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    LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got Ray in Minnesota who’s working on a decking project. How can we help you?

    RAY: Yeah. I just bought a house and it was built in 2008. And I have a big, wraparound porch and it looks like it’s never been really maintained since they built it. And so, especially with the Minnesota winters up here and the weather, looking to seal it but not really sure what to use and also not really wanting to have to do it every single year. So, just wanted to get some advice about what I could do.

    TOM: So, is the porch flooring a finished floor or is it like a deck, like pressure-treated?

    RAY: Pressure-treated wood. It’s a deck.

    LESLIE: And is there anything on it currently?

    RAY: No.

    TOM: So, what you can do is you could apply a solid-color deck stain to that.

    RAY: OK.

    TOM: And a solid-color stain is going to last longer than a semi-transparent or certainly a transparent stain. But you use a deck stain because deck stains also have some durability to them.

    LESLIE: Yeah. The benefit of the solid-color stain is that because it’s a stain, it’s actually going to penetrate the surface of the wood, so the color will actually get into the lumber itself. And then a solid stain, obviously, as more pigment to it. So, given the fact that your deck has had nothing on it for however many years, it probably looks a little worn in places and maybe worse for the wear. So a solid stain is going to sort of cover all of that up while giving you some color and still act as a stain, since that’s what it is.

    And your – generally, if you apply it correctly, you’re going to get about five years on horizontal surfaces and about seven years on vertical. It really depends on the weather conditions, the application, how you prep it. Is the wood totally dried out when you’re putting it on? But a solid stain is probably the best bet.

    RAY: OK, OK. I had one question about it. I have seen some commercials for some new products that are more kind of concrete-based, almost like more of a paint-type thing. What about those? Are those good or would you recommend using something like that or …?

    TOM: Don’t do it. I think you’re talking about the products that are like liquid siding and things of that nature. If you were going to consider a product like that, I would Google the name of that product and the word “complaints.” Because we’ve seen a lot of complaints about those products that claim to encapsulate the surfaces that they’re applied to. Just not working very well.

    I would stick with the basics. A good-quality, solid-color stain from a good manufacturer is going to last a long time and you certainly won’t be doing it every year.

    RAY: OK, great. Well, I really appreciate the information and the help. Thank you, again, for taking my call.

    TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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