Enjoying the nice weather during the spring and summer months by sitting out on your deck is a wonderful way to spend an evening. But if your deck is in desperate need of repairs or has become warped or loose over time, the enjoyment may be lessened. You may be thinking, “Can I restore my deck myself?” and the answer is you certainly can. The process of restoring a deck has several steps and can definitely take its share of elbow grease. But with some work, good directions, and some general handyman knowledge and experience, you can have your deck back to its former glory.
Step 1: Inspection and structural repairs
You will need to thoroughly inspect your deck, looking for any sign of rot, loose boards, missing or damaged flashings where the deck is attached to the house, and any loose or rusty screws that need to be tightened. Wherever the deck comes into contact with the ground, carefully look for signs of rot in places like the posts and joists. Make the necessary repairs so that your deck is once again a solid structure with everything nailed down, tightened, replaced, and repaired.
Step 2: Thorough cleaning
Start the cleaning process by removing any furniture or plants from the deck, and sweep off any leaves or dirt. Be sure to knock out any debris between the deck boards with a putty knife. Using a deck cleaner, follow the directions on the can carefully, scrub the cleaner into the wood with a stiff bristle brush before rinsing. This will take a good bit of time and hard work.
Deck cleaners can burn plant leaves so take the necessary precautions to cover nearby plants or move potted plants to a different location. Also wear eye protection when using these products.
Renting a power washer may be a good idea if you have any stubborn stains.
Step 3: Sealing
After the deck has completely dried, it is time to preserve the hard work of getting the deck repaired and cleaned by applying a sealer or, if you want something semi-transparent, a stain. This will protect the wood from the weather elements and keep your deck looking lovely.
Check the weather to be sure rain is not on its way in the next couple of days.
Test the stain color before starting the process to be sure it's the color you want.
Apply the stain or sealer evenly over the deck. If you have a railing, working on this first will allow you to move freely over the deck without having to wait for the deck underfoot to dry. Once you have applied the stain or sealer, be sure that nothing gets on the deck while it is drying. You may need to apply a second coat but allow the first one to dry beforehand.
If you enjoy making home repairs yourself, restoring your deck will be just the project for you and will take a few days to complete. But if you would rather skip the work and have your deck fixed up without being there for every step of the process, hiring an experienced professional, like D&D Painting in Northern California, to get the job done will have you relaxing on your beautiful, like-new deck in no time!