If you already have a deck and was wondering whether or not to replace it, have a proper and close look at your deck. Inspect closely where deck wood boards and planks are butting each other. This is likely where you’ll find rotted wood. Where the deck boards are touching cement is also a good place to check for rotted boards.
If you can get under your deck, check to see if there any cracked posts or posts that are out of alignment. If you have concrete piles, make sure they are still deep enough that the pile is sitting on firm soil and that it hasn’t moved. For metal piles that have been there for 50 years or more, have a look at them to make sure they’re not rusted out. If you have a railing, does it move and is it rotted in some places? If it moves, it will need to be secured and rotten areas replaced. Make sure your deck meets all the rules and regulations required by law, so check your local building code to make sure everything has been done properly or if you need to redo your deck up to code. Call The 2 Men Property Services to help you get your deck up to standards if you are unable to do it yourself.
If you decide that your deck is salvageable and you want to refinish it, here are some tips on how you can make it look brand new again.
1. Take off the previous stain or deck paint. If you need to use chemical removers, read the manual for proper use and wear the correct personal protective equipment to prevent chemical damage to yourself by exposure to paint or stain remover chemicals. Cover the area around your deck with tarp to prevent these chemicals from getting on the ground and on your grass or plants.
2. Replace rotted boards or planks. Reinforce loose planks or railing.
3. Pressure wash the deck so it’s free of dirt and peeling paint. Be careful that the pressure washer is not too powerful as it will damage or burr the wood. A 2500 PSI washer is good enough to use in cleaning your deck. If you want to treat your deck for mildew resistance if your wood hasn’t already been pressure treated, treat your deck at this time before staining or painting it. Read the manual on the product container for the proper concentration and proper application. It’s best to use a treatment that’s biodegradable as it’s more friendly for the environment.
4. Once dry completely, it’s time to sand your deck. You can rent a sander from your local hardware store. The sanders that are best to rent or buy are 10 cm belt sanders, palm sanders, and sponge sanders. They are perfect for deck boards. Always wear the proper breathing mask to prevent wood dust inhalation that can damage your lungs. Wear proper eye protection and work gloves before sanding as well. Start with using the coarse grit first and go back and forth with the grain until old paint and mildew is gone. Use the palm sander on ends and hard to reach places. For even harder to get to areas, use a small square or rectangular sponge sanders. Move on to fine grit sanding that will prepare the wood to absorb the paint and stain better and get better coverage. After sanding you can sweep, vacuum, or use a leaf blower to get rid of the fine wood dust left over by sanding.
5. Before staining, it’s good think about the weather. If you are cramped for time and need to get the deck done rain or shine, make sure your project is well protected by tarps so absolutely no water can get on the deck. The deck needs to be completely dry before staining. It’s not recommended to do your staining in rainy weather. If you can, stain your deck when the weather is dry
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