What Are The Different Types Of Deck Stains and Sealers?

What Are The Different Types Of Sealers And Deck Stains?

Many homeowners wonder what are the different types of sealers and deck stains. How will they look on my deck?  How long do they hold up? This is a simple chart of the opacity of sealers and stains. I would recommend purchasing a color chart to get an idea of these types of  sealers. Many places such as Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and PPG to name a few have color charts, many will give away for free. This will allow you to compare colors at home for your deck or wood surface.

Types of Wood Deck Sealers and Stains

Clear sealers :

Protects wood from sun and moisture while allowing the wood to gray naturally. Water repellents protect wood against cracking, splitting and warping. Clear sealers have little to know opacity.


A penetrating oil or water-based clear waterproofing sealant that protects the natural beauty of the wood with a slight hint of color.

Semi-Transparent :

A penetrating acrylic/oil formula that stains and seals wood to offer great protection against water damage, UV rays, scuffs and provides a mildew-resistant coating. Semi Transparent introduces delicate color to the wood’s surface. Semi-Transparent stains contain the lightest pigmentation designed to accentuate natural wood grain and character.

Semi Solid:

This unique semi-solid/semi-opaque finish masks the wood grain but allows texture to show through. While Semi-Solid Stains provide greater opacity, they still highlight the natural texture of wood and provide a deep-penetrating, flat finish.

Solid Stain:

A coat of a solid deck stain completely hides the wood grain by creating a heavily pigmented film on the surface similar to paint. These come in any color imaginable and are available in both water-based and oil-based formulas.
Pros: Superb UV protection due to so much pigment


Here is a link and example of a solid deck stain from Cabot http://amzn.to/2wBB1ZX

What are those black spots on my siding.


Those annoying black spots that creep up your siding or splash along the side of your car may not be mud spatters but artillery fungus.

What is artillery fungus?

It is Sphaerobolus, a common fungus that sticks firmly to light or white colored surfaces and resembles spots of tar.

Its adhesion properties are legendary and the spots can be difficult or even impossible to remove without damaging the surface.

This common fungus is often found in bark mulch, especially hardwood mulch, too.

A good indication is they only appear to be on the siding where the mulch beds are. One way to check is by observing if spots are along the driveway where their is no mulch. If so it may not be artillery fungus.

How It Grows?

The best conditions for the formation of the spores are cool, moist and shady conditions. This is why the spores are more noticeable on the north side of a house.

They are more prevalent on light colored structures because the spore shoots the fruiting bodies towards light and light reflects best off of these lighter surfaces.

It is recommended that old mulch is raked to expose the spores to light and dry out the material, or 3 inches of new mulch added over the old to suffocate the spores of artillery fungus in mulch.

How to Get Rid of Artillery Fungus?

There is no recommended artillery fungus treatment. If the spores are fresh, sometimes soap and water with a scrub brush will remove a bit of the fungus. You can power wash them off of vinyl siding but such methods can be damaging to cars and wood siding. We have not found a effective or inexpensive solution to this pesky problem.

Importance of cleaning leaves and debris inside gutters

Gutters clogged with fallen autumn leaves can create standing water and standing water can invite all kinds of unwanted pests – like mosquitoes.

Protect your Home from Water Damage

Water damage can cause major problems in your home. It can lead to mold and mildew and it can weaken your home’s foundation and walls. This often happens when the gutters fill with leaves and debris and overflow into your roof.s structure. Potential problems from this is rotted fascia boards,leaking basements or crawl spaces, sagging gutters to name a few. No worries this is a simple fix. Pay a qualified and insured company to clean them out for you. If you’re comfortable and safe using ladders. This is something a do it yourself-er can definitely tackle. Safety 1st.

Who knew something so simple as cleaning inside gutters regularly (at least once or twice a year)  can potentially save you hundreds if not thousand in repair cost. Just look at it as preventative maintenance. I would tell my customers, you can spend 50-100 dollars today or run the risk of spending a lot more down the road. How much does basement repair cost or replacing rotted fascia and roof beams. Most people would get the picture.

Consumer reports say that in wet regions, leader pipes should extend at least five feet from the home.

“Check the entire gutter system seasonally for proper pitch and for clogs, corrosion, broken fasteners, and separation between connections and where gutters meet the fascia board,” the group advises.


When using ladders always remember: Safety 1st

Here are a few safety accessories I recommend for any ladder.

Stabilizers and Ladder Standoffs

Check these out on Amazon




Professional Tip Of The Day

Save time and money.

Invest in a high pressure shut off for your pressure washer.

This will enable you to switch back and forth from a traditional pressure wand and a flat surface cleaner.

Of course this is only if your unit does not already have one.

Simply attach this shut off valve at the end of your pressure hose.

Now you have the ability to attach different accessories.

For example pole extensions,flat surface cleaners and many other parts. And NOT have to shut down your machine to add attachments.

I LOVE having this ability. Saves so much time and money by not stopping so often.




  • High-pressure ball valve has a 3/8 in. male plug and a 3/8 in. female quick connector
  • Zinc-plated ball valve kit designed for high-pressure hoses.
  • Superior leak resistance.
  • Valve is easy to turn and provides good leverage under high pressure.
  • Max PSI: 4,000 PSI

What Pressure Washer Should I Buy?

Disclaimer: These are purely my suggestions and recommendations.  From more than 20 years in the business.

A 2600psi or higher gas pressure washers  can do some pretty serious damages but it doesn’t mean you couldn’t use those units for your applications.
Many gas powered pressure washers will allow you to adjust the power level. You could use those pressure washers to wash your car and windows or strip paint off your old wooden fence.
High power pressure washers will be A LOT more versatile than those under powered 1500psi or 1800psi ones. My recommendation is if you find yourself only washing your car on occasion or rinsing off patio furniture.
From my experience their is no need to purchase any unit higher than 2600psi (pounds per square inch).


Honda is famous for their small gasoline engines. Like their cars and lawnmowers, their gas pressure washers also live up to this reputation. They are easy to start. They are easy on gas. And they will last for who knows how long with just regular maintenance. A 2600psi pressure washer is capable of making dents (with the “right” nozzle) on your stucco (or even your drive way) already and it will be good enough for residential cleaning. But since power levels could be adjusted, it won’t hurt if you get yourself a bigger unit (if you think extra power is worth the cost). Our local Costco, Home Depot, Lowe’s  stores sells Honda pressure washers for under $500. Maybe you should check yours too. 🙂

Caution Needed and Safety : Be careful with those pressure washers. Always check the power setting before each use. They can cause extreme damage. But if deal with pressure washers on a regular basis you already know this.

Don’t be tempted to test how powerful the jet stream is with your hand. Many high pressure washers are very capable of giving you very nasty cuts.

If you have read my post  and quotes in the past I am partial to Honda Pressure Washers.

Again many have their preference and this is mine. After 20 years in the industry I can fully recommend my favorite tried and true Pressure Washers.

I will highlight two different units. One residential and one for commercial use.Here listed below are my recommendations.

*** When not using your pressure in downtime particularly the winter when temperature reach below -32 or freezing.

You must winterize your pump or store in a heated garage or similar. Safe area with good ventilation. Not in contact with living space. When not ini use I simply unbolt my pump and store indoors for the off season.

Freezing the inside of your pump with water left in it- WILL DESTROY YOUR PUMP SEALS,BUSHING ETC.


Click links below to see examples of  different types of pressure washers

For Commercial Use:

Residential Use:


Providing quality house (Castle) washing and home maintenance for over 20 years"