Is it Time for a Deck Renovation?

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If you’ve had a pool deck for many years, chances are it could use some updating. Whether you need a complete deck renovation or some simple resurfacing, it may be time to address the effects of weather and general use.

Before you make a plan, check out this quick list of tips for deck restoration. Let’s start with one of the most common materials: wood!

Quick Tips for a Wood Deck Renovation

  • Inspect your deck. Check your deck annually, keeping an eye out for any loose surface boards or problems with structural components, including wobbling, rotting or severely split wood.
  • Repair. Make the necessary repairs before restoring deck surface (or better yet, call in a professional to do it for you).
  • Clean. The way you clean your deck depends on its current finish and your goal. If you plan to paint, simply clean and sand before repainting. If you’re looking for a new wood-stained deck, strip the varnish or paint with a chemical stripper then clean and sand before applying the stain finish. If your deck is finished with a clear sealer, or transparent/semi-transparent wood stain, use a wood deck cleaner without paint stripper.
    • Note: Deep-cleaning is essential for refinishing. Power washing is great, but it can easily damage the wood if done improperly. Consider working with a professional.
  • Sand. If your deck boards sun-damaged or rough, sanding is often recommended. If not, you can stick to spot-sanding discolored or damaged areas. Don’t wash the deck again or the wood grain will rise and roughen the sanded surfaces. If it rains in the meantime, be sure to allow the deck dry out completely before refinishing to avoid sanding again.
  • Choose a wood stain. There’s an abundance of one-step staining applications that both color the wood and soak in to protect it. A quality oil-based, penetrating, exterior semi-transparent stain is usually an appropriate choice.
  • Apply the stain. Once the deck is completely dry, it’s time to apply the stain. Use a synthetic-bristle brush for water-based stains and a natural-bristle brush with oil-based products. Start with smaller areas, including handrails, balusters and trim boards, then move on to the boards.

When restoring deck surfaces, it’s best to have a professional assessment of your deck’s condition. Once refinished, you can maximize the life of your deck by cleaning and removing built-up mold, mildew and algae at least once a year.