False Deck Stain WarrantiesAny homeowner that has a wooden deck knows either the hassle of keeping it looking nice or how bad it can look when it is neglected. Wooden decks are extremely popular and for good reason. They add outdoor living space to your home and increase your home's overall value. When kept nice, wooden decks are certainly a huge plus for most any homeowner.

The downside to a wooden deck is the time and cost of maintaining it. Anything that is exposed to the elements will deteriorate overtime if it is neglected. Luckily, wood decks can be cleaned and waterproofed so they keep their like new appearance and last many years.

When it comes to quality wood protection, deck stains certainly get a lot of lip service. With so many brands and types of deck stains, it can be a bit tricky trying to find the right stain for your deck. In the past several years some deck stain companies have been increasing their warranties on their deck stain products.

Some deck stain companies claim their product will last 5 or even 7 years on a deck. They put this claim right on the front of the label and it certainly catches your eye. But how true is this claim? Can they actually say this if it weren't true? This is where things can get a bit deceiving.

First of all, if there was a deck stain that actually lasted as long as they claim, most every professional deck restoration contractor would probably be using it. But if you do a little research, you will quickly see that most of the professionals don't use the deck stains that advertise these false claims. As a matter of fact, most of them say these types of deck stains are junk and aren't what they claim.

Complaint after complaint said that the so called 5-7 year deck stains didn't even last a year. Everything from fading, water spotting, cracking, flaking, and peeling was all that any consumers were saying about it. To be honest, we couldn't find a shred of evidence of someone claiming that it did actually last as long as it claimed it would.

 

To dig into the "limited warranty" that these deck stain companies are offering is quite eye opening. If you can get past that huge "5 year warranty" that is slapped on the front of the can, you can begin to see how limited the warranty really is. For beginners, one such stain company claims the warranty is good "when applied to a properly prepared surface." What is a properly prepared surface and who gets to decide whether a surface is or was prepared properly? That's right - the deck stain company gets to make that determination when a claim is filed.

To read more into the warranty, it says that color fading and slight natural graying of the wood may occur during the 5 year period. So basically, if the stain begins to give way to graying, which is actually sun damage, then that is not covered under the warranty. They go on to claim that areas exposed to heavy traffic or excessive weather or also not covered. Again, who decides what heavy foot traffic is or what excessive weather consists of? It reads on that if you aren't satisfied with their deck stain product, at their option and upon proof of purchase, will either give you an equivalent of new product or refund the purchase price. The warranty excludes labor and costs for application or removal of the product, incidental damages, negligence, and so on.

The bottom line is, what is on the front of the can is basically false advertising. These companies know that no deck stain can possible last that long even under perfect conditions, but yet they insist on lying to consumers in order to sell their inferior product.

The truth about 5-7 year deck stains is that they do not and will not last any longer than other deck stains. But because most of them are a 100% acrylic formula or silicone enhanced, once the do fail they are extremely difficult and costly to remove completely. This is the main reason that most professionals will not use them and will tell you not to fall for the false claims.

The best way to maintain your wooden deck is to clean it and stain it every couple of years using a quality 2-3 year semi-transparent or clear deck stain. These types of stains will give your deck adequate protection and are much easier and cost effective to maintain.

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    Ron Schulz · 05/07/2018
    Is SICO exterior semi transparent Traditional Cedar wood stain code 234-851 any good. My brand new cedar deck stained in August 2017 started peeling two weeks ago in April 2018. Has anybody else complained about this water base stain?
    Thanks
    Ron