Cleaning and Treating a Neglected Deck

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Old 05-29-20, 12:26 PM
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Cleaning and Treating a Neglected Deck

I bought a house a year ago and it looks like the deck has never been stained and hasn't been sealed in some time (or ever). I believe its pressure treated pine.The oldest section is definitely dry and splintering. All sections of the deck definitely absorb water after getting wet.

1) What do you recommend for cleaning? The decks are surrounded by dense gardens so it can't kill them. I was thinking of using dawn soap and warm water?

2) Should I sand or replace the splintering boards?

3) what seal would you recommend? We like the grey weathered-look so I am looking to just treat the deck to maintain it and prevent splintering.

I attached a couple of photos to show the weathering/splintering.

thanks
 
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05-29-20, 08:54 PM
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Does this deck sit on the ground like it appears in the pictures? If so, I would just start saving to tear it out and put in a patio instead.
 
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Old 05-29-20, 12:33 PM
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I normally use a bleach solution to clean because it's cheap and effective but if I'm not mistaken the commercially prepared deck cleaners are more eco friendly. Rinsing the vegetation before, during and after will minimize any damage caused by the cleaner.

Cleaning alone won't prevent splinters, you'll need a coating to help do that. Depending on how well the deck cleans up I'd recommend either a semi-transparent or solid deck stain.
 
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Old 05-29-20, 08:54 PM
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Does this deck sit on the ground like it appears in the pictures? If so, I would just start saving to tear it out and put in a patio instead.
 
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Old 05-30-20, 08:51 AM
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It's failing because there's no air flow under the decking so it can dry out.
I'd bet if you removed that decking you'll find the joist have also rotted out, 2 X's are not direct contact rated.
 
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Old 06-08-20, 07:05 AM
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Thanks for the comments. It is at ground level. The dirt underneath is dug out a bit for the joists; but I am sure they are starting to rot. Garden and grass abut up to all sides of the deck, so there really is no way for airflow underneath.

Rebuilding isn't in the budget at the moment. Maybe I will just ride this one out until it dies. Is there any way to properly build a deck at ground level like this? Where turf and gardens are level with the deck surface and come right up to the sides? We prefer keeping a wood deck over pavers or some type of stone.
 
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Old 06-08-20, 07:36 AM
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Composite materials are always the best choice, nearly all maintenance issues are gone!
 
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Old 06-08-20, 09:53 AM
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Is there any way to properly build a deck at ground level like this?
Nope. Wood needs air circulation or it will rot prematurely.
 
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Old 06-08-20, 10:00 AM
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If it's that low it should be replaced with concrete or pavers.

My son's house had a new deck across the front that was too close to the ground. About 5 yrs after he bought it we tore out the failing deck. The previous owner had dug trenches to set the joists in We replaced part of it with a concrete pad.
 
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Old 06-08-20, 03:09 PM
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Thanks, everyone. Since its a beach house, we are trying to keep the natural wood look going and avoid any composite materials. I am guessing we will just ride this deck out until it fails and then replace it with large bluestone pavers that we will space and grow grass in between.
 
 

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