Advice on worn and weathered deck

Old 06-12-14, 08:04 AM
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Advice on worn and weathered deck

My husband and I bought our first home, which came with a large, two tier, back deck. The home had been foreclosed on and had probably not been treated since it was built in 1997. The deck is structurally sound, but the wood is unbelievably dry. Some of the boards are severely splintered and cracking, while others are solid and just dry.

What is our best course of action? Replace the splintered and cracked boards,seal the cracked boards or just redo the deck all together? Or is there a wonder product that will help bring the wood back to life? Obviously, I am a complete novice on this subject-so any help is appreciated! Thanks!
Old 06-12-14, 11:16 AM
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Welcome to the forums Julie!

It's hard to give a definite answer site unseen, pics might help -

I generally clean an older deck and then re evaluate it's condition. When a deck is no longer a candidate for a transparent or semi-transparent stain it's usually best to switch to a solid deck stain. It looks more or less like a thin coat of paint and will hide a lot of wear/stains. What boards to replace depends on the damage, if it can't be sanded out or otherwise made splinter free, it's usually best to replace those boards. New wood doesn't stain the same as weathered wood so normally it's best to use a solid stain when there is a mixture of old and new. A keen eye can pick out the new boards even after staining but with a solid stain only the wood's texture will appear different.

I normally clean a deck by wetting it down and then spraying a bleach/water solution on the wood. I'll add TSP if it's extra grimy. Usually a 40-50% bleach mixture works best. If you go stronger than 50% you run the risk of damaging the wood fibers. Let the cleaning solution set but not dry, then rinse. A pressure washer works best but a garden hose will work. Stubborn areas may require scrubbing or a 2nd treatment. I like to use an old broom - it's easier on my old back

There are commercially prepared deck cleaners and wood brighteners which are more diy friendly ..... but bleach is cheaper and just as effective.
Old 06-12-14, 05:40 PM
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I just did my deck myself. Been in our house 2 years and the old owners didn't care for it. Here's what I did: I power washed the deck down, which removed a lot of the old solid stain and the mold etc. Watch the power though or you'll cut into the wood. I let the deck completely dry and replaced any nails sticking out with deck screws. Then I took an orbital sander and just lightly sanded the deck and top off with two coats of Sherwin Williams Deckscapes solid color stain. It look 100 times better and I'm happy without the outcome
Old 06-12-14, 10:53 PM
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Headbanger, a few pix would help Julie decide if your approach/method would work for her.

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