Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Deck and Patio Contractors Rated Highest in Quality?

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a deck and patio contractor that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified patio and deck company. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated patio and deck contractor and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you'll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you'll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Alameda County – Decks & Patios CATEGORY

John Grivas is a longtime veteran of the building industry and owner of Bay Area Deck, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 996-5813 or by email.

John Grivas

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

John Grivas: All Hands-On Deck

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

BERKELEY — For John Grivas, an interest in photography served as an unlikely catalyst for his career as a deck contractor. “I began studying photography in high school, and through that I got into building sets for photo shoots,” he explains. “While I appreciated the art of photography, I found that I enjoyed the hands-on work involved in set building even more.”

Later, following a five-year stint doing repair and renovation work for a property management company, John returned to photography for a time before ultimately establishing himself in the residential deck building trade. “I started working in a San Francisco photography studio, building things like light boxes and pulley systems,” he says. “Eventually, I got my contractor’s license and switched to doing residential work, where the market was a bit more lucrative.”

Today, as owner of Bay Area Deck, John says his favorite part of his job is the simple satisfaction he gets from achieving quality results. “I enjoy giving my customers exactly what they’ve envisioned for their decks. My guys and I go the extra mile to make sure the end product is what they hoped for and more.”

A lifetime resident of the Bay Area, John lives in Berkeley, where he expresses his appreciation for both its meteorological and political climates. “Besides the amazing weather, most of the people who live in Berkeley are pretty liberal and open-minded, which is how I tend to be in my own thinking,” he says. “Plus, we have a lot of great restaurants.”

Outside of work, John stays busy with hobbies that range from computer design to surfing. “I do a lot of computer graphics, primarily ‘motion drawings,’ which are 3-D animations of architectural drawings,” he explains. “I post them on YouTube sometimes, and I enjoy interacting with other designers via online forums. I also like to surf in Santa Cruz when I get a chance, as well as snowboard during the winter.”

In his professional career, John believes it’s important to treat every customer with respect, even if they don’t reciprocate the courtesy. “Once in a while I get a customer who’s really hard to please,” he says. “Rather than repay that negative energy, I always counter with a positive response because I know a knee-jerk reaction will lead to a bad situation. In many cases, I find I’m able to turn what might have been a negative experience into a positive one.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, John says he’d buy a house. “I’ve lived in apartments and condos most of my life, so I’d like to find a nice place I could really call home—maybe near a beach so I could spend more time surfing.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco 49ers.

Q: What’s your favorite style of music?
A: Classic rock. One of my favorite groups from that era is The Police.

Q: Do you play any musical instruments?
A: I play the drums.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Mint Leaf in Berkeley.

Q: If you could talk to anyone living or dead, who would you choose?
A: Abraham Lincoln. I’m a big fan of his—they don’t make guys like that anymore.

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Refurbishing Your Deck

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BERKELEY — If you’ve noticed your exterior deck looking a little dilapidated, your first thought may be to replace it. In many cases, however, a deck that looks to be in poor condition can actually be refurbished, repaired and/or remodeled. While some… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: An Alternative to Deck Replacement

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Complete Video Transcription:

BERKELEY — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re thinking about replacing your wood deck, it’s worthwhile to consider a more cost-effective option. Today we’re in Berkeley with Diamond Certified… Read more

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

  • Kohler

  • Grohe

  • Hansgrohe

  • Benjamin Moore

  • Anderson

  • Marvin

  • Gastite

  • Kichler

  • Azek Deck

Trex Decks
EverGrain Decks & Patios
TimberTech Engineered Decking
FSC Lumber Decks
CableRail
StoneDeck Decks & Patios
ChoiceDeck
Dec-K-Ing
DecTec Composite Decks & Patios
US Plastic Lumber
Heritage Vinyl Products
Plastival Composite Decking
Versadek Industries
Aurora Decking
Carefree Xteriors Decking Systems
Elk Composite Building Systems
Forever Wood Decks
Nexwood Composite Decking & Patios

outdoor patio
deck (decking)
pool decks
wood patio
concrete patio
deck railing
deck design
deck plans
cedar decks
metal decks
covered patio
custom deck
hot tub deck
deck construction
redwood deck
Brazilian Ipe deck
enclosed patio
composite deck

Alameda
Albany
Ashland
Berkeley
Castro Valley
Cherryland
Dublin
Emeryville
Fremont
Hayward
Komandorski Village
Livermore
Mount Eden
Newark
Oakland
Piedmont
Pleasanton
Russell City
San Leandro
San Lorenzo
Sunol
Union City

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94502
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AITC American Institute of Timber Construction (http://www.aitc-glulam.org/)
APA EWA American Engineered Wood Association (http://www.apawood.org/)
AWC American Wood Council (http://www.awc.org/)
CRA California Redwood Association (http://www.calredwood.org/)
CSLB Contractor State License Board (http://www.cslb.ca.gov/)

DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)
DIA Deck Industry Association (http://www.deckindustry.org/)
HPBA Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (http://www.hpba.org/)
NADRA North American Deck and Railing Association (http://www.nadra.org/)
NAHB National Association of Home Builders (http://www.nahb.org/)
NCBE North Coast Builders Exchange (http://www.ncbeonline.com/)
WRCLA Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (http://www.wrcla.org/)
WWPA Western Wood Products Association (http://www.wwpa.org/)

Know What You Want
What to Ask Yourself Before Hiring an Alameda County Deck and Patio Contractor

You need to decide and list the details of your deck or patio project. Items you will need to address are the colors, style and timeline you are considering.

Here are some questions that you may want to ask:

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified deck and patio contractor that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • Are there any changes or repairs I need to make to my house before the deck and patio contractors start their work?
  • What is our budget?
  • Am I planning on living in this house over the long-term or am I going to use it as rental property?
  • What personal and professional characteristics would I like my Alameda County deck and patio contractor to have such as good communication skills, timeliness, honesty, integrity, and reliability?
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What To Ask In Person
Interview Questions to Ask In Person to A Deck and Patio Contractor in Alameda County

Once you have narrowed the field to a few of the best Alameda County deck and patio contractors, visit a few of these in person to meet their representative.

Questions you might want to ask include these:

  • Will you provide a written or a verbal estimate?
  • Will you need permits to begin this job?
  • If permits are needed, who is responsible for getting them?
  • Do you hire any subcontractors for any of the work on the deck or patio?
  • What kind of warranty or guarantee do you offer?
  • What does you warranty cover?
  • How many deck and patio jobs have you completed in Alameda County?
  • Will you provide a written contract?
  • Can you provide us with 10 recent references?
  • When will you clean up?
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions To Ask Previous Customers of Alameda Deck and Patio Builders

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified deck and patio contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a deck and patio contractor in Alameda County in the cities of Alameda, Union City, Pleasanton, Newark and Dublin, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies.

    And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified deck and patio contractor within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your deck and patio contractor. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the deck and patio contractor are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process.

    That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    • Were you satisfied with the services from this deck and patio contractor?
    • What type of deck did they do for you?
    • Did they finish the deck or patio on time?
    • Did the deck and patio contractor clean up after they completed your job?
    • If you live in a smaller area such as Cherryland, Emeryville and Komandorski Village, were you charged extra for the deck and patio contractor’s travel?
    • Did they communicate well with you and keep you updated on the status of your deck and patio project?
    • Did the deck and patio contractor show up on time?
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  • Review Your Options
    Find and Hire a Good Deck and Patio Contracting Firm in Alameda County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Your choice of a deck and patio contractor is an important decision. So before deciding on the best deck and patio contractor in Alameda County for you, itis important to consider the following questions.

    • What does this deck and patio contractor offer that is specific to what I need?
    • Is this estimate with in my budget?
    • Can the deck and patio contractors in Alameda County meet your needs when it comes to scheduling, customer service and experience?
    • Does the deck and patio contractor offer a written warranty to back up their work?
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  • How To Work With
    How to Get an Accurate Estimate for a New Deck or Patio

    Building a new deck or patio does not have to be a major financial setback. Plan your budget and stick to it. After you have found an Alameda County deck and patio contractor that you can trust, you will have peace of mind having your deck or patio built.

    First, meet with the contractor and outline what your specific plan is for your deck or patio. Use the notes that you have taken so you can accurately describe any concerns that you have. Be as detailed as possible and donit be in a rush. It is as important for you to hear their suggestions and observations as it is for them to hear you. If you donit understand something, ask for an explanation. You need to completely comprehend the plan and any problems or solutions.

    Be sure to get all estimates in writing before any work begins. The estimate should include an itemized list of the cost of the building supplies and the labor. Donit ever sign a blank estimate.

    Signing a Contract With Your Alameda County Deck and Patio Contractor
    When you feel satisfied with the information you have received from your Alameda County deck and patio contractor, you can sign the contract. Make sure that they have a phone number where you can be reached at all times.

    If the actual building costs exceed the original amount of the estimate, the deck and patio contractor must get your approval before moving ahead.

    Prepare for Your New Deck and Patio
    Professional deck and patio contractors are able to handle the very small to very large aspects of their work. However, there are some things that you can do to prepare for them and to make their progress in building your deck and patio go more smoothly. Doing these things may even cut down on their labor costs and can keep your home and belongings from being damaged.

    Remove any furniture or movable items from the deck and patio area. Before they begin work on your deck and patio, remove all of the objects that may be in the way such as barbecues or lawn chairs.

    Provide parking space and room for their work vehicles to maneuver. Some deck and patio contractors have large vehicles that require more space than average. Contact your contractor before they begin building and ask them how many parking spaces they need and how much room they need for oversized vehicles. It is also helpful to walk through the area with your contractor so any hazards or clearance issues can be pointed out before the actual building of your deck and patio begins.

    Trim plants and bushes that are in the way of your new deck and patio area. You can save money and time by preparing the area for building by trimming or removing any plants, trees or bushes that are in the way. Ask your contractor what they recommend and the amount of space they require.

    Keep your pets and children away from the area. Your deck and patio contractor will be focused on building your deck and patio and should not have to watch out for your pets or children at any time. This not only prevents accidents and injury but also any expense that comes from accidents that may happen because of children and pets being in the way.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Alameda County Deck and Patio Contractor Customer?

    It's the deck and patio contractor's responsibility to put in a quality deck or patio using the best possible installation techniques. But you play a big part in the success of the building of your deck and patio, too.

    The following are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring an Alameda County deck and patio contractor.

    • Be clear and upfront with the deck and patio contractor. Let them know what you want, the long-term outcome you're expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way in maintaining a good working relationship.
    • Before you hire a deck and patio contractor in Alameda County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the deck and patio contractor's representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local deck and patio contractors occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your deck and patio contractor if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they're building your deck and patio. The work will move along more smoothly if your deck and patio contractor can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the building of your deck and patio on schedule.
    • Pay for deck and patio contractor promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Deck and patio contractors in Alameda County and the cities of Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Berkeley and San Leandro appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Examine the Contract and Your New Deck or Patio

When your new deck or home patio is complete, most contractors will give you a written invoice that details the completed work.

A complete and valid invoice usually includes:

  • The contractor’s name, physical address and license number.
  • A list of all services performed.
  • An itemized list of all the building supplies purchased.
  • The total cost for supplies, including the amount due for labor.
  • Any applicable warranties or guarantees provided by manufacturers or the company.

It is wise to compare the completed work with the written invoice. Ask your contractor to walk through the deck or patio with you and show you the work. Check the work with the invoice.

During the walk-through, ask if there are any special instructions for maintaining your new deck or patio. If you have any questions about the work or materials used to build the deck or patio, now is the time to ask.

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Written Warranties
Ask for Written Warranties On Your New Deck or Patio

Most good deck and patio contractors will offer some time of warranty on the deck or patio and the materials that are used to build it. All details of the warranty should be provided to you in writing.

This information should include:

  • The patio/deck contractor's name, physical address and license number.
  • What products and parts of the deck or patio are covered. This should also include whether the contractor will replace or repair your deck or patio in the event of a product failure.
  • Your responsibility if you place a warranty claim (i.e., if you have to pay for labor or materials, or if you are required to pay a prorated amount).
  • Terms, limitations and exclusions on the materials and workmanship.
  • If the warranties are transferable to the new owner if you sell your home.
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Top 10 Requests
Popular Types of New Decks and Patios

Is it time to replace your deck or patio or to add to your home by building a deck? You will want to know which type of deck is right for you. Deck and patio contractors in Alameda County offer a variety of materials for building your deck or patio. Some are more popular than others and the maintenance requirement also varies.

The following are the most familiar requests.

Natural Wood
This is probably the most popular material for building a deck. It is naturally beautiful and also quite affordable. While it is cheaper than composite material, the maintenance requirements for wood are greater than for composite. Another reason homeowners choose wood is that it is more versatile and can be stained a different color.

Solid Composite Wood
Composite wood gives you the look of natural wood, however the maintenance is much easier. A composite wood deck is made of a blend of wood fiber with plastic. This type of wood comes in different colors and it is very durable. Solid composite wood decks expand and contract as the weather fluctuates. The plastic gives this deck more durability.

Hollow Composite Wood
Hollow composite wood does not have quite the natural look of wood as the solid composite. You will also find that it is less durable; however, hollow composite wood costs less than solid composite wood. Hollow composite wood decking is stiffer than solid composite wood and allows you to run wires for lighting or speakers.

Vinyl
Vinyl is a durable option for decks. It is lower in maintenance than wood but does give more of a contemporary look. Its appearance is more man-made. One of its greatest benefits is that it does not warp or rot and it is not subject to mold. Most vinyl decking comes with a lifetime warranty.

Eco-Friendly Vinyls and Composites
Many homeowners are interested in building decks with green materials. There is a variety of materials that meets the standards of these homeowners. Probably the most eco-friendly material for decks is wood, but there are also many composites that are made up of a high percentage of recycled materials. Vinyl is also available that meets this criteria.

Pressure Treated Lumber
Many consider this a very affordable option. It does require some maintenance and although it is pressure treated, it needs to be taken care of. With regular maintenance, this decking will last and look great.

Cedar and Redwood
These woods are very popular because they are naturally beautiful. They do require regular maintenance and, unfortunately, they are liable to damage from insects and the weather. With proper maintenance such as staining and sealing, this decking can last for many years.

Tropical Lumber
Tropical lumber or exotic imports are considered heavy hardwoods. This can include mahogany or ipe. This lumber is resistant to insects and damage from weather.

Aluminum
Aluminum decking is very low in maintenance however it is not inexpensive. It is recyclable. One of its positive aspects is that it is almost indestructible and even fireproof. Aluminum may cost several times more than exotic lumber. Homeowners choose it because it is so easy to take care of.

Untreated Softwood
Untreated softwood is inexpensive. Softwoods include pine and fir. Although it is inexpensive, it will be necessary to treat it every two years or so with stain, paint or sealant. A problem with untreated softwood is that it is susceptible termites.

Popular Patio and Deck Material Brands

  • EverNew
  • EZ Deck
  • GeoDeck
  • Weatherbest
  • Nexwood
  • Oasis Decking
  • Timbertech
  • Trex
  • Choicedek
  • Evergrain
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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Terms for Decks and Patios

beam
A beam supports the joists and spans between the posts.

building a deck
Building a deck is the construction of a patio or deck, typically outdoors.

Also known as: deck construction, deck building, patio deck construction

covered decks
Decks that are either partly enclosed or just covered with a screen or built in top.

Also known as: covered patio

custom decks and patios
A deck or patio that is made to order for a particular customer.

Also known as: custom decks, custom patios

deck contractor
A deck contractor is someone that installs decks.

Also known as: deck builders, deck building contractor, wood deck contractors

deck designer
A deck designer designs a deck specifically for a particular customer and it is usually designed specifically for an individual.

deck designs
Deck designs are the plans for a deck that have been developed by a deck designer for a specific customer.

Also known as: deck design, deck plans

decking boards
Deckings boards are the floor surface of the deck.

decks and patios
Decks and patios are traditionally an open space outside of a house which may be directly attached to the home or detached. They may be designed with the landscape of the yard in mind.

Also known as: decks and patio, deck and patio, deck and patios, outdoor decks, outdoor patios, backyard decks, backyard patios

decks and patios plans
Decks and patios plans are plans for decks or patios that are designed with location, materials and maintenance considered.

Also known as: deck plans, patio designs, deck designs, patio plans

decks and patios remodeling
Decks and patios remodeling is changing the structure or form of an existing deck or patio.

Also known as: deck and patio remodeling, deck remodeling, patio remodeling

fascia
Fascia are boards that are put around the sides of your deck and attached. They also cover ends ends of the boards around your deck for decorative use.

footings
Footings are made of concrete and are put in the ground for support of decks.

joists
Joists are supports for the boards of decking.

joist hangers
Joist hangers are fasteners that are made of metal and they attach the joists.

ledger board
Ledger boards are attached directly to your existing structure.

patio
A patio is a paved outdoor area near or next to a house.

Also known as: patios

patio contractor
A patio contractor is a person that contracts to provide labor and materials to build a patio.

Also known as: patio designer, patio builders

piers
Piers are concrete blocks that are above the footing of your deck.

posts
Posts support the beam and they are on the piers. Posts are vertical supports used on many types of decks.

post anchors
Post anchors attach the deck posts to the piers by metal brackets.

rim joist
Rim joists are usually on the side of the deck furthest away from the home. They butt up to the joist ends.

Also known as: perimeter joist

wood decks
Wood decks are decks that are attached or next to a house that are constructed of wood and used for outdoor space.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions for Good Deck and Patio Contractors

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified deck and patio contractor?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a deck and patio contractor with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country's most in-depth rating process. Only deck and patio contractors rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award.

Most companies can't pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoingresearch and ratings. And your purchase is backed by theDiamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you'll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified deck and patio contractor.

Q: How much does an average deck or patio cost?
A: Every deck and patio is unique. There are many variables which are factored into the price of your project. The price will depend on the materials you choose, the railing systems, and if any plants or trees need to be removed. All of these are figured into the price of your project.

Q: What decks are maintenance free?
A: Most people consider composite decks fairly maintenance free. They do not need to be stained or painted. If these composite decks are cleaned and taken care of, they will last for many years and look very similar to when they were first installed. Other benefits from composite decks are that there are no slivers to get into bare feet and it is less slippery when wet.

Q: Do I need a permit to build a deck?
A: In most cities a permit is required because a deck is considered structural. This means it carries weight other than itself – the weight of a person. Because of the way some decks are built – high off of the ground – they require structural building to transfer the weight of the load to the ground.

Q: What happens if I build without a permit?
A: We highly recommend that you do not do it. Getting a permit isn't that difficult and it will save you the hassle of any difficulties that arise from not having a permit. Without a permit, you could be fined or not able to sell your house until the permits are obtained.

Q: Is it necessary to maintain my wood deck?
A: If you want your deck to look good and keep it from rotting or splitting, then, yes, you need to maintain your wood deck. Regular maintenance will keep your deck from showing signs of deterioration from the water or sun. In time, without maintenance it will eventually rot or the wood will split.

Q: When should I seal my wood deck?

  • After your wood deck is completed, wait six to eight weeks to seal it. Sealing your wood deck will keep it from discoloring and it will also keep the wood from splintering.
  • All wood decks need to be cleaned. Power washers do not damage wood when they are used properly. However, power washing decks and patios may raise the grain of the wood. Before you seal your deck, you will need to sand this down.
  • Seals are a protection for wood that works by penetrating the wood fibers. This slows the water absorption causing the water to evaporate before it is absorbed.
  • Many types of sealant are an oil-based covering that protects wood. It not only protects but improves the appearance of decks and patios. Deck sealing lasts for several years depending on weather conditions.
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