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Here’s a fairly new hardwood deck, three years old max. This picture shows a finished swatch up against boards that haven’t even been washed. The home is off Graham Hill Road between Santa Cruz and Roaring Camp. The picture was taken at 10:45am, without sun, in early May 2020 as the morning dew was finally burning off.

…and that ended that workday
The tendency is always to stain immediately. Resisting the urge will always prove correct in this marathon.

This particular redwood deck was built in July 2019. The washing and staining took place in February 2020.

The weather was perfect for a full week. Here are clean redwood boards in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Specialists in Outdoor Wood Maintenance, Deck Staining, Shingles and Siding Restoration, Arbors, Fences.

Note to all Deck Builders.

Space out the boards properly or you are doing your client a major disservice in the end. The boards need to be separated beyond the old school of thought that suggested the separation needs to be no wider than the width of the nail or screw heads that are being used to build the deck. How much wider depends on many factors. Too many factors to mention actually. Just make sure they are spaced out properly for long term wear/tear and of course maintenance. And while you are at it, you might suggest softening the edges for your client. Softening along the boards, AND the ends of the boards make so much difference in look and feel.
*Here’s a real nice example in Capitola. I could have chosen perhaps a more relatable measuring device like the depth of an iPhone8 inside one of those fat Otterbox cases, not the iPhone8 itself. And there in lies the difference!

These are steps obviously. These steps lead up to a front door. They are used fairly regularly though not everyday, all day. The steps get filtered afternoon sun. The steps were built in summer 2018, and a few months after being built, the client wanted them stained with a very dark tone that the stain manufacturer calls Butternut. It turned out beautiful. To die for actually.

Fast forward one year, and just one year and this is what the steps look like. Warn down in the middle of each and every step yet holding stain nicely on both sides of the middle. Could this have been prevented?

The answer is Yes and No.

Santa Cruz Aptos Soquel Seascape Scotts Valley Felton Live Oak Capitola

    This brand new deck in Santa Cruz was a pleasure and challenge wrapped into one.  Springtime proved to be way too consistently variable with heavy rains and winds during the three week span it took me to properly wash and stain this Clear Cedar Deck near Steamer Lane.

These pictures are both taken around 11am after one of the heavier springtime Santa Cruz storms in decades.  I chose to showcase them side by side because they tell one of the more important stories regarding deck maintenance.  For another time…..

Call or email today.  Decks, Arbors, Fences, Shingle Siding

State-of-Art Custom Transparents

Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Felton, Boulder Creek

Beautiful Ipe Deck in La Selva off San Andreas.  Every 24 months keeps this deck just about right.


Even after all these years, I still get confused when the client says they want the shingles to look natural.  I’m never sure if that means naturally clean or naturally filthy.

Not What You Want

A question Quinn and I get asked a lot:  What is the best method to match & maintain my wood deck when a board or two, or perhaps large portions of our deck are replaced with new boards?  It’s a good question.

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Puro Picasso

With our winter weather being so unseasonably warm and cooperative, this spring project got moved up to January/February 2018.  This is an enormous East Facing side of a shingle home in South Santa Cruz.  These closeup shots make a couple of points.  First, every shingle will forever appear different, regardless of how well maintained they are.  And second, you are looking at a very custom marriage between white exterior paint and transparent stain.

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Every so often the entire deck is stained and sealed.  If you have the disposable income, and you have a deck that you want to have last forever and ever, then it should seem reasonable that at least every other year it should be loved up.  At least the horizontal boards that comprise the deck.  The other parts, may I suggest every so often.


Wood Restoration Santa Cruz County

March 2017, Scotts Valley

When you can’t quite make a decision on color tone, blend them all together..


A composite organism made up of a fungus, usually an ascomycete, that grows symbiotically with an alga or a cyanobacterium and characteristically forms a crust-like or branching growth on rocks, tree trunks, and sturdy wood benches on unused tennis courts.




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Aaron Lubell

Aaron Lubell, Santa Cruz County, Lubell aptos Scotts Valley Santa Cruz Soquel california presure washing staining wood deck maintenance Santa Cruz Scotts Valley..

Pressure Wash Decks, Gutters & Spouts, Wood Siding, Cedar Shingle Maintenance Santa Cruz Deck Maintenance Santa Cruz, Aptos, Watsonville, Monterey, Corralitos

Est. 2001 Santa Cruz, Monterey Decks Concrete Bricks Homes

Communicate via email please:

cleaningsantacruz at gmail dot com

Seasons End

Lots to update.  Projects galore.  It was a shingle maintenance heavy summer.  Pictures to follow from all 2009 Santa Cruz County deck maintenance work too.   IMG_1386

The name in Santa Cruz for deck maintenance, shingle and/or wood siding.  These guys do it right.  They do it honestly.  

Shingle Maintenance, Custom Wood Deck Staining and Sealing, Wood Sided Homes

Email is cleaningsantacruz@gmail.com

Pictures of your wood deck or siding help expedite the process.IMG_1360

Our work is so organic, this four legged twig thingy feels right at home!

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