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Consumer Reports picks top deck treatments to "weather" summer and winter

Posted Tuesday, June 27, 2006

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July Issue Features Ratings for Top Deck Treatments

Yonkers, NY – With meteorologists predicting a wet summer all across the country, many homeowners need to coat their outside deck with the right treatment to help it weather any storm, as well as prepare for anything winter may bring. The July 2006 issue of Consumer Reports features expert advice and ratings on choosing the best deck treatments to make sure decks not only last this summer, but for a few more seasons as well.

Consumer Reports testers found that Cabot Decking Stain 1480, an alkyd that cleans up with solvent, and Cabot Solid Color 1880, a latex that cleans up with water, are both outstanding opaque treatments that topped the Ratings. Both prevented color change as well as resisted dirt and mildew, but the Cabot Solid Color 1880 excelled in cracking prevention. In addition, the Wolman DuraStain 18146 is the best semitransparent stain for wood worth showing off. While it’s an alkyd like the Cabot, it also cleans up with water.

For homeowners interested in having the most natural look, CR deemed the clear Olympic WaterGuard 55560, a latex that cleans up with water, as the best and only choice.

To test deck treatments, CR staffers built a deck behind the Yonkers, NY, testing center, where 500 pieces of pressure-treated lumber were coated with a variety of products before baking in the summer sun, chilling under the winter snow, and generally put up with whatever nature dishes out. Deck treatments were tested on CCA (chromated copper arsenate) lumber, a type no longer made for residential applications because of safety concerns but still in wide use. CR has also begun to test on ACQ and copper azole lumber, alternatives to CCA.Treatments that scored high in Consumer Reports' Ratings were those that remained close to their original color, prevented the wood from cracking, picked up only a small amount of dirt, and prevented mildew growth. The two opaque treatments atop the Ratings kept up a very good appearance after three years. Opaque is CR’s description of a finish that totally hides the woodgrain.

Ratings for three-year tests are available in print, while Ratings for one-year tests for newer treatments are available online at .

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