power washed.
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:10 AM   #10
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Thanks, i'll have to invest in a moisture meter.
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpaintman View Post
I did, I sprayed it on before I power washed.
Good. As long as you didn't use to high of a pressure you did it correctly. I hate seeing people basically "strip" the deck using a powerwasher at a high pressure. Nothing good comes of it. But as it is now, with you having done a proper prep as far as we can tell, it comes down to what actual stain you used. I am not a big fan of the Superdeck product line myself. Being a Pratt & Lambert dealer i have access to the entire Superdeck line and have chosen to not carry it because of previous complaints i heard when i worked at PPG and at a Ben Moore dealer. It is a product line that is average at best, a slightly better option then what the box stores carry. Very over priced as well at retail for what you are getting. I know the SW stores highly recommend it though, but in all honesty what else do they sell other than SW owned products? Those store people get paid to sell products they have no say in carrying, so what would you expect them to say?

Most of the time the Superdeck products work fine, but I have heard a few too many complaints myself to have enough confidence in them to pay for them out of my own pocket and sell them.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:45 AM   #12
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How high is this deck from grade?
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
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How high is this deck from grade?
It’s six inches off the ground.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:18 AM   #14
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Had a similar issue up in big sky with the arborcoat solid, rep came to take a look but being that it was applied several years ago unable to come up with a specific cause. cleaned the deck with restore (316) then brighten (317), scraped/sand the problem areas, spot prime with oil then reapplied the stain. Looks good two years later. Had another customer with railings that were peeling due to covered foliage causing moisture problems. Same thing, remove source of moisture, scrape, sand, reapply. Use your moisture meter!

Deck Problem-img_3067.jpeg

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Old 02-13-2018, 11:45 AM   #15
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I've got deck steps that are actually IN Lake Erie that haven't peeled in two years. Moisture is a huge issue, but it can be overcome. If the deck is 6" high above a non-sloping dirt surface you are going to have problems. People rarely think about such things when building decks. (I had a painter that actually could powerwash pine tree sap off of a deck he did three years ago. Customer called him last spring to see if he could get the sap off and he figured he would try to powerwash it and any stain that came up he would re-coat. He didn't use any kind of detergent just the powerwasher. None of the stain came up or peeled after he was done.)
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:27 PM   #16
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I stopped taking on decks 10 years ago. One of the best decision I ever made.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:45 AM   #17
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Quote:
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I stopped taking on decks 10 years ago. One of the best decision I ever made.
I really don't think anyone can charge enough to actually do a deck correctly. I wouldn't touch them if i was a painter. They are a lot more labor intensive to "fix" than anyone is willing to pay for.
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:04 AM   #18
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Redo the problem spots, say thank you, talk to SW about the warranty, and walk away. I want to fly to Hawaii every month for two wix, so what?

PS: every time deck customer is asking how long it will last, I say, the can says so and so, in my experience it is so and so.. most say do it)

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Old 02-16-2018, 09:46 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Redo the problem spots, say thank you, talk to SW about the warranty, and walk away. I want to fly to Hawaii every month for two wix, so what?

PS: every time deck customer is asking how long it will last, I say, the can says so and so, in my experience it is so and so.. most say do it)
The cans say all kinds of crap don't they? But in all honesty there is no reason why a painter shouldn't put the onus back on the stain manufacturer! They're the ones making such BS product claims so they should be held responsible for the product performance the consumer actually gets.
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