My husband and I bought our first home, which came with a large, two tier, back deck. The home had been foreclosed on and had probably not been treated since it was built in 1997. The deck is structurally sound, but the wood is unbelievably dry. Some of the boards are severely splintered and cracking, while others are solid and just dry.
What is our best course of action? Replace the splintered and cracked boards,seal the cracked boards or just redo the deck all together? Or is there a wonder product that will help bring the wood back to life? Obviously, I am a complete novice on this subject-so any help is appreciated! Thanks!This message has been edited. Last edited by: firsthomehelp,
first, get a belt sander and extra belts, and run over that deck with it. Lord help you if you have to go to a 40 grit belt, I'd say a 100-120 grit is what you want. always run with the wood, and never EVER stop and let a belt sander sit, running, on the wood. you can never get the rest down far enough to camoflauge the dip.
sweep or vacuum or blow off the dust, and survey the work. if you have big chunks out of any boards, replace them. otherwise, you're ready to stain. if you leave any nasty sweaty or bug-spray handprints on the deck, they will show forever.
the initial reaction to the "restore" type stuff that claims to make it all new, soft as a kitten's ear, and last until the last of your family tree has died appears to be "bunk." it's bulked-up paint with stuff in it, and doesn't last. a good penetrating oil stain will seal the wood against weather for at least a year, and sometimes three. depends on what passes for weather in your area.
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
There are several deck new products that will fill in the cracks and make for a smoother finish. Read some online reviews to determine if they are for you.
I would think any coating like this is a band-aid solution but it will buy you several years before you need to go in and replace the deck boards. Given that you just bought the house there are probably a lot of things on your to-do list so the deck coating may be a great option to get you through the next 4 or 5 years.
If the structure is sound replacing all or some of the deck boards is a viable option. You could go with more PT wood. Before I invested in something more expensive than PT wood on the existing structure I'd want to make sure it is going to last.
For decking there are a lot of options: Pressure Treated pine, redwood, cedar, tropical hardwoods like Ipe, a wide variety of composite materials, aluminum, cellular PVC (Azek).
Welcome to the boards and the wonderful world of home ownership and DIY.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
You have already taken the most important first step: You admitted you don't know anything about decks. Most people would have too much pride to do that.
Without actually seeing your deck, comments from anyone on this or any other website are not going to help you. I suggest you contact a local LICENSED contractor, with experience working with decks, to advise you on how to proceed. It would be well worth a consultation fee to get the correct advice/recommendations you need.
And that's the least helpful comment of all. But it would help to post some pictures, and there are knowledgeable people on this site that will be glad to help -- for FREE.
And some of those people are licensed contractors.
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