Home Main How to Maintain and Restore the look of a deck made of wood

How to Maintain and Restore the look of a deck made of wood

by Anthony Long

This post could include affiliate hyperlinks. For more details, please read our disclosures here.
Expert tips about how best to wash or restore, refinish or keep an existing wood deck as well as how to protect against wood rot. Also, learn how to clean the deck and apply a finishing coat to the decking.

In this Article:

Check a deck made of wood for rot
How to Clean a deck
Remove Stains & Discoloration
How to finish a Deck made of wood Deck

A brand-new wood deck offers a warm, elegant connection with nature which enhances a house’s aesthetic and prepares the way for an array of outdoor activities. However, wood decks are subject to many cases of abuse through use and by being exposed to the elements for a long time. After a couple of years without proper maintenance, they will get weathered and unattractive.

Fortunately, most deck problems with the surface are not structural, but cosmetic due to the fact that decking is made out of strong woods, mostly redwood, cedar as well as pressure-treated pine. Heartwoods of redwood and cedar possess a natural resistance to decay and termites; pine is treated with pesticides to enhance its insect- and decay-blocking capability.

However, the UV radiation (UV) from the sun can damage surface fibers as well as lignin, leading to surface erosion and graying. The presence of moisture can encourage the growth of mildew on surfaces and creates stains, especially in humid or damp environments where surfaces are never totally dry. Natural extractives found in cedar and redwood can cause discoloration of the surface.

Refinishing and washing a wood deck can help bring it back in life.(c)Don Vandervort HomeTips
The path to the restoration of a deck’s beautiful look is generally easy, regardless of the kind of wood. The first step is to clean it. Then, you identify and treat any discoloration. Then you protect the outcome with a durable surface.

If you’re building the deck which is located over a functional area for example, the second-story deck over a patio before you begin, protect the space beneath it by using drop cloths or plastic sheets.

Give your old-fashioned deck an overhaul sooner rather than later. If your deck is not properly protected, it can absorb moistureand cause grave damage. Because decks are exposed constant abuse – harsh sunlight, foot traffic, snow, rain and ice, you may have to clean your deck regularly, or perhaps every year.

Examine a wood Deck for rot
In the event that your deck was constructed with pressure-treated lumber that is rated for ground contact, the lumber is extremely resistant to the onset of rot. If the deck was constructed of untreated redwood, cedar or any other type of woods, you are at a higher risk of rot, especially when the wood is lighter-colored sapwood instead of dark-brown heartwood.

Any wood will rot when it is wet enough. (Look at the tags on the end of boards or the printed stamps on the boards to know more the condition of your wood. A deck can be constructed from different types of wood.)

Make sure you take the time to look over all the wood in detail to see the presence of any boards that are decayed. Most decay occurs in places that are difficult to spot, such as under the decking boards, on the leadedger (the board that is connected with the home) or on the underside of the treads on stairways and so on. If possible, climb underneath the deck for a closer look.

If the decay is less than 1 inches deep, then the boards could likely be left in place. A more extensive rot will require the replacement of the board. Make use of a flat pry bar to gently remove boards that are rotten. Replace them with wood that is rot-resistant. If the nails or the boards appear to be popping up or becoming loose, don’t pound the nails that were previously used take them off then replace them larger nails, decking nails that are specially designed for decking and decking screws.

If any portion of your deck is damp for a day or more following a downpour make sure you take the necessary steps to ensure that it is able to dry. It is likely that you will need an air blower or Broom to clean away the dirt and leaves between the boards or at the point the point where the deck is connected to your house. Maybe a tree or a shrub branch needs trimming back as well as a downspout for gutters is moved to divert waters away from deck.

Debris that has accumulated between deck boards is ugly and absorbs water leading to the growth of rot. Utilize a putty knife more importantly, a scoring tool for laminates such as the one featured here. Clean up the debris and dirt, with a robust broom. To get rid of the dirt.

Clean up debris between deck boards by using an instrument for scoring laminate or stick knife.(c)Don Vandervort HomeTips
How to Clean a Deck
Begin by using an broom or leaf blower to blow the debris off the deck’s surface. Next, cleanse the deck.

To wash the deck you should purchase an industrial deck cleaner that can remove mildew and the process of oxidation (graying) and dirt. The most effective ones are made of sodium percarbonate. Mix it according to the instructions on the label. Make sure you wear gloves made of rubber as well as safety glasses.

Image alt=”A clean decking surface for wood that has been restored to its natural color.” data-ezsrc=”https://www.hometips.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/treated-wood-decking-2-mf.jpg?ezimgfmt=ng:webp/ngcb101″ data-ezsrcset=”https://www.hometips.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/treated-wood-decking-2-mf.jpg?ezimgfmt=ng:webp/ngcb101 360w,https://www.hometips.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/treated-wood-decking-2-mf-300×225.jpg?ezimgfmt=ng:webp/ngcb101 300w” data-jpibfi-indexer=”2″ data-jpibfi-post-excerpt=”” data-jpibfi-post-title=”How to Restore & Maintain a Wood Deck” data-jpibfi-post-url=”https://www.hometips.com/repair-fix/deck-maintenance-wood.html” data-jpibfi-src=”https://www.hometips.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/treated-wood-decking-2-mf.jpg” src=”https://www.hometips.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/treated-wood-decking-2-mf.jpg?ezimgfmt=ng:webp/ngcb101″/>
Clean the wood decking to keep the appearance great.o0o0xmods0o0o | MorgueFile
Utilizing an incredibly stiff bristle brush with a broom-like handle clean the surface with the grain of the wood. Do this in small sections and then rinse with clean water. Let dry. It could be that this is the only way to bring back the wood’s natural hue.

For a larger deck you can hire an electric power washer and set it to 600-800 PSI of pressure for blasting and wash the deck. The nozzle should be one that can be set to blow an arc of approximately 25-40 degrees.

Wearing safety goggles, raise the nozzle at least 6 inches over the deck’s surface. spray slowly and slowly to align with the grain of wood, and overlapping the pathway. Be cautious not to touch too closely or remain in one spot for too long as the powerful spray can cause damage to wood grain. It is important to allow for the deck to sit for a few days prior to applying any kind of finish.

The Strip has an Old-Finish
If your deck is old and oxidized peeling or flaking finish, get rid of it with the help of a deck stripper for the finish. Choose the least toxic product that does the job. Some strippers are gentle and biodegradable, whereas others are toxic and caustic. It is best to purchase just a little quantity and try it out in a quiet location.

Use rubber gloves and protective garments, eye protection.

Prior to applying the stripper protect the surrounding surfaces including siding, plants, and other surfaces by covering them with plastic. Follow the instructions on the label. Strippers can be applied by hand using a gardening sprayer or synthetic brushes or roller. Be sure to not allow the stripper to remain on the wood for longer than the time specified on the label. Once it’s time to get rid of the stripper wash the deck and the plants around it well with clean water.

If you own an pressure washer, you could make use of it to rinse.

Eliminate Stains & Coloration
Over time the appeal of a wood deck will fade because the UV rays of the sun damage the structure of wood. In the event that your deck has turned an unattractive gray hue it could be easier to resolve than it appears.

The non-chlorine-oxygenated bleach (with trade names like Stain Solver as well as OxyClean) can get rid of mildew and algae staining and some are oxidized deck sealers. These bleaches are safe to use, biodegradable and are environmentally friendly. They also brighten and clean the wood, however they are not suggested for cedar or redwood since they could darken it.

When your deck is cedar or redwood and it is stained by mildew, algae or mold, you can use chloro bleach (sodium hypochlorite) cleaners based on sodium hypochlorite. They remove mildew and mold and also lighten (actually bleach) the wood. Chlorine is a damaging chemical that can harm the wood’s fibers and ruin the wood’s natural coloring when it is used improperly. Furthermore, it can cause harm to both plants and humans and therefore requires care in handling. Always follow the instructions on the bottle.

Bleach-based products kill mildew. Acid-based solutions fight the graying and staining.

Check for mildew by applying an undiluted drop of household bleach to a tiny black spot. If the spot does not disappear within a few minutes or so then scrub the deck using a mild cleaner (no ammonia) and wash with an equal amount that contains 1 part household liquid bleach and 4 parts of water and then wash. To get rid of stubborn mildew mix 1 cup trisodiumphosphate (TSP) with 1 cup of household liquid bleach into a gallon of water, then scrub it using a hard brush. Rinse after about 15 minutes.

Non-mildew staining is usually due to natural wood extractives, or corrosion of nails and hardware. The common greying of decking is typically caused by surface wood cells which have been destroyed through UV energy and wear.

Always wear goggles, rubber gloves, and other clothing that is worn out when handling these chemicals Follow the instructions clearly.

Warning: Do not mix ammonia-based detergent with bleach from your home; the resultant fumes could be extremely poisonous.

Restore the Wood
Make use of commercial deck restoration product to eliminate gray, aged wood off the deck and restore the natural beauty and color of the wood. These products, which are often used in “deck brighteners” remove grayed surface fibres from wood as well as the dark stains of tannin that may be present on cedar and redwood decks.

If you are experiencing these problems acid-based deck restoration product is the best. It is possible to purchase an already-mixed oxalic deck cleaner or buy crystals of oxalic acid at the hardware retailer or home improvement store and mix a mixture of 4 ounces of crystals and 1 quart of water in an unmetallic container. Wear rubber gloves as well as eye protection and old clothes and apply the oxalic acid with a rag one board at an time and scrub it with an easy brush. Dry, afterwards rinse the surface with water, and allow to dry thoroughly before applying a finishing.

How to finish a wood Deck
After you have cleaned the deck then let it dry completely prior to sealing it, but don’t leave it too long because it could become dirty once more. Find out if the deck needs sealing by sprinkle some drops of water over the wood. If the water doesn’t soak up and instead soaks into the deck requires sealing.

Refinishing an existing wooden deck is a relatively easy DIY project that will bring out the natural beauty of the deck and helps protect it for many decades for years to come.(c)Don Vandervort HomeTips
Talk to an paint supplier or another expert to determine the right finish suitable for the type of wood you will use to construct your deck. It must contain either oil or paraffin, to prevent moisture from soaking into. Furthermore, it should include UV blockers, (or pigment) (color) to stop the sun’s rays from making the deck gray or gray, unless you’re looking for.

If your house is susceptible to pests that eat wood, ensure that the paint contains insecticide in addition.

You can pick semi-transparent stain, opaque stain and a clear sealer or paint. Most of the time the top finishes penetrate deep into wood. Films that coat the wood surface with a coating, such as paint tend to exhibit the wear pattern and also peel quickly. In turn, they need to be re-coated more frequently.

(c) Liquidphoto | Dreamstime.com
A finish based on oil or alkyd is the best protection finish, but water-based finishes are less difficult to apply and clean. Follow the instructions on the label in applying your finish according to the grain of the wood. Typically, you will use the pad or brush. The final product will be the deck that will provide you with many years of pleasure and beauty.

You may also like