Restoring a deck always seems to puzzle homeowners. They always tell me that they’re not sure were to begin and if they will discover other problems along the way. I guess it must seem to easy for most home owner’s just want it fixed as quickly and cheaply as possible.
If that is the way you feel then read on and make a plan to restore your deck it will save you money and can be accomplished over a weekend.
Restoring a Deck
#1– Examine the deck from every angle possible to get a feel for the root of the problem. Is the paint peeling or the boards splitting? Is the lumber starting to warp or is it rotten? Or all of the above?
This is the first line of attack and shouldn’t be overwhelming.
#2– If the paint is peeling it needs to be sanded and repainted. This will get it back in shape. The question becomes how do we sand and repaint?
First, if you don’t have a floor sander and most people don’t, go rent one along with a enough medium to course sandpaper to sand the deck boards. A drum sander is best.
Second you will need to prime the deck with an oil-based primer. Then you can repaint once it dries with an oil base paint. Even easier is to get an oil based solid stain, which does a better job for less time and money without priming the boards. Most solid stains come with a sealer in the stain so it will also save a step.
#3– If you are staining a deck to help maintain the looks and to preserve the wood then I would recommend using Cabot’s. It is the best wood sealer made. Easy to apply with a roller and a roller frame extension.
#4– If you want to keep the deck looking great with minimum work I would suggest that you repaint or stain every two years. I know that most sealers and stains or paints suggest 4-5 years but you will have a nicer deck with less work if you stick to every two years.
#5– I also suggest that you lightly pressure wash your deck (use the black or wide tip) at the beginning of fall and the end of winter. Water or snow tends to stand on a deck for days on end during fall and winter.
This will help to prevent excess mildew, fungus or grime build-up, which tend to stain a deck or make it start rotting or changing color.
#6– Add a decker or brightner to the pressure washer with a suction hose that came with the washer new. This will help to clean and keep it from coming back to soon. It also helps to restore it back to the original color if not to damaged by the elements.
Some people use oxygen cleaners and they are inexpensive while still effective in cleaning grime from decks.
#7– Every month or so do a cursory inspection of the deck for nail pops. This is usually a telltale sign that the deck needs attention. Go ahead and take a hammer and nail them back or pull them out with a small pry bar and re-nail. This will help the keep the boards from warping and cracking.
The boards seeping water then drying out again and again cause cracking or severe warping. The way to prevent it is to reapply sealer that will repel the water and keep the boards looking fresh.
#8– If rotting has been discovered then the only thing to do is re-place the rotting wood. This needs to be done immediately as if not the rot can spread to other boards. Easiest way to re-place deck-boards is to get a pry bar and remove the nails. Then cut a new board to fill in and paint or stain to match.
#9– I have always felt it best to stain a deck because if you replace or enlarge a deck it is easier to match colors using stain. Painted decks tend to weather and make it impossible to match colors if a repair is done. Almost always the entire deck must be repainted in order for it to be uniform.
#10– The most economical way to stain or seal a deck is to using a weed sprayer. They help you get good coverage while keeping waste to a minimum.
Well there you go, 10 easy tips for restoring and maintaining a deck. Get started today and you will see how easy it really is to make your deck shine again.