Sand pressure treated wood?


Old 03-11-06, 01:02 PM
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Sand pressure treated wood?

The previous owner of my home was a dope and never even tried to maintain the deck. As a result, my deck is stained and mildewed very badly. Deck cleaner doesn't even touch it. I thought maybe the best way to restore my deck would be to sand it. But, can I sand my pressure treated deck? I am aware of the potential health problems with the dust, so I can take precautions for that. I'd probably start with heavy grit and worked to lower grits until I got a finish I liked. But will it work? Will it take care of the mildew? Will anything bad happen to my deck as a result?
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Old 03-11-06, 01:16 PM
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Sanding a wood deck is a temporary fix at best. Sanding a PT wood deck simply isn't worth the health risks involved for a temporary fix.

Assuming that the deck boards are face screwed or nailed, those will simply tear up the sand paper, and possibly damage the sander itself.

The mildew has wordked itself very deep into the wood. Sanding will remove what you see on the surface, but it'll be back in a few short weeks in the winter, or any other time that the conditions are ripe for it to grow.

How old is the deck?

Replacing the PT with a composite would put an end to most of the maintenance. But once you start pulling deck boards, you will probably find rot on the tops of the joists. And the present joist spacing is probably too wide for most composites.
Old 03-11-06, 04:04 PM
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There is nothing wrong with sanding down a pressure treated deck. Where I live there are guys that do this exclusively. You set the nails, sand the deck with a floor sander, and apply a preservative.
Old 03-11-06, 05:38 PM
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You're right, there is nothing "wrong" with sanding a pt deck. But you're not getting to the problem by surface sanding the wood. The stains go deep, and will resurface in short order. I bet those guys who sand decks have alot of repeat customers.

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