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Restoring an Old Deck Step by Step

Jun 8, 2008
Restoring an old deck doesn't have to be as difficult or as troublesome as it may sound. Many older homes have fantastic decking hiding under years of ill-treated wood. With the proper utilization of today's tools and materials, you may be shocked to see how easy it is to bring your old deck back to life. Depending on the severity of the damage, steps may be as simple as cleaning, stripping, preserving, staining and protecting. Taking the necessary steps to protect your newly restored deck will save a lot of time in the long run.

Step One: Look and Visualize

Take a good look around. Analyze exactly what needs to be done and start a to-do list. Most likely, the first thing that will pop into your mind is cleaning. Check the boards to see if any are twisted or if nails are starting to come loose. Look at your existing deck and imagine the deck you want it to become. What needs to happen to make that image a reality? You may need to add nails, cleaner, a garden sprayer and deck brush to your shopping list. Study your list and go to the hardware store if necessary.

Step Two: Make Repairs

During the first step, you probably saw some nails that need to be hammered back down. If it's not possible to simply hammer them back in, try removing and replacing them with screws. Screws hold the wood in place much longer than nails. Warped boards often can be straightened by nailing or screwing the warped side back down into the frame.

Step Three: Clean and Strip

Once all of your repairs are complete, your deck begins to take on a different appearance. To clean old stain, paint or debris from the deck, choose a deck cleaner and brightener. Prepare the deck cleaner as indicated in the manufacturer's directions. If you have questions specific to the cleaner, call the number on the label. Mix the solution in a garden sprayer or other controlled sprayer. Spray the mixture to thoroughly saturate the deck. Using deck brushes, lightly scrub the deck, working the mixture into the wood. If you notice trouble areas, add a little more cleaning mixture and concentrate on those areas. Allow the mixture to penetrate and work for about 15 minutes, and then rinse the solution off with a pressure sprayer.

Step Four: Seal or Stain

Taking the steps to preserve the wood with a sealer or stain can help maintain a newer appearance longer. For ultimate long-lasting results, use a sealer or stain with pigment that will help protect against water damage as well as ultraviolet rays. Water damage is the primary cause of warping and nails popping loose. Sun damage causes the wood to take on a dry, old look. Apply the sealer evenly for best results. Always follow manufacturer's instructions. Allow several hours before walking on the sealer or stain.

Step Five: Protect

The final step isn't something you do right away. You will protect your refinished deck for years to come. Every time you sweep or clean your deck, you are taking protective measures to keep it new looking. Keep an eye on the nails and screws to make sure they aren't popping up due to water damage. When it rains, water should bead as long as your sealer or stain is still working properly. If water begins to soak into the wood, it may be time to reapply the sealer or stain. It is very likely, though, that your deck won't need reapplication of sealer or stain for about three to five years.
About the Author
Learn more about deck stain and restoring decks or contact Shane Hester at WebFirstCreations for quality blog marketing .
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