Taking care of a wood deck takes a bit of effort. If it is down properly, your deck can last a long time. Periodically restoring and protecting the wood is one of those maintenance items that should be addressed approximately every 7 to 15 years, depending on the amount of sun, rain, and traffic exposure it is subjected to. Here is what you can expect from and consider during a deck restoration project.
Preparation of the Existing Deck
The process begins with removal of the furnishings and protection of the adjacent house and surrounding landscaping. Then, a thorough inspection of the deck boards, railings, and structural members is necessary. Some elements of the deck may need to be replaced or repaired. In instances of rot or damage, you may need the services of a carpenter.
After repairs are completed, if necessary, the deck is pre-soaked to remove deep dirt. Then, it is pressure washed to gently remove cracked and scaly finishes and mildew. Rough and splintered areas are sanded smooth.
Sealing the Deck
Once the deck has dried completely a sealer, in the color of your choice, can be rolled or brushed on to protect the boards and railings. There are different finish sealer opacities available to protect your deck. All of these options are available in water or oil base.
Clear sealers are completely transparent and allow the original wood color and grain to show through. These don’t offer as much protection as some of the other sealers available. They are best used on the more expensive and super weather resistant woods where you want to highlight the grain and original color.
Tinted sealers behave similarly to staining and sealing interior hardwood floors. These exterior deck sealers come in different tones to add more depth to the wood or to add deeper hues of browns or reds. These still allow for the wood grain to be seen and even enhanced. They offer a little more protection than clear sealers.
Semi-transparent sealers have a bit more pigmentation, while still allowing for some grain to show. Semi-transparent sealers offer good protection from UV rays and water. These are generally more durable than the first 2 options.
Solid wood stains allow you to change the color of the wood surfaces. Solid stains are similar to paints in that they will provide a uniform color and conceal some of the texture of the wood by filling in areas between the natural grain pattern and at screw heads. Solid stains offer good protection from UV rays and rain. However, they do show wear and scratches from excessive foot traffic and moving of furniture over time.
Enjoying Your Deck
That’s pretty much it. Once your deck restoration is completed you have nothing left to do other than to put the furniture and grill out and enjoy the warm weather. You can always periodically have any areas that show wear or discoloration from exposure to the sun be touched up.