Update for 2018: My Deck Stain Turned Black
We appreciate when people write in and ask for advice when something goes wrong during their deck staining projects. Today we talk about what causes your deck to turn black after a year or two and what to do to get rid of the problem. We appreciate your input, so feel free to leave a comment below with pictures of your deck stain projects.
Why Did Your Deck Stain Turn Black?
Many things can happen to a deck stain when it is not applied or maintained properly. The biggest reason for a deck stain turning black is mildew. All wood surfaces need to be cleaned correctly prior to staining. The use of a quality wood cleaner and pressure washer or scrub brush is necessary to remove all the contaminants like dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and graying.
When contaminants are left in the wood pores and stain is applied a whole host of problems can occur. Mildew can begin to grow underneath the deck stain, which causes discoloring. This can also lead to rot and decay because if there is mildew there is also moisture present.
Another reason your deck stain turned black can be from using an inferior stain. Cheap quality deck stains do not contain the mildewcides and inhibitors that more quality deck stains have. The mildew or black discoloration can occur on top of poor quality stains. Some low-quality deck stains can even be the cause of mildew infiltration. Some cheaper deck stains can actually cause mildew to grow in certain conditions.
To cure a deck that has turned black you will need to strip the wood using a quality wood deck stain stripper or wood deck cleaner. Remove all the old existing deck stain along with any graying, mildew, and other contaminants. Wash the deck several times if need be. Once all the wood is clean and allowed to dry for several days, apply a quality deck stain that contains mildewcides and mold/mildew inhibitors so the darkening of the stain does not reoccur. Proper maintenance should include a light wash every couple of years followed by a recoat of the same quality deck stain.