Updating Your Deck


An outside deck on your home can be a great improvement and provide enjoyment for you, your family and your friends. If you do not have one already, it is worth researching options and talking with some contractors about constructing one. If you already have one installed and have been using it for a while it is probably time to perform maintenance on your deck.

One of the first things you will need to do is remove anything on the deck and make sure the surface is free of debris so you will have a clear surface to work with.

Next you need to check the deck and make sure all the boards are secure. If you have a loose board, then you either need to tighten it up, or replace the board if you cannot secure it due to warping, splitting, deterioration, or some other factor.

The third thing you should do is make sure the temperature is less than 90 degrees and above 50 degrees when working on the deck. If it is above, or below those temperatures you could have trouble refinishing your deck.

The fourth thing is to strip the deck of any old paint, stain, mildew, etc. There are several ways to do this, so it will be up to you to choose which one to use.

  • If you use a paint stripper, you need to make sure it will not affect any plants around the edge of the deck with the chemical. You will need to apply the paint stripper to the deck in sections, allow it to work, but do not allow it to dry. Once it is working you need to remove the chemical with water from either a garden hose, or a regulated pressure washer. Once the cleaned surface dries you are ready to move to the next step.
  • If you decide to sand the deck instead of using a paint stripper, you should either invest in, or rent a floor sander. This machine will allow you to make quicker progress than if you were sanding it by hand. When using the machine you will need to clear off the dust that will collect from the process and make sure the surface is being prepped correctly.
  • If you decide to use a pressure washer, you need to make sure the spray nozzle is at a wide angle and pressure is not excessive by either adjusting the pressure, or keeping the nozzle further away from the surface.

The fifth thing is to let the newly cleaned deck dry for a minimum of one day (longer will not hurt), and buy the stain or paint you will use to put on the dry deck.

The sixth thing is to stain, or paint the deck (not in direct hot sunlight, or below 50 degrees) in sections taking care not to step on the surface after you have applied the coating. Once the project is finished and dry to the touch, go over any areas you may have missed and allow everything to thoroughly dry.

The seventh thing is to put any items like chairs, table, grill, etc. back on the deck and enjoy the results of your work.

This completed project can make a worn area attractive for use again and provide the perfect place for those late summer / early fallĀ fun gatherings.