Environmental concerns surround deck sealer

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

(This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Read Part 1.) Last week, we answered a reader's question about maintaining the color in her newly installed wooden deck. The deck and fence were built with ipe, one of the exotic South American hardwoods. The homeowner was thrilled with the result -- initially. Her contractor applied a penetrating finish to the deck and fence, believing that it would help the wood maintain its color. Unfortunately, a few months after the installation, the finish peeled from the deck and the wood began to weather to a natural gray. Our reader notified her contractor that the finish failed. The contractor came back to sand and refinish the deck, not once but twice. After a few months and two different brands of sealers, the deck turned gray again. Both the contractor and our reader were at wit's end. She did not blame the contractor and neither do we. He made a good-faith effort to make the job right, and he should be commended. She sent us an e-mail with her st...