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Four Steps to Repair a Damaged Deck

A deck rejuvenation project like this will be wiped out in two days, but it’s best to spread the beat two weekends to make sure the wood is totally dry before you apply the stain.

1) Making Repairs

Begin by inspecting the whole deck. Pay special attention to any a part of the deck that's in direct contact with the bottom, like the posts, stair stringers, or joists that are at ground level. Graf uses a screwdriver to see for structural damage. “If you'll sink the tip of a screwdriver into a post or joist, it means you’ve got rot and it’s time for a serious renovation,” Graf says. Also, inspect the deck-to-house connection. “Screws and bolts can loosen and rust,” he says. “Without the right use of spacers and flashing, moisture can cause your band joist to rot.” You can find an authentic custom deck builder here.

2) Cleaning the Surface

Here’s the bad news: Every deck should have an annual cleaning. Assuming they need been maintained regularly, most decks are often revived with just a deck cleaner. Some products, like Thompson’s Deck Wash you combine during a bucket and apply to the deck; others, like Simple Green are available containers with integral applicators that you simply attach to a hose. Once on the deck, most still require a stiff-bristle brush and tons of effort to figure the mixture into the wood.

Always wear eye protection and gloves when working with concentrated chemicals. You’ll also want to guard nearby plants. The extent of plant protection depends on the sort and concentration of the chemicals you select. For weak solutions and “plant-friendly” cleaners, you'll got to only mist the plants before and after using cleaning. Powerful deck restorers can burn leaves on contact; therein case, you ought to cover nearby plants with plastic sheeting.

Choosing the proper cleaner

There are dozens of deck-cleaning products on the market. Most contain one among the subsequent four chemicals as their main ingredient. Each is effective for various sorts of stains.

Sodium hypochlorite: This chemical—chlorine bleach—is good for removing mildew but isn’t effective on dirt or other stains. So mix it with an ammonia-free detergent. Thoroughly rinse the deck after using this chemical because it can eat away at the wood, leading to fuzzing and premature greying.

Sodium per carbonate: When mixed with water, this chemical forms peroxide (an oxygen-based bleach) and washing soda, which acts as a detergent. It’s good for removing dirt, mildew and weathered wood.

Oxalic acid: This is effective in removing iron stains and therefore the brown-black tannins that regularly occur with cedar and redwood decks. This acid is usually found in deck brighteners. Ethanedioic acid isn’t effective against mildew, so you'll want to use it after cleaning the deck with a bleach-based cleaner.

Sodium hydroxide: Also referred to as lye, this is often the key ingredient in most finish lifters or removers. Don’t leave it on too long, or it can eat away at the wood. Be very careful when working with any of those chemicals, especially when they’re in their most concentrated (premixed) form. Wear the right safety equipment and follow the manufacturer’s directions to the letter. Rinse the surface thoroughly and permit it to dry before refinishing.

DIY CLEANER: Here’s a deck cleaner you'll make yourself. Recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory, it’s good for mildew and dirt. * 1 qt. hypochlorite solution (household bleach) * ⅓ cup powdered detergent * 3 qts. Warm water in a 5-gal. Plastic bucket, add the bleach and detergent to the water, then brush the cleaner onto the deck. Rinse thoroughly before applying a finish.

See this for more help: Homeowners Guide to Deck Cleaning, Repair and Maintenance.

3) Applying the Stain

Once all of the repairs are made and therefore the deck is clean, it’s time to use a protective finish. Clear finishes and transparent stains are fine for brand spanking new wood, except for older decks, Starling recommends employing a semi-transparent stain. ”The grain still shows through, but the pigment gives the old wood a clean, uniform colour and helps the new wood blend in,” he says. The pigment also provides extra protection from the damaging effects of the sun and can last longer than clear finishes. Unlike paint, the stain is absorbed by the wood and doesn't form a movie on its surface, so it'll not peel or chip.

4) Redoing a Railing

Because the first railing on their deck was in such bad shape, the Johnsons decided to exchange it with a maintenance-free railing system. They chose Fibercon, a vinyl-coated wood-plastic composite. It's available in premade panels or as kits. The Johnsons liked the contrast the white railing offered

Tip: After cutting the top post flush with the deck employing a sober saw, remove the old railing in sections.

For an existing deck or concrete slab, Fibercon makes a surface-mount bracket, as shown below. For brand spanking new decks, the manufacturer recommends installing the posts before the decking and using metal brackets that attach to the joists. To hide any minor gaps where the balusters meet rock bottom rail, Graf recommends employing a mildew-resistant acrylic caulk.

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