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skiposwald 09-27-2008 10:55 AM

Suggestions for replacing or repairing my porch
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Some of the ends of the boards in my old 7' by 19' wood porch are pretty cracked and frayed. The picture I attached shows some average boards. Some look better than this, but some are worse. The end of the board that touches my house is great, the end that is exposed are the only problem. I need to paint the porch, but I am looking to see what I can do about the boards while I am at it. Here are my 2 questions...

1. Should I flip the bad boards over and around (so the "good" side that is currently touching my house is now exposed) or should I just go ahead and replace the bad boards? None of the boards are wet or mushy, just dry and cracked.

2. What finishes (paint, stain, etc) would be best for a Michigan climate of rain and snow?

Any other tips on making my porch as durable as possible would be appreciated. Around here, most people just slap a coat of paint on the top of it every few years.

buletbob 09-27-2008 01:30 PM

SKIP I would not get involved with changing out any boards at this point, the deck is shot. just scape and paint this time, but plan on re-doing the decking soon. BOB

Termite 09-27-2008 03:25 PM

That wood is definately pretty much shot, although not rotten. It is doubtful that you'll get much durability out of any finish you apply. I agree with Bob, the best thing to do is to sand/scrape the existing boards and put a good coat of primer and porch paint on them. You should plan on doing this pretty much anually until you decide to replace the porch floor.

skiposwald 09-28-2008 09:11 AM

Thanks for the responses. I have the time to replace the whole porch now, is it best to have boards with spaces between them, or boards that are locked together like the current porch? What finish would be most durable? I am definitely concerned about the rain and snow that I get here.

Termite 09-28-2008 10:53 AM

In the interest of shedding water, gaps between the boards are nice. Otherwise that water is going to sit on the surface. So I'd advocate stained decking with tiny gaps.

But, they've been using painted fir T&G porch flooring for two centuries with great success. The prep work (priming all faces, etc) is critical.

buletbob 09-28-2008 02:25 PM

Thekctermite is correct. many years ago they used Fir and hard yellow pine. It appears you have the fir. you can get it in either 3/4" or 5/4" Tongue & Groove. Once It is installed I rent a floor drum sander and go over the floor with two different grit's of paper then I give it a good coating of boiled linseed oil. top and bottom. then next season I prime and paint with Sikens porch paint. If the porch is not going to be screened in then you will be fine with then square edge decking as the termite also stated. Good luck .

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