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denemante 05-08-2012 11:01 AM

deck - tear down or reface?
My deck is 14 years old - original construction. It's a 12x12 basic deck about 10 feet up. The decking and supports are all mostly sound and the lumber is solid and true. It does show a little green on the underside, which I've knocked off before with a powerwasher.

When I say "mostly sound" - I definitley want to make some improvements where it ties into the house and out at the end plate and add some bridging to prevent the slight case of sway I have. Make it industrial strength and safe.

Generally speaking, there's no rot and I could drive a nail into any part of the deck and it would go in solidly as if it were new lumber.

The decking has come a little loose. The balusters are ugly 2x4s. The top rail needs to be replaced as the paint/stain is gone and there is some wood damage to it.

So should I invest in suring up the decking and supports and replace the balusters and top rails - then repaint/restain it all? Hope to get many more years out of it?

Or at 14 years old - is this a waste of money and I should just wait until I can afford a total replacement?

Just wondering if there is a lifespan of an outdoor deck.

joecaption 05-08-2012 11:12 AM

Post a picture.
New rails would be a simple not all that expecive project.
A deck that high should have been built with 6 X 6 post and have diaganal in ever corner under it.

If someone used nails instead of screws for the decking pull the loose nails and use 3" ceramic coated decking screws.

DO NOT PAINT IT ! Use stain instead.

denemante 05-08-2012 11:27 AM

2 Attachment(s)
I've attached some pics. I'm not so much worried about investing perhaps $500ish on it. Just wondering if that can gain me 5-10 more years.

My neighbor painted most of his deck with this rubbery textured stuff...a little but like grip tape. Looks great. Bad idea?

You said not to paint. All over the deck, it shows signs of exposure. Dirt, etc. How would I "stain" to cover al this? Powerwash it heavily first?

You can see my long cross pieces running under the body. They are double screwed in and glued - an experiment to stop sway - which failed. I think I need to renail/screw down the decking first, then put bridging/blocks under the middle line across between joists.

joecaption 05-08-2012 11:36 AM

Mist it down with the low pressure nozzle on the pressure washer with bleach and water, let it sit 1/2 hour to give it time to kill the mold.
Pressure washer, then use a brightner to get some of the stains out.
Let it dry a few days then stain it.
I believe that deck coating has not been out very long so I have no idea how it holds up.

cortell 05-08-2012 12:03 PM

From the pics and your descriptions, I personally would just breath some new life into it. If in the end you want a deck at the same height and same footprint, seems like a waste to tear that down and start from scratch. Spend some effort trying to restore some of the worst looking parts of it. If you like the results keep going. If you're not, paint it. Sure, natural wood is best, but if the deck wasn't maintained and its beyond restoring, paint is a reasonable alternative IMO. Also, if the decking is what's in the the worst shape, consider replacing that and then doing your best to restore the rest. Lots of possibilities here. All depends on how much effort and money you want to put into it, and how much you value the look of natural wood.

denemante 05-08-2012 12:45 PM

I should mention that while it may appear natural in the pictures - it's not. Its taupe or greyish. And it is deck stain because I have the tub from the previous owner. But I think the owner painted the top rail because that comes off in gummy sheets.

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