Deck Work

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This is Ipe’ in Santa Cruz.  Same deck, same corner of deck, same exact transparent blend.  Just a different angle, and a different time of day.  Santa Cruz County Deck Maintenance.

Beautiful Deck on The Peninsula.  My second time out to this property, first time being 2014.  This deck takes 6+ hours of hot afternoon sun daily.

Water Bead Test more to show just how natural the finished look of the Extreme Stain by Defy is when professionally applied.  This combination is 1/4 Driftwood Grey, 1/4 Light Walnut, 1/4 Cedar, 1/8 Redwood, 1/8 Butternut.

Santa Cruz Deck Maintenance

Hardwood Deck – Felton California

Extreme Stain by Defy, Custom Redwood Blend

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This A-client waited as long as she was capable of waiting before telling me to stop telling her to wait.  It was going to be that classic case of client always being right, even though I always know best.  The Lowdown: It’s new wood, and was just built a couple months prior.  It had definitely turned a little.  And by turned I mean that the brand new pinkish white look had faded some.  There were bird droppings all over.  Many of the boards had already pushed out additional sap.  It was no dirtier than it should have been.  If it were my deck, I definitely would have waited another 4 months, which would have meant like half the upcoming winter.  Well the client wasn’t having any more of my logic, and I was happy to cave in to her request.  They are close friends and special clients to me.

I will be keeping a close eye on this new entryway.  It’s right in my neighborhood, and I’m always curious.  Especially when I reluctantly cave in to a work related request.

Transparent Stain is Extreme by Defy(Dark Tone)

Santa Cruz Deck Maintenance

Pressure Washing, Custom Staining

There were several factors that lead to me agreeing to perform this solid color makeover.  It was a full wash, and a partial stain.  We stained all the flooring, the top piece of the rail, and too many accents boards to name.  I ensured the client that I would tie everything together symmetrically.  The goal was to find that balance between investing the right amount into this 30 year old deck.  We used a Flood Product that we purchased from King’s Paint & Paper.  I forget the exact color.  It was my only time working with a solid decking stain this particular deck maintenance season, and by the end of the job, I was reminded 1000x why.  To me it felt like I was applying chocolate fudge everywhere.  In the end however, and yes it took an additional ten hours of honest labor for me to get to that particular end, the results were quite nice.  Most importantly, the client loved it.  As always, I was the harsher critic.. 

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More Ipe’.  This is a beautiful deck.  It’s at least eight years old.  The deck is likely 10-12 years old.  It gets filtered sun throughout most the day.  It sits beneath two pretty good sized Oak Trees.  A really nice design with every board having to be cut 2x.  Upper Prospect Heights Santa Cruz California.  The pictures tell most the story. 

The clients had been living here for eight years.  They hadn’t done anything to the deck since moving in other than regularly blow off the abundance of leaves and debris, and a couple times per year the homeowner would bust out his Target Pressure Washer and give it what he probably referred to as a deeper cleaning.  Outside of that, the Ipe’ just sat there and endured summer after summer, winter after winter.

Obviously from the pictures, it was pretty filthy.  Thankfully, it cleaned up real nice.  I’d like to point out picture #3.  You can see the reflection in the standing water.  That means only one thing.  The spaces between the boards are crammed with debris.  Water proves to just as much damage to wood boards as does sun.  And slippery when wet!  Picture #4 is a dry look of the staining process.  We used Extreme by Defy, a blended tone.

Santa Cruz Deck Maintenance

This was a new(ish) east-facing backyard deck up near UCSC.  This redwood deck was built in the late summer 2015.  This client happened to be an accomplished wood worker himself, and knew the importance of letting brand new redwood boards age in place.  He and his wife happened to wait a couple years, which certainly was not too long given the fact that the deck only gets morning sun til about 2pm.

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Naturally, the deck had opened up, and oxidized grey.  Obviously it cleaned up very nicely.  The clients wanted a dark, richer tone to match the modern look of their home.  We used a Butternut Tone blend from Extreme by Defy.  We washed and stained some of their Ipe’ furniture as well.

Another quality custom deck project in Santa Cruz County. 


SC Deck Maintenance, Custom Deck Staining Santa Cruz

Emeline Road, Santa Cruz

Wash Me

Photos like this never get old.

It’s a constant reminder

of what lies below the silvery-grey.

IMG_4254This is 25 year old redwood

after a cold water pressure wash,

and a little time to dry.

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Six y/o rails on this deck in Scotts Valley, CA. 

We applied Extreme by Defy, Redwood tone.

Santa Cruz Deck Maintenance summer 2017

Ipe Upkeep

Say that 5x fast..


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This beautiful, 3yr old Ipe’ deck is nestled in the hills of Santa Cruz County off Hwy 17.  This photo was shot just after the deck was cleaned.  It had been previously stained when the deck was built.  Typically when a new deck is stained immediately after it has been built, the lasting factor stands to be pretty short.  That means the wood boards needs a little time to “open up” before being stained.  Especially on a hard wood deck like Ipe’.  After this particulardeck was washed, it virtually had no stain remaining on it from the previous application.


Way more times than not, the deck boards that I(we) monkey around on, and have been monkey(ing) around on every single year for the past 17 years, have all been built too close to one another. 

I don’t claim to know too much about building decks, but I do know a thing or three about how the deck boards should be spaced for optimal maintenance.  I’m going to leave it at that for now…

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IMG_3323IMG_3327We see this a bunch.  A very functional deck that has been cared for in the past with a solid or a semi solid stain.  I forget this exact story, but from what I remember, this RED job was done 8-10 years ago.  Capitola, New Brighton Beach area deck.  Gets tons of sun.  That being said, I knew that just by washing the deck, an additional 85% of red would wash away, and it did.  In addition to that, all the bare wood you see in the pictures would become very clean and ready to go the transparent route.

Had we tried to convert this deck five years go, there may have been too much existing stain.  This company does NOT sand, stain, strip, and/or the like.  If a mistake was made in the past with a stain that was TOO dark or TOO solid, or TOO dark AND solid, the silver lining is that the wood is probably being very well protected.

Unfortunately I do not have any additional shots of this particular project.  It was all washed, and just the floor and top piece of rail were stained with a redwood tone transparent stain.  Water based of course.  The white pickets were also washed, and to save a $$$, the client decided to stain them herself.

Made Cents

img_5977img_5994More times than not we stain the deck and the rails in their entirety.  From time to time, when the vertical posts on railing are close enough together to prevent a small mouse from getting though, we suggest saving a buck and passing on rail staining. The decision was the difference between a $550 job and a $1100 one.

12 year old redwood deck.  Valencia Road.  Aptos, CA

Shadow Dancing

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Shadows on transparent materials are magical.  It is the reason why it’s important to stay transparent(pun) and not make or be persuaded into a decision to do otherwise.  If you begin the deck journey with a solid stain, or even a low end semi-transparent, you’re going to be sorry.  *Just a note about picture on right.  The three boards on left side of picture are clean, but do not contain any stain.

These decks shown here in Ben Lomond CA were in serious need.  Because it had been ten years since the last bit of maintenance, thankfully a solid stain had been used the last time.  The color tone was a flaky pinkish-auburn, and it wasn’t pretty.  After the deck was prepared for stain, it was determined that the both decks would easily absorb a fresh coat of transparent material.  Transparent material demands a bit more attention and maintenance, and the client bought in after half the results were in.  This is a mid morning photo from mid July.  We used a high end water based product called Extreme.  You be the judge!

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Since 2001.  Santa Cruz County Deck Maintenance serving all surrounding mountain towns including Felton, Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, Bonny Doon.


img_8451Beautiful hard wood deck in Felton California
Deck Maintenance and Restoration Specialists

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