Your deck is bound to suffer wear and tear due to months or years of service and exposure to the weather elements. With a little first aid, you can have it looking as good as new. Here a few tips to remember:
You should pressure wash the deck to remove the dirt and wood fibers before doing any repairs. Keep the pressure steam moving throughout to avoid gouging the wood. You can allow the wood to dry overnight and undertake repairs the next day.
Repairing nail pops
Nails often work themselves lose from the board. Nails that are only slightly out of pace can be hammered home. Sometimes half of the nail may be sticking out of the wood. Rather than banging it back in and risking causing a lot more damage, you should remove it and replace them with longer screws to reattach the wood.
Repairing split planks or strips
Boards that have split down the middle should be replaced. You can find replacement boards from your local hardware store. The board may stick out like a sore thumb at first but it will blend in with time. Mark the damaged section of the wood and cut it out. Remove all the nails and deck screws as well. You need to get a support block to hold the new replacement board.
Staining and sealing the wood
If the wood was pressure treated, it can resist insects and decay. But the sun’s rays and moisture can still cause damage. You should use clear wood preservatives with UV protection to prevent damage. You can also re-stain the wood to add color. Apply the sealant after the staining dries overnight.
Inspecting the deck
You should inspect the deck to determine the level of damage. There are certain key areas of interest when inspecting the deck. You should look for signs of rot by probing different parts of the structure using a flat-blade screwdriver. Check the stairs where the stringers meet the ground and perimeter posts. You can tell if the wood is rotten when you push the screwdriver quarter of an inch or more into the wood. Use a flashlight to check the ledger from under the decking. The ledger is the frame that attaches the deck to the house. A damaged ledger could cause the entire deck to collapse.
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