Topics on this Page
- Assessing Condition of Your Old Deck
- Cleaning Decks
- Staining Wood Decks
- Repairs to the Deck
- Installing New Deck Railings
- Ongoing Deck Maintenance
Vera Cruz Drive
Assessing the Condition of Your Deck
A few boards changed prior to the sanding and staining will help continue the overall look and continued value of your deck.
When considering repairing your deck it is important to think about the cost of extensive repairs compared to a completely new deck.
Note as well that older decks were constructed with 24 inches between the joists and used 2″x 6″ pressure treated boards. Now deck construction uses 5/4″ x 6″ deck boards and because the boards are thinner the joists must now be 16 inches apart. So when replacing a few boards or refacing the entire deck this is important to understand.
Ensure Leger board (board connected to house) is secure and add extra fasteners and installing flashing if necessary.
Inspect ledger board for existence of flashing. (metal tucked under siding to take water away from ledger board to avoid rot.)
Replace any popped up nails with secure screws.
Use an oxygen based bleach or bleach based deck cleaner to apply to cleaning the deck and then rinse off after leaving the cleaning solution time to break up the mold and mildew. When using an oxygenated bleach it is good to use an acid based cleaner after in order to neutralize the alkaline effect of the bleach cleaner and balance the pH of the wood surface area to allow the stain which you will be applying to get absorbed better.
Bleach should not be used with cedar deck surfaces. Using an Oxalic acid or wood brightener instead will clean and bring back the natural color of the wood.
Any item in your backyard will get mold if it is in an area of the yard that does not allow it to dry sufficiently. Nice treed back yards that block out sunlight will have more items that should be cleaned regularly.
Even composite wood decks have to be cleaned regularly to remove mold.
Dry rot is a fungus that damages wood decay caused by a type of fungus that typically thrives with very little moisture.
The mold will start out as small black spots but will grow if left unattended to.
Because a deck is flat it takes much more beating than a wooden wall would take. Water pools on the deck and planters and furniture on a deck will keep certain areas damp and not allow to dry properly.
Mold on your deck can be dangerous because when wet is can be slippery and someone may fall. It will also contribute to the rotting of your wood.
Some people will use a light power washing of the deck and applying a protective stain such as Cabots for your deck repair.
Repairs to the Deck
After 20 or so years many pressure treated decks may have come close to their life expectancy.
If a deck was properly built initially it may have a frame that could handle a new refacing after 10 years or so.
If a deck was not built properly refacing it with new boards should not be in the plans.
When thinking about what needs repair consider any area that may never get to dry out these are the areas of concern.
Any loose or corroded screws or supports should be replaced. If there are nails popping out consider replacing them with proper deck screws that will hold up better. If you can penetrate soft areas any part of the deck with a screwdriver the wood should be replaced.
All railing should be secure check to see if they move and repair before someone gets hurt.
When nails appear to be out of the wood they should maybe be replaced with deck screw.
Ensure that all railings are secure, they may need the bolts tightened or added if they were only attached with screws. Railings and hand rails will always be one area that will be loose. We can advise how to ensure their safety .
The area around the barbecue could have a non flammable pad laid in the area.
You may also want to adjust water downspouts if water is falling onto any part of the deck.
Lights should be carefully inspected. Or even consider installing some if none exist.
Ensure all electric wiring and boxes are up to code, this is one area that is more common than you would think.
When looking at the deck repair , consider trimming a few branches from the area to reduce debris from the tree.
When wood on your deck starts to crack rot and curl it may be time to replace it. Look as well at all support posts and look for rot damage.
Check to ensure that the flashing attached to the wall with your ledger board is still in good shape, there is a possibility your deck may have been built without flashing in which case it should be considered.
Will Scarlet Road
Staining Your Wood Deck
Sealers are meant to protect your wood deck from water but stains will protect the wood from UV damage as well. The darker the stain the greater the UV protection.
Many wood cleaners will restore much of the original colour after proper use. Using a wood brightener and cleaner before sealing and staining.
If water no longer beads on your deck but instead absorbs thru the wood than you deck needs to be restained.
Our deck repair will offer a complete extensive sanding of deck, replacing any boards that needed replacing and staining using Cabot wood oil stains/preservative.
Deck surfaces are flat so they are constantly exposed to sunlight and allow rain to pool. More than any of wood structure surface.
1- place planters on some type of feet to not have planter directly on the deck. It will rot the wood.
2- clean stains resulting from your barbecue
3- blow, sweep or scrape the debris from between boards. Removing any debris and decaying matter from any seams around
the deck will allow the boards to dry out and not develop any mold or begin rotting.
4- remove your snow in winter in case it causes deck to collapse.
5- clean the wood and seal it on a regular basis
6- apply protectant to your new deck after a few months of install to wait for the boards to dry.
7- reseal it every 2 or 3 years
8- make deck repairs as soon as possibly to avoid furthering the damage and causing someone an injury
9- Any nails or screws that have come loose should be fixed an well as any other hardware on the deck
10- remove leaves in fall asap or they may stain your deck surface because as they decompose they leave a chemical called Tannins, which is a
compound that stains the deck.
Wooden decks will last a long time if best construction practices are used with building the deck and cared for consciously throughout the years.