Refresh Your Deck

By
Home Inspector with Global Property Inspections

Maintenance Matters

Deck

A newly refinished wood deck can go between two to four years (depending on your climate and how much sun it's exposed to) before it needs refreshing.

  • Replace cracked or damaged boards.
  • Trim foliage that may be in the way.
  • Clean the deck by wetting the wood with water from a hose or power-washer. Mix the deck cleaner according to the directions and apply it to the wet wood with a pump sprayer.
  • Power-wash dirt and mildew from the wood using long, overlapping strokes.
  • To kill mildew, pump-spray a diluted solution of nonchlorine bleach on the wet wood. Wait 10 to 20 minutes and rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Once the deck is dry (wait at least three days), apply the finish. Work from the top down and stain the railings and balusters first with a foam applicator. Use a pump-sprayer to apply the finish to the decking by using long, even, slightly overlapping strokes across the length of the boards.
  • After spraying four or five boards, smooth out the finish with a foam applicator pad. Let the finish dry for two days before walking on it. 

For more information, go to http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,602946,00.html.

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