Should I do-it-myself or hire a professional?
"READY SEAL" is easy to apply for the do-it-yourself homeowner.  There are several reasons for hiring a professional contractor for taking care of these kinds of projects.  Contractors do this work every day (rather than once every year or two, like most homeowners). They have the tools, techniques, and products all figured out, which means that you get a better, longer-lasting job.

What should I look for in hiring a professional?
Selecting the right contractor can be a tough decision, because the only criteria most homeowners have to base their decision on is price and their neighbors' experience.  If you go strictly by price, you will inevitably select a contractor who doesn't have experience, hasn't invested much in training and tools, will be using the cheapest sealer and may not be in the business next year when the job fails.  We suggest you seek a contractor who has been in business for at least five years, specializing in working with wood.  Check references and other credentials and find out if the contractor has a reputation for standing behind his work.  When comparing estimates from other contractors it is the utmost of importance that you know what product your contractor is going to be using.    

What type of warranty should I expect?
The maximum warranty that anyone can offer for ANY product is 2 years or vertical surfaces and one year on horizontal surfaces (limited to product replacement).  The United States Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory Journal Vol. 51, Nov/Dec 2001, pages 27-32 suggests that there is NO product on the market today that can be warranted for any length longer.  Be cautious when buying a natural wood finish and do not fall for something that is too good to be true, because it probably is.

Is there any wood that "READY SEAL" cannot be used on?
"READY SEAL" can be used on just about any type of wood.  There is another formula that is made especially for redwood called Redwood Only.  Care must be taken when using this formula because it will lap and streak.  This formula is also recommended for Mahogany and furniture. 

What is the coverage rate?
One section of fence is about 50 square feet per side.
One 5-gal pail will cover approximately 750 square feet.  (Approximately 15 sections - 1 side)
Add 30% more material for Brazilian pine, cedar, board on board, shadowbox, and very old dark gray fences.  (Approximately 20 sections - 1 side).

New Pressure Treated: 150-200 sq/ft/gallon 
New Cedar & Brazilian Pine: 125-150 sq/ft/gallon 
Older Wood: 100-125 sq/ft/gallon Rails: add 20% to rail coverage if spraying.

What are the temperature limits on "READY SEAL"?
"READY SEAL" can be used in hot or cold conditions.  Bright sun is not a problem.  It will penetrate a little slower in colder conditions as the wood grain begins to shrink.  It also is harder to get wood to dry out in cooler times.

Why do I need to do anything if my deck is made of Pressure Treated Wood?
Pressure Treated Wood is protected against rot and decay.  Pressure Treated does not mean weatherproofed, in fact pressure-treating wood can make it more susceptible to moisture damage.  Moisture damage leads to splitting, warping, and cracking, and can cause wood to become discolored and unattractive.  Pressure treated wood also contains CCA, Chromated Copper Arsenate, and contains the dangerous chemical arsenic.  As of December 30, 2003, CCA products cannot be used to treat lumber intended for residential settings.  The US EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) does not recommend replacing your pressure treated wood structures, it does however suggest finishing them with oil-based semitransparent stains on a regular basis to reduce CCA exposure.

Does Treated Pine need any protection?
Treated Pine is normal Radiata Pine that has been pressure-treated to resist decay, termites and fungi.  The treatment involves saturating the timber so it is essential to leave treated pine to dry properly before applying a coating.  While it will remain in good structural condition for many years, the initial green color will fade and the surface will become gray over time.  Applying "READY SEAL" to Treated Pine will give the desired appearance in addition to prolonging the lifetime of the timber.

When applying "READY SEAL" to a log home, should I chink or stain first & when?
Stain should be applied first, prior to the application of any caulking or chinking, and allowed to thoroughly dry (24-72 hours after the last coat of stain depending on the weather).  On new construction, this will be after the walls are erected, the roof is on, the windows have been installed, and any cleaning/borate treatments have been applied.  On existing homes, this will be after any previous finishes have been removed and the logs have been cleaned and allowed to dry. The stain will provide a clean/primed surface for the caulking or chinking to adhere to and you won’t have to be concerned about coloring the chinking.

How long should I wait to stain a new deck or fence?
Your deck or fence should be sealed immediately using "READY SEAL".  It is misinformation if a contractor says to wait at least 6 months to a year to stain your wood.  A lot of damage occurs during this first year, and much of it is irreversible.  During this time, your wood will be exposed to all of the elements, and promote premature warping and cracking of the wooden boards.  Think of your new deck or fence as your skin.  How long would your skin last unprotected if you were to stay out in the sun all day every day? 

Why is it important to clean the wood, or rather remove the gray, before applying "READY SEAL"?
If you apply to a dirty wood surface, the wood stain will go on dark and dingy.  If there were any gray colored areas in the wood beforehand which was not removed, that area will now appear black. 

How do I remove nail streaks from my fence?
Apply a wood brightener with an active ingredient of Ethanedicarboxylic acid or most commonly known as Oxalic acid (2 1/2 pounds of powder crystals to 5 gallons of water) and let it evaporate naturally by the sun.  Oxalic acid or a wood brightener can be purchased at your local paint company or hardware store.  For stubborn rust stains, apply more solution and let it stand longer.  Be sure to follow all cautionary statements on the label to avoid damage to nearby plants or personal injury.

How do I remove candle wax from my deck?
In the case of removing candle wax, place a rag saturated with mineral spirits on the dried wax.  The rag will absorb the wax. Be sure not to allow the rag to dry out and never perform this procedure in the heat of the day or in direct sunlight, due to potential combustion.  Do not leave any oily rags contained in a non-ventilated area as they could combust and cause a fire.  For proper disposal, contact your household refuse collection service.

How do I remove barbeque grease stains from my deck?
Try using a water-soluble automotive degreaser or carburetor cleaner; or with TSP (tri sodium phosphate).  As with the candle-cleaning method, do not apply this product in the heat of the day or in direct sunlight.  Rinse thoroughly with fresh water.  Do not leave any oily rags contained in a non-ventilated area as they could combust and cause a fire.  For proper disposal, contact your household refuse collection service.

What is the best way of removing the manufacturer ink stamps off of my new wood?
Lumber-grading stamps are nearly impossible to remove from the surface of new wood.  The only way to remove these enduring marks is by sanding.  Use a 10,000 rpm orbital sander starting with 40 grit paper and finishing with 80 to 100 grit paper.  Caution: 140 grit sand paper will produce a finish too fine for the wood sealer to penetrate.  Do not sand rough sawed lumber.  Note: you cannot sand wet wood.

Does wood preservation protect against moths?
No.  The purpose of wood preservation is to deter insects and fungi.  Moth control is usually attributed to aromatic woods such as cedar.

Why can't I just put a clear waterproofer on my wood to keep the natural look?
Any clear waterproofing agent you put on your deck first of all is water-based, and will not last for more than 8 months on average.  Water-based products do not penetrate the wood they are applied to, they just sit on top of the wood, and actually trap any moisture inside, causing premature decay.  Also, if there is no pigment in the stain, then you are not getting any protection, because the pigment in the stain deflects the sun's rays.  The rule of thumb is, the more pigment in the stain, the more protection your deck is getting.

Does "READY SEAL" need to be back brushed?
No back brushing is needed because it penetrates quickly without any laps, runs or streaks.

How long a drying time does it need before it rains?
It can be rained on 15 minutes after it is applied.

How long does it take for oil to soak in after sealing?
There will be a oily residue on wood for 48-72 hours after sealing.  

My color is too dark when done?
It takes 10 days to 2 weeks for "READY SEAL" to reach its true color after it is applied.

Some pickets doesn't look like it took the stain while the others look fine?
Unlike paint products which mask the beauty of the wood, "READY SEAL" is a stain that will reveal all variations of the wood being good or bad.  Knotholes will sometimes have a white area surrounding but will eventually darken over time.  Some areas of wood will have a characteristic of a lighter or graying color because the wood is dead.  Dead wood is the result of rot caused by nature when the timber was left laying on the ground.  Dead wood is the result of fungal decay, (more commonly known as 'dry rot' and 'wet rot'), and wood boring insects.  Dry rot (Serpula lacrymans) can be seen by the fine gray strands (hyphae) of the fungus spread over and through the wood.  Wet rot (Coniophora puteana) leaves the wood a dark brown color with small cuboidal splits or longitudinal cracks.  Wood boring insects, commonly, called 'woodworm', lay their eggs on or in the timber and the larvae that hatch from these feed on and bore through the timber causing damage.  No matter how many times you apply stain to these areas, they will not change color.  If you decide to replace the wood with new wood, the stain will not come out the same color because you are working with a variance of two different types of wood.  It may be of best interest to leave the old wood alone.

What do I do about the dark stains in cedar & in redwood known as tannin bleeding?
Tannin is just one type of organic material that occurs naturally in decay-resistant species.  While aesthetically displeasing, this discoloration does not harm the timber or the coating.  Extractive bleed is not stain failure.  When extractive discoloration occurs, tannins are dissolved by moisture and are then drawn to the surface by the sunlight.  When extractives do appear, they can often be removed with detergent and water.  Stubborn tannin stains can be removed with an oxalic acid-based wood brightener.

How do I remove pitch stains, or crystallize sap from my pressure-treated wood?
Pitch stains, or crystallized sap, found mainly around the knots of pressure-treated wood, can be removed with turpentine or simply scraped away.  Turpentine will not harm an existing coating.  Pitch is a non-water soluble, organic wood extractive material found in species such as Ponderosa, Southern and White Pine.

How long do I have to stay off my deck once it is stained?
Once the deck is sealed, you can literally walk on it within a half hour, and you can safely put your deck furniture back on within 24 hours of dry weather.  If you do need to walk on the deck immediately, it will not harm the finish, but it may leave some residue on your shoes, so be careful not to track it in your house.

What type of salt is recommended to put on my deck during the winter?
Only use sodium chloride (i.e. Halite) types of salt on a wood deck or porch that has been water-sealed or stained.  Calcium chloride salts will reduce the effectiveness of a water-repellent coating.  Furthermore, do not use a metal shovel to remove snow from a deck; it can pierce the underlying coating and cause it to erode.

Why does product stop beading water?
After the product has completely soaked in the beading will stop.  This does not mean that it has stopped performing.  "READY SEAL" is made to spread water out so it will dry up as quickly as possible.  It is still keeping water out even though it is not beading water.

How do I get over spray off?
Try to get it off before it dries with a rag and mineral spirits.  Simple Green works well also, but do not get it on the fence or deck after sealing.  Other products that have proven to remove stain from surfaces is a spray-on can of foaming bathroom cleaner like Scrubbing Bubbles.  Also, a spray can of WD-40 has also proven successful.   Always test an area to see what affect it has on the substrate being cleaned.

How do I remove stain from metal fence posts?
A strong ammonia works best in removing "READY SEAL" from metal fence posts.  Do not let the ammonia dry on the surface as it will etch the surface.  Always wear protective goggles, rubber gloves, and a self-contained breathing apparatus when using this type of chemical.

How do I remove stain from windows?
You can try using Simple Green All-Purpose cleaner, but a strong ammonia works best in removing "READY SEAL" from glass.  Make sure it doesn't get on any painted surfaces as it may remove the paint.  Do not let the ammonia dry on the surface as it will etch glass.  Always wear protective goggles, rubber gloves, and a self-contained breathing apparatus when using this type of chemical.

How do I remove stain from my swimming pool?
Manually remove the stain from on top of the water with a net and allow the pumps to circulate water/stain through the filters.  Check and clean the filters periodically.  Clean all pool equipment and tile with Simple Green or a strong ammonia.   Make sure it doesn't get on any painted surfaces as it may remove the paint.  Do not let the ammonia dry on the surface as it will etch the surface that it is on.  Always wear protective goggles, rubber gloves, and a self-contained breathing apparatus when using this type of chemical.  You may need to hire a professional pool cleaner in accomplishing this particular task.

How do I remove stain from my vehicle?
Professional car wax (i.e. Turtle Wax) or diesel truck soap will work in most cases if caught early.  You can also try using Simple Green All-Purpose cleaner.  If all else fails, then the vehicle may have to be professionally detailed in order to remove sealer that has dried on the surface.

How do I remove stain from brick or concrete?
It is very difficult to remove "READY SEAL" from brick or concrete.  A hot water pressure washer along with strong chemicals & acids may do the job, but it is recommended that you hire a professional in accomplishing this particular task.

How often should "READY SEAL" be applied?
It should be done at least every two years on horizontal surfaces, and three to five years on vertical surfaces. 
However, if your deck gets excessive sun or mildew, than it may need to be serviced every year.