Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592
Email

 

You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Finishes for Wood Decks

Source: USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, FinishLine, 2013

Author(s)Knaebe, Mark

Publication Year: 2013  View PDF »

Related Publications: view

Category: FinishLines

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.

A penetrating finish applied to wood decks provides better overall performance and is easier to reapply than a film-forming finish (e.g., paint, solid-color stain). In addition to the continuous shrinking and swelling of the wood caused by changes in the moisture content, film-forming finishes are subjected to excessive wear, especially in high-traffic areas. For these reasons, penetrating finishes, not film-forming finishes, should be used on wood decks.

Keywords: decks; finishes; wood preservatives; preservative treated wood; water repellent finishes; stains

File size: 139 kb(s)

Date posted: 07/17/2013

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »


Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »


Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


Nanotechnology

A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »


Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »