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Finally got my deck clean...what a huge job! Now...how to KEEP it in good shape

Finally got my deck clean...what a huge job! Now...how to KEEP it in good shape

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  #1  
Old 07-22-13, 08:07 AM
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Finally got my deck clean...what a huge job! Now...how to KEEP it in good shape

My PT deck consists of two sections, original deck is about 16 x 10, and I assume about 15 or so years old (house built in 1994 - I bought in 1998). I've replaced most of the the balusters on this older part of the deck, and completely rebuilt the steps last year. Also we just last weekend replaced the top rails around the deck, and the hand rails at the steps.

The newer section is much larger, about 16x20 (I'm guessing, but I think it's about twice the size as the original one) and it drops down about 4 inches. I had this section built, maybe about 8-9 years ago. I have replaced some of these balusters as well, and I may still replace one or two sections of the top rails, but generally, it looks to be in good shape, now that it is clean.

I had put a semi-transparant stain on the deck after having the new section built, but that was many years ago and honestly have not really done much to it since then. I know...bad girl. I just don't have much time, and keeping the house clean AND the yard straight is almost more than I can manage sometimes!

The back of the newer section was BLACK with mildew. There is a tree that shades the steps, and the sprinklers hit it, so I guess it just stayed wetter, and it got so awful looking I just couldn't stand it anymore....I borrowed my dad's pressure washer, got some deck cleaner/bleach stuff, and spent the better part of 3 days cleaning it. So, now it really looks great...especially with the new rails. I love it. And I am determined to not let it get in that shape again.

I've been doing research to see what the best thing is to put on it, and at one point I was thinking I would go with that resurfacing stuff like Rustoleom Restore or Beyer Deckover, but I've tossed that out because those products are so new I just don't have any way to tell how well they will last, and how they handle dirt/cleaning, and things like nail pops. (My deck boards were nailed in, sadly. I replace, when needed, with screws.)

So, now that I have tossed those products out, I am back to thinking I'll just put on another stain like I did before. But I keep reading where it's recommended to STRIP off the old stain every two years when you get ready to reapply?? Seriously? This was a TOUGH job to get my deck ready, even besides the mildewed section...just getting it clean and the old weathered splotchs evened out, and remnants of stain off, it was a job, but I hadn't done anything to it, so I would have expected to have to spend a lot of time on it. But, I do NOT want to have to strip off what I put on, every other year. That just sounds crazy to me.
Is that really what you have to do? Can't you just reapply stain, every couple of years?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-22-13, 11:52 AM
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A lot depends on the the stain used. Most stains can be recoated after they have weathered. Reading the label will let you know if the stain can be recoated or needs to be stripped. Some stains have specific recoat window and you have to strip the stain if you need to apply another coat before the stain has become well weathered.

Cleaning the deck shouldn't be that big of a chore although 10-15 yrs of neglect doesn't help. I normally wet the deck down, apply the cleaner with a pump up garden sprayer [usually bleach mixed with water], let it set but not dry and then rinse with a PWer. Normally it would take 2-3 hrs to clean a deck like yours, longer if you need to go back and retreat and/or scrub stubborn areas. Obviously this doesn't include any carpentry repairs.

I'd also be leery of the new deck coatings like 'restore' and 'deck over' I would think that any thick coating like that would pop sooner or later creating an even bigger mess. I would suggest using either a semi-transparent or solid deck stain - a lot depends on how big the differences are between your old wood and the new. Pics might help us better advice what will work best. Also you're more apt to find quality stains at your local paint store versus a paint dept where coatings tend to be stocked more based on low price than high quality. Normally price is a good indicator of quality and the better deck stains tend to hold up better than their cheaper counterpart.
 
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Old 07-22-13, 03:53 PM
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I agree, cleaning shouldn't be a big deal really. Mine was this time, simply because I had not taken care of it and it was in awful condition. I spent almost one entire day just getting off the black mildew on the back section. And I'm not complaining about the fact that I will need to clean it before I stain it, I am asking if I will also need to strip the stain every time. It sounds like I won't, as long as I get the right stuff. The wood actually does not look much different between the two sections. I'll check out the products at HD the next time I am in there - I think Cabot is supposed to be good these days.
 
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Old 07-23-13, 04:19 AM
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Cabot, SuperDeck, Sikkens and DeckScapes are some of the better deck stains. You might want to have extra mildewcide added to the stain to help combat the mildew. Any paint store can add it to your stain ...... not sure if it's available at a a big box paint dept [I seldom trade there]
 
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