If you have an older deck and you are thinking about giving it a facelift, we have a few pointers to get you off the ground and on the right track. After having a great conversation on the topic with Deck Builders Edmonton, we want to share with you what we found out!
Rejuvenating an older wooden deck is something you may want to tackle over the course of a couple of weekends. Don't rush from start to finish. You want to make sure that the wood has a chance to dry completely before applying any stain to the surface.
The first stage of the project will always be the repair stage. You will want to inspect the overall condition of the wood. One way is to take your screwdriver and see if you can penetrate any wood that is at or near ground level. If so, you may need to replace those boards or posts because of rot or future deterioration. If it's only a piece or two, you can replace them. If you are finding this as the common condition, you may want to do a complete reinstallation, rather than a rejuvenation of materials that have seen better days.
Check out your railings as well. Are they still sturdy? Or are they now in need of replacement. Let's face it, no one wants anyone to break through a railing accidentally. Replace and repair them now.
Assess your hardware at this time. Is it lose or rusting? This is a good time to replace any missing deck screws or nails. Make sure they are still functioning and replace any that are not. Check your railings and floorboards as well for deterioration. You want to avoid any splinters that you can!
Now that you have completed your repair phase, it's time to roll up your sleeves and tackle the cleaning! Yes, wooden decks should be cleaned annually. Doing this will help you maintain the condition of the deck so you get extended life from it. There are several good deck cleaner solutions on the market now. Note, however, you need to be taking the correct safety steps when dealing with any of these chemicals. Always wear safety eyewear and protect skin and clothing from chemicals. It will take a bit of elbow grease to get the solution worked into the wood. And the wood needs to remain damp so that it will penetrate. Once done, you can use a power washer to rinse the deck completely.
Once the deck has completely dried and no moisture remains, we would then move into the staining or sealing phase. New decks can usually use a transparent stain because the wood is still in newer condition. If you are putting a fresh stain on older wood, you could likely get better results with a semi-transparent stain. It will help even out the color of the wood afterward. We don't ever recommend using paint on a deck. Paint will chip and peel. Stain, on the other hand, penetrates the wood, leaving no film on the surface.
For the method of applying the stain, you can use brush, rollers, and spray attachments. Spraying the stain on is by far the most effective way of applying it. However, you need to try not to get it on too thick or heavy. It will dry blotchy. Spray the deck with a light coat first. Use your brush or roller to smooth out any puddles. And then let the stain be absorbed into the wood for a finished, even look. Remember that older wood may be more aged and weathered. So older wooden decks may need several coats of stain to get it sealed properly. Make sure any additional coats are applied while the stain is still damp so it will adhere.
Happy Deck Restoration!!