Xpost from Porches: Trouble if I do nothing til spring?

la_koalaNovember 2, 2012

Dear GWers,

While I posted this in Porches & Decks earlier, I wanted to check if there's any consensus among those of you who hang out here on Paint. You have always given me great advice with my interior paint questions (and I owe Faron a huge debt of gratitude for the "load a roller" steps--I pull them out during my still-in-progress dining room wall project)

This situation is:

- My house is in Massachusetts, it's the beginning of November, and I am a newbie DIYer.

- The floor part of my front porch is (was) basic wood boards: stained and and covered with a clear coat.

- Because the stain was really faded (no idea when it was last taken care of), and I didn't know enough to take care of it myself, I arranged with a guy to "refresh" it. The plan: powerwash to get the dirt off, sand, and then stain and coat of poly. He said he could do it before it got too cold.

- Last month, he did the powerwash. But now due to various weather delays, he's behind on his other more lucrative ventures, and would like to bow out.

While this split is amicable (no hard feelings, I understand, etc), given that accuweather predicts lots of upcoming rainy days and cold nights, I am now concerned that there is no time left between now and the start of winter to have anyone complete the work on the floor boards.

What bad things might happen to the floorboards if I simply leave it over the winter? A winter that is likely to have rain, freezing rain, snow, etc, etc?

What sort of things would I be facing in the spring then? Will the boards rot out? Freeze/thaw cycling in the cracks--would that make them break apart and have to be replaced by then?

Is it better for me to rush and put down a clear coat to protect it from the elements, and plan to have it stripped off and done right in the spring?

With night temps in the 40s, is it already too late?

Thanks in advance for any opinions you have (even if it's to say "You dope!" for poor planning)

Here's a pic of the floor:


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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

It should be fine till spring, not really anything you could do now anyway.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 4:07AM
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I agree it's fine to leave until next year, but poly on an exterior deck? Please explain. You should just need to stain it and you may need to remove all the stain that is currently on the deck so that the new stain can penetrate properly. 'Freshening' up partially weathered decks never really works out because the stain will sink into the areas that are weathered and sit on top of the areas that are not. You can buy a deck stripper type product that you spray on the wood before power washing and usually can get back down to raw wood fairly easily.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 12:20PM
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Hi christophern and paintguy,

Well, you've both made me breathe a sigh of relief that it'll be fine to leave it until spring! I have been so nervous thinking that I'd have to do 'something', and not knowing what, or when, to do the unknown.

I mis-spoke when I wrote "poly" (yeah, I know that I don't know a lot about this stuff). I double-checked the original sheet from the guy, and he had written down "clear sealant". I had had "poly" stuck in my head from some prior interior work done a while ago, and somehow collapsed the two in my thinking.

paintguy, Thanks for pointing out that aspect of new stain on weathered wood, and the uneven result. A question though--are you saying that only stain at all would be needed on the decking? And no clear sealant-sort of coat of any kind over the new stain?

If no sealant sort of coat, then is there a regular annual or bi-annual maintenance routine I should plan on doing from then on?

It is a covered porch -- I just can't fit the ceiling into the photo shot and also get the view of the floor. :-)

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 5:43PM
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