Cobra’s Deck Restoration and Protection
Although two decks may have the same structure, no two decks are exactly the same. They are different ages, designs, types of wood, the sun hits each differently, each deck is used differently and they either come to us without a product ever being used on it or multiple layers/colors of some unknown product. This is why you hire an expert that specializes in ONLY decks, fences, and concrete. In over a decade in the Triangle area, we have brought back to life close to 10,000 decks, fences, and concrete structures with our 3 step system. Our system has been designed specifically for the surfaces we protect and coat. The first step in any process is preparation of the surface. The proper preparation will allow the coating or stain to adhere properly to the surface. Spraying a non bleach, non acidic, non toxic cleaner and brightener on the surface allows us to be less aggressive with the cleaning process. These cleaners will gently lift the mold, mildew, organics, dirt, or any other foreign material to allow for the cleanest surface possible. Using our proprietary commercial grade cleaner will be less destructive and will get the surface much cleaner than just ordinary power washing. After the surface is cleaned and prepared properly, the Cobra Team will guide you through the process of selecting the proper protection for your surface. For decks, this will either be a semitransparent or solid water based stain. Our expert staff, at the initial meeting, will be able to determine the needs of your surface and be able to give you different options as to the products that are available and what will protect and look the best for your specific project. For most projects we are able to turn a dirty, ugly deck into a masterpiece within 2-3 days! The products we use have a high level of ultraviolet (UV) protection and also has a built in water repellency that will allow the water to shed off of the wooden deck surface and bead on the surface.
You may be asking, “My granddaddy said oil based stains are better because they penetrate deeper.” The part about the stain penetrating deeper is true, but there is NOT a direct correlation between penetration depth and how long the stain lasts. In fact, water based stains hold their color longer and do not fade as fast as oil based stains. The biggest factor as to why Cobra Deck and Concrete uses water based stains over oil based stains is the fact that the oil based stains attract mold and mildew much more quickly than water based stains. We can examine any deck in the south and know within seconds by visual inspection whether a water based was used or an oil based was used. Oil based decks ALWAYS have signs of more black mold spots and darkening areas than decks that used a water based stain.
Cobra Deck and Concrete is your expert for protecting and maintaining the beauty of your deck and/or screened porch. We look for long-term partnerships with our customers to maintain your very expensive investment for the life of your home. We look forward to working with you on your next project!
Ipe and Brazilian Hardwood Decks
At Cobra Deck and Concrete, we have brought back to life hundreds of exotic wood decks, which include Ipe, Tigerwood, Mahogany, Oak, and other Brazilian hardwoods. They are such beautiful decks if maintained properly! This is a good news/bad news story though. The good news is that if you are lucky to have inherited an Ipe deck or had an Ipe deck built, these boards are tough as nails. (In fact, you cannot drive a nail into it because it is so dense!) These boards will not warp, twist, cup, or do other weird things that pine wood will do unprotected and when water gets to the wood. The bad news is that to maintain the stunning beauty of the wood, you will need to have it stained every year to 2 years religiously. No stain will penetrate well into this wood and the sun breaks it down quickly. If you have Ipe, it will last years and years, but to maintain the protection and beauty, you will need to stain it fairly.
With that being said, if you NEVER stain it, the boards will eventually turn gray and will develop miniature cracks. These microcracks are just the wood spreading out along the grain and it becomes less dense. When this happens, staining the wood will still look dull an the wood will lose its attractive luster. My best advice on Ipe and other exotic woods is to stain them as much as your budget will allow. If you want to have the amazing beauty of the wood all the time, be prepared to stain the wood annually. If you are just wanting to protect the wood fairly consistently, make sure you stain wood that is in direct sunlight every 2 years and wood that is inside screened porches or verticals as needed.