Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Finishes for Wood Decks

Informally Refereed
Authors: Mark Knaebe
Year: 2013
Type: Finishlines
Station: Forest Products Laboratory
Source: USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, FinishLine, 2013; 2 p.

Abstract

Wood decks have become an important part of residential construction. Wood decks can add versatile living space to a home and, with minimal maintenance, provide decades of use. However, wood decks are exposed to high levels of stress from severe weather conditions that shrink and swell the wood. Without proper maintenance, wood decks can develop problems such as checks and cracks, raised grain, and mildew, thus increasing the risk of decay and insect attack. Because of these risks, lumber used in decks is usually pressure treated with a preservative, or the lumber used is a naturally durable wood such as redwood or western redcedar. Applying an additional finish to wood decks will minimize the problems of cracking, raised grain, and mildew growth.

Keywords

decks, finishes, wood preservatives, preservative treated wood, water repellent finishes, stains

Citation

Knaebe, Mark. 2013. Finishes for Wood Decks. USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, FinishLine, 2013; 2 p.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/research/treesearch/32439