So, you want to restore your deck on your own. As professionals, we’ve seen it done before, both the correct way and the incorrect way. There are several things you will need to do to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes. While the basics are pretty common sense – essentially repair, clean, and protect – you will need to put in some real work as you carry out these tasks to keep your deck looking good for quite some time. Here are the 3 objectives you’ll need to accomplish while restoring your deck.
1. Tackle any necessary repairs first
As a deck owner, you’re probably aware by now that it requires some upkeep. If you’ve been letting things slide, you may have quite a bit of work to do to get it back to where it needs to be. Your first step will be to inspect the entire deck to check for damage. Check every last inch of the deck to guarantee that there are no small issues that you are overlooking. You should also take a look at the connection between your home and the deck. This area can be especially vulnerable to loosening screws and bolts, so check each one and tighten them as needed.
Aside from actual structural damage, take a look at any cosmetic issues, as well. Any nails that are popping out will need to be repaired or replaced with screws. Any loose wood on railings or in other areas will need to be repaired or replaced. Rough areas should be sanded down. Anything that appears to be damaged or worn should be put back as close to it’s original condition as you can get it.
2. Deep Clean Your Deck
Cleaning your deck should be a routine part of your home maintenance, but if you’ve been slacking, you can still get the job done (it may just take a bit more work). There are a number of cleaners out there, from products you can buy in stores to DIY concoctions you can create at home. No matter what cleaner you choose to go with, you will likely need a stiff-bristle brush to get the cleaner down into the wood.
Chemicals always require caution, so be extra careful during this step. Keep animals and children indoors, and protect nearby plants. Use eye protection and gloves, and take care to keep all chemicals away from your skin. If you have any issues aside from the usual dirt buildup, such as mildew or a large stain, it may require additional cleaners to take care of these problems. Once the cleaner has enough time to work into your deck, rinse it off thoroughly. Keep in mind that your local painting company can be hired solely to take care of this step.
3. Apply a New Coat Of Stain
Choosing your stain will depend on what you are looking for in your final result, as well as the state of the wood you are staining. Newer wood will do fine with basically any stain out there, but older wood may require a semitransparent stain. These protectant stains will provide protection from the sun, and unlike paint, will not peel or chip over time.
To apply the stain, you can use a sprayer, a roller and brush, or a combination. A sprayer will put out a more generous amount of stain to work with than simply using a roller or brush. However, best results are often seen by coating the deck with a sprayer, then using a roller and brush to even things out. Be sure to protect surrounding brick or siding from overspray by using some type of barrier or cover. If you have older wood, you may need to do more than one coat of stain, which should be done while the first coat is still wet. Additional coats may be needed every few years to upkeep appearance.
Following these three steps in this order should ensure a smooth and well done deck restoration. It’s a big task, but it can be done. If you happen to run into any issues along the way, reach out to a professional painting contractor in your area to help you out and finish out the job.