Spring is right around the corner! Before you move your deck furniture out, you should check your deck for safety. You may need to restore and protect your deck so you can get the most out of it during the spring and summer months ahead.
Look your deck over for loose fasteners, nails and screws that stick up. These should be hammered or screwed down securely. Look closely for Loose or rotting wood and be sure to check your railing for cracking or splitting. If there are no problems found, you may only need to clean your deck to prepare for the up coming season, however rotten or loose wood, split or cracked railings is a safety issue and should be fixed before you start entertaining friends and family.
Debris that clogs the spaces between deck boards traps moisture, encouraging mildew and rot. Blast out the debris, using a powerful nozzle on a garden hose, and then push out remaining debris with a putty knife or a laminate scoring tool is a great tool for this job. Thoroughly scrub the surface with a sudsy mixture of water and laundry detergent, using a stiff fiber brush on a long handle. Work in small areas and rinse periodically. This may be all it takes to return much of the wood’s natural tone.
For a large deck, you can rent a power washer that delivers 1,200 psi of pressure or less to blast and rinse the decking. It should have a nozzle that fans an arc of about 25 to 40 degrees. Wearing safety goggles, hold the nozzle about 6 inches above the deck’s surface and spray slowly in line with the wood grain, overlapping your path. Be careful: The powerful spray can erode soft wood grain. After washing, allow the deck to dry for several clear days before use. In just a couple of days your deck will be an inviting place for relaxing outside in the peace of nature.
First you will need to clean your deck as described above. If you found rotten or cracked wood on your deck or railings, these should be repaired or replaced next. Now you are ready to sand. If you don’t have a sander, you can rent one from a hardware store or tool rental store. Many national hardware chains such as Lowe’s offer sanders for rent. You could get on your hands and knees with sandpaper, but for most decks this would mean a lot more manual labor. You’ll want to use goggles and mask to avoid getting particles of old finish into your eyes, nose and mouth. Make sure you sand evenly over the surface of your deck removing all traces of old finish as you go. Afterwards, we always rinse our deck again with the pressure washer to remove any dust and debris from sanding. You will need to let your deck dry for a couple of days before staining or painting your deck.
You have countless choices when it comes to finishing products for your deck. You can paint it or stain it. There are two basic types of stain on the market, lightly tinted and solid. Once you have gone to the hardware store and chosen the type of finish you want on your deck, test the finish in a hidden area of your deck to ensure it is the shade that you want. For continuity of color between the cans of stain you should mix them all together to make sure the color is uniform. You should also, check your local weather forecast to make sure no precipitation is predicted for at least 24 hours after application. This will prevent water damage to the finish before it has had time to dry.
Application with a brush has always been easiest for us, however on large horizontal surfaces some people prefer to use a sprayer which also works well. Two coats of finish applied while the first is still wet are ideal. This allows the wood to “soak up” the finish and for cracks and crevices to be penetrated.
There are many reasons to restore your deck. The main one for most people is so that you can enjoy it for many more years while feeling safe. Your friends and family probably love it when you host cookouts and other events because they enjoy being out on your deck as much as you do. If you are not a “do it yourself kind of person” hire a Denver deck restoration company to transform your deck back to the way it once was.
DOWD RESTORATION is a trusted and knowledgeable contractor in the Denver area. If you have questions about your deck restoration project, Give us a call – 303-522-8730.