Time to give that deck a spruce up
Like so many other things in life, the colour of decking may fade and turn grey as it ages, but also like many other things, it can be made to look new again. You can restore your deck in three steps, but we recommend that you take an additional step to enjoy your deck once you’re finished.
To get your deck ready for cleaning, you need to do some preparation work. You can use a putty knife to remove debris from in between boards. Use it to gently scrape off debris. Mould and mildew are likely to grow when debris is allowed to collect, and this can produce wood rot down the road. Debris can make for a slippery surface as well. After you are finished with this, sweep everything off your deck, paying careful attention the area between the boards again.
Nail in any nails that are sticking out, hammer and nail punch for this, and make sure the rest of your deck is in good condition. If you have any cracks in your boards, you should replace them. Minor cracks aren’t much of an issue, but keep in mind that cracks can and often do get worse.
There are a few types of cleaning solutions.
There are those with bleach and those without. Cleaners with bleach work for a deep clean, but they can destroy some of the wood’s fibres, and they lighten the colour of wood. We recommend staying clear of these.Cleaners without bleach help to gently clean decks, and they are much easier on surrounding plants. It would be wise to cover your plants with plastic or some other form of protection.
Ideally, you should clean your deck on a day when it isn’t so hot and when the sun isn’t directly overhead. The reason is that you don’t want to allow water to pool or for the deck to dry in any areas. You want to keep the deck wet at all times.
Each type of cleaner has its own specifications. You will need to gently clean the surface of your deck with a brush. A clean broom works well for this. The longer you put off maintenance the more cleaning you will need, typically. Some types of cleaners specify leaving the solution on your deck for a certain amount of time after you have gently scrubbed it. Follow these specifications precisely. Afterwards, spray off your deck completely. Allow your deck to dry.
If you don’t want to clean your deck or you believe that your deck could use a good sanding, you can do this instead. Use an 80-grit sandpaper for sanding your deck. Using this method, you won’t have to wait to stain your deck because it doesn’t have to dry, but you will need some sanding equipment and some man hours on your knees.
Sealing or Staining
After your deck is dry, you can seal it. However, if you wish to stain your deck, now would be a good time. There are sealants/oils on the market that can help to protect it from water. These soak into the fibres fairly well. It’s a good idea to do a couple of coats to provide rich and lasting colour. This step also takes a couple of days to fully dry.
Each product has its own features and manufactures recommendations and it’s wise to follow their “system” from start to finish.
Some popular ones are, Cabot’s, Intergrain, Wattle, Feast Watson, Bristol to name a few.
After you are finished with your deck, be sure to enjoy it with a barbecue or some other activity. Providing regular maintenance to your deck will keep it looking beautifully, but it’ll also preserve its function and structural strength. If you keep it regularly maintained it will be great for years