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11 Signs It’s Time To Restain Your Home Deck

No matter how durable your purchased items or products are, you will always need constant maintenance to preserve their appearance and functionality. It may require adding touches to ensure the longevity of the materials. The same also applies to home decks. Unfortunately, most deck owners often ignore signs about their wood’s condition and the need for restaining. Restaining is the process of applying a fresh coat of penetrative dye on wood. If you don’t do this regularly, the wood may lose its vibrancy and protection from the elements. When this happens, it could lead to further deterioration like complete rotting or splitting of the wood. So, to prevent such from happening, here are the crucial signs to look out for when it’s time to restain your home deck:

When It Soaks In Water

Woods might absorb water in their natural form. And when they do, it could promote softening, rotting, and eventual splitting of the woods. However, this shouldn’t be the case with your home deck. It is because they are made of finished wood, which consists of several coats of oil, wax, or paint. Quality stains help to prevent your wood from absorbing moisture which could eventually damage it. When you notice that your home deck has started to soak water in, it could indicate that you need to restain it. You may check to see your staining options. 

Utilizing a high-quality stain would ensure that water rolls off the woods and does not penetrate them. A water test would help you to know the state of your wood. You could add a bit of water to the deck. If it forms into little beads, then you can be sure that its integrity is still maintained. If, however, soaked in, you should get it restained immediately.

When The Paint Starts Peeling

Have you noticed that your deck paints have started peeling off or flaking? If yes, then you should get it restained. Many things could lead to your wood paint peeling off. It could be because the finishing process wasn’t done appropriately or if your wood was stained while still wet. These and many more factors like wood rot would lead to your paint peeling. Whatever the cause, you need to restain the wood.  

However, it would be best if you determine why you have the paints flaking off your home deck. Sometimes, if the issue lies underneath, you may be required to peel off the entire deck paint and thoroughly wash the wood before restaining.

When Obvious Stains Or Discoloration Start Appearing

You could be walking and looking through your deck and find patches of stains. It might not be a good sign. It could be an indication that the wood is starting to rot. If you find soft or rotted areas, you may have to change the wood entirely before staining to prevent further reoccurrence. However, if the stains are due to hand touch or specks of dirt, restaining to blend them out would be fine.

When Your Deck Is Faded

Your deck is part of your home and could affect the general curb appeal of your building. Hence, as a homeowner, you shouldn’t neglect them. When you observe that the colors of your deck are starting to fade out, they need a restain. Does the current stain look dull? Maybe it is turning gray or faded. You could make it look vibrant by adding a fresh coat of paint. Get a professional to help your home deck look livelier with a restain.

When They Start To Crack

Your deck shouldn’t be a platform full of cracks. Maybe a few splinters here and there are still manageable. But when they become numerous and spread over the deck, they scream for a restain. 

Harsh weather conditions or constant pressure may make your deck susceptible to cracks. It is, however, your responsibility to act fast to prevent further rotting or splitting. Applying a fresh pour of stain can help your deck survive.

When Molds and Mildew Starts To Grow

Such circumstance is unsightly and unhealthy for yourself and the wood. The growth of molds and mildew is enhanced by moisture. When you see them on your deck, it shows that your deck is probably not repelling water. That means water gets into the fibers of the wood and gets soaked. Molds and mildews can grow and cause further deterioration of the wood. Consequently, it could reduce the value and curb appeal of your deck. You can solve this by cleaning the mold and applying a fresh coat of stain.

When Boards Get Loose or Wobbly

A loose board is another sign that should bring your attention to your deck. Woods typically become loose when too much pressure is applied to them or due to wear and tear. Accessories like bolts and screws may even rust and become weak. If you notice any loose portions in your deck, ensure to have them replaced. It is for your safety to ensure there is no sudden breakage of the wood, which may lead to accidents. After replacing the loose boards, you can do a general restain of the deck.

When The Woods Start To Look Dry

No matter how much maintenance you have invested into your deck, it will grow old eventually. A dry look is one of the things that come with woods that have stayed over a long time. When your wood starts to look dry, they need a fresh start. It may be expensive to change these woods, especially if they are still strong. You can salvage the situation by restaining the deck.  

Fresh stains would add more brightness to your wood. They also protect your wood from excess moisture that could lead to other complications and eventually destroy the integrity of your wood. 

When The Woods Get Curling Edges

Curling edges don’t look as appealing as they sound. They are a bad sign for your deck and would require that you replace and restain them. Curling edges show that your wood is shrinking, weakening, and reducing density. Several factors could result in this. Harsh weather conditions like too much exposure to direct sunlight could lead to curling edges of your wood. Lack of adequate humidity in the air could also be a factor. These are factors often beyond your control. However, you can salvage and prevent this by restaining your deck constantly.

When The Woods Feel Soft

It is best that you feel safe in your own house. But what happens when you walk on the deck and feel like you would sink into the ground in the next minute? As you have read above, many factors could lead to wood damage. These could leave your deck feeling soft and spongy, which is a sign you shouldn’t ignore. And you shouldn’t wait till your deck falls apart before you get something done. That might not be cost-effective and could even lead to accidents. You could salvage this by getting them restained professionally. You may be lucky to get this done without having to replace your entire deck.

When The Insects Starts To Thrive

Having insects thriving in the cracks of your wood could destabilize your deck’s foundation and reduce its durability. Insects are one of the major culprits in eating up your wood. They also promote rotting, which can irreversibly damage your wood. When you notice insect infestation in your home deck, it’s a sign to have it restained. 

It is better to restain as soon as you see insects gathering in the cracks of your wood. If they are too many to manage, calling pest control services would be best before restaining them. Restaining your home deck could help prevent the intrusion of insects or further spread. An insect infestation could lead to the sagging, cracking, or total collapse of your home deck if prolonged. So, it would be better to take care of this issue as soon as possible.

How Often Should You Restain Your Deck?

You don’t have to wait for these signs before restaining your deck. More often than not, these signs could indicate a significant issue. You may be able to prevent these for a long time by constantly staining your deck. Different factors could determine when exactly to have your deck restained. It is why you should hire professionals to give you a deck maintenance routine that may help you to avoid the replacement of woods for many years. Generally, decks should be stained every two to three years.

Deck staining could be more time-consuming than you think. It could also require technical know-how. Depending on the peculiarities of your wood, a professional will take your deck through a routine, ensuring that the effects of your restaining can last long. Services like pressure washing, preparation, and application processes could be done to help you get the best results.


Lots of wood damages and deck faults can be prevented if they are restained from time to time, even before these signs emerge. Restaining would ensure a long lifespan for your woods. It is one of the best solutions to restore the look of your home deck. They also protect the integrity of your wood and make your home more appealing. However, it would be best to have your woods restained by professionals to get the best result. Get your deck restained regularly with high-quality stains to prevent possible damage.