(This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Read Part 2.) Q: Eighteen months ago I had a contractor build a wraparound deck of about 1,000 square feet with three separate levels and three sets of steps. I decided to have the deck built with the Brazilian hardwood ipe after viewing some of the decks he had built using this wood. They were beautiful. My new deck looked so good that I asked him to build a new fence adjoining the deck using the ipe wood. When the construction of the deck and fence was complete he sanded them and then stained them with a stain made specifically for that kind of wood. The results were spectacular. But, after the first rain, about two months later, the stain was completely gone from the deck except for a small area under the roof overhang. The contractor brought his crew back and they re-sanded the deck (not the fence) and stained it again using the same stain. Within another three months, the stain was gone from all the flat surfaces of the deck again. This time t...
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