Deck-staining that can’t fail

Look for product that resists water, mildew

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Q: I have a deck that was built in October 2006. Does it need to be stained this soon? This will be my first deck-staining experience, and I was also wondering what things to be aware of, and if there are any suggestions for easier application, especially on the posts and railings. --Margaret M. A: Staining a deck offers lots of advantages, and I recommend doing a new deck as soon as the wood has dried and settled in. Yours could be done at any time the weather conditions are appropriate, and should be repeated every couple of years, depending on weather conditions. A good deck stain will penetrate into the wood, where it offers moisture protection by helping the wood to shed water. This prolongs the life of the wood, and helps prevent splintering and loosening around fasteners. The stain also provides protection from the sun's ultraviolet rays, which also helps prevent drying and fading of the wood. Finally, the stain helps you preserve the original color of the deck, or l...