Thursday, August 1, 2013

Reviving a Weatherbeaten Deck

Maintaining a wood deck that has been exposed to the weather year-round can be a big job, especially if it hasn't been cleaned and repaired regularly; however, an old deck can be made beautiful again without starting from scratch.

Start by assessing for structural damage. Especially focus on the areas where the deck touches the ground or butts up against the house. If you find that the wood is soft (meaning you can stick a metal file into it a quarter inch or more) you will have to replace these elements.

Tap down any popped nails. If they can be removed with a nail puller, replace them with slightly longer, slightly thicker nails. Deal with splinters in one of several ways. Glue those large enough to be glued down with an exterior grade product. Using a utility knife, cut away the large splinters that cannot be glued. Smaller splinters can be sanded or filed. If you need to replace any sections of wood, this video demonstrates a good technique.

Clean with a deck cleaning product. This is something that should be done annually. If it hasn't been, you may need to rent a power washer to tackle what will be a bigger job. Then go over it with a stiff bristle brush. Allow time after the washing for the deck to dry completely. To test that the deck is ready to accept stain, sprinkle the dry deck with a few droplets of water. If the wood absorbs them, it will absorb the stain, too.

Use a solid stain, which will mask any inconsistencies in aging that are visible in the wood. Buy from a good quality paint store like Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. These products are truly better than what you find at the big box retailers. They have good step-by-step instructions for applying their products here and here.

No comments:

Post a Comment