11 Yr old Cedar deck....flip boards or strip?

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Old 04-27-13, 05:59 PM
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11 Yr old Cedar deck....flip boards or strip?

My 10x18 deck is cedar decking(steel frame) and 11 years old. I put a semi transparent stain on the last 2 years and it has peeled about 20% and looks like hell.

I bought some stripper at the local home improvement store and applied according to the directions. With the power washer, it barely removed anything.

If I use the power washer alone, I am worried about 1) time it will take and 2)raising the grain of the wood.

I was going to order some HD-80 professional deck stripper and try that. My Father suggested turning the boards over. They are nailed and I am worried about splits removing them. There is also some spillover of stain on the underside, but otherwise, they look good. The topside looks okay- some minor splitting after 11 years, but not bad.

I would just replace these, but I plan on moving in the next year so am just looking to get through 1 more season. My question is stripping or flipping my better option?
 
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Old 04-27-13, 06:52 PM
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Usually deck boards are installed such that the grain in orientated to prevent "cupping" of the wood. The endgrain is crowned "up" so that water will drain. Flipping the boards may make things worse.
 
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Old 04-27-13, 07:05 PM
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Good point. I didn't think about that aspect of it.
 
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Old 04-28-13, 04:18 AM
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As czizzi stated the boards should be oriented to limit the amount of cupping but these days who knows, I've seen a lot of decks built where the 'carpenters' just installed the boards whatever way they landed on the deck

If you want to keep the prep work down you could switch to a solid stain.
 
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Old 04-28-13, 02:43 PM
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Solid body stain is my thought as well - semi-transparent is nice when the wood is new but yours no longer is.
 
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Old 04-29-13, 06:06 AM
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I second Mitch's thoughts on the solid stain.
My parents had to flip a few boards when they had the top removed on their deck. The original installer throw down the boards without thought of cupping.
 
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Old 04-29-13, 06:35 AM
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I ordered some HD-80 and I'll see how that goes. I really don't like the look of solid stain. It looks like painted wood, and like the semi-transparent I have now, when it starts to peel looks awful. I think if the wood is really bad, that may be the best option. I think with a good stripping and a cedar color tinted transparent sealer the deck will look pretty good.
 
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Old 04-29-13, 08:23 AM
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Yes, solid stains hide the grain nearly as much as paint does. However, wood can get to the point where it just won't look good with just a toner or semi-transparent. If yours still does, great.
 
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Old 05-01-13, 10:15 AM
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I ordered my Hd-80 on Sunday and got it on Tuesday. Great stuff. Cheap compared to the junk they sell at the home improvement store. It took me 2 hours to do my 10x17 deck. I used about 1.5 of the 5 gallons the $25 jar makes.

The deck looks like new almost. I wish I had before pictures. It was a mess. Dark brown semi-transparent sealer that was about 20% peeled off. I attached a pic of how it looks now (I haven't put the clear coat on it yet).

I bought a transparent sealer with a cedar tone to it thinking the deck would be gray. I really don't even need the cedar tone.

Am I just looking for trouble with a tone in the sealer? Will it peel/look bad as it ages?
 
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Old 05-01-13, 02:08 PM
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The wood looks good

Clear sealers have the shortest life. Toners or translucent stains last a little longer. Solid stains generally last the longest with semi-transparent somewhere in between. That said, there can be a big difference in the quality of the various brands. Often deck stains sold at a big box are stocked mainly for low price rather than quality. You'll find your better stains at your local paint store.

A sealer or toner's job is to keep the wood from greying. If the wood greys that means the sealer failed to do it's job or is no longer effective. I'd recommend using a quality semi-transparent deck stain.
 
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Old 05-02-13, 09:45 PM
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I use semi-transparent on decent wood (yours looks like it is) and solid body when it gets older and more worn.
 
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Old 05-27-13, 06:01 AM
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Stain and rain

Could use some help too! I used Behr semi transparent deck stain a few weeks ago. It rained heavy within 8 hours and its rained more days than I can believe since then. The deck feels a little tacky when walking on it even after a few dry days. I called Behr and they recommended stripping the stain off, then using their cleaner and start again! Yikes! Can I just lightly sand the deck to open the pores and stain again? The Behr stain has a waterproof component so don't know if this will work.
 
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Old 05-27-13, 06:06 AM
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Welcome to the forums Danmasi!

Their advice sounds good. You can use TSP instead of their cleaner if you want, just make sure you rinse well. It's also possible scrubbing with a rag wet with paint thinner might work. Sanding would be my last choice! The tacky stain will plug up the sandpaper in short order and you also have to deal with any nails/screws protruding above the surface.
 
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