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teamcampreder 08-27-2012 02:58 PM

stretching the life of an old wood deck
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Hi all,
So heres whats going on. My parents have a deck that is in very bad shape, to the point where I am not really comfortable with my two year old daughter walking on it, because if she falls, it will be multiple splinters in her hands knees and face.

They dont have the money to fully replace the deck, but i think i could put a few hundred dollars into it and give it a few years of livability before t hey do a full redo.

I was thinking i would give it a thorough wash, do some sort of acid treatment for the moss and such, rent a belt sander and sand it all smooth again, bang all the nails in so they are all flush with the new sanded surface, and do some kind of stain and sealant.

Again, i know im just prolonging the inevitable replacement, but those few years would be worth it to me. Thoughts?

techpappy 08-27-2012 03:22 PM

Bang the nails in first i.e., countersink them using a punch...otherwise they will destroy the sandpaper/sander belt

Duckweather 08-27-2012 03:56 PM


Originally Posted by techpappy (Post 997611)
Bang the nails in first i.e., countersink them using a punch...otherwise they will destroy the sandpaper/sander belt

Or the sander will grind the heads off. You could rent a floor sander, faster bigger but harder to handle. If it trips a breaker be sure it is off before turning the breaker back on!

Fix'n it 08-28-2012 08:29 AM

heck. that doesn't look that bad.

joecaption 08-28-2012 09:02 AM

I'd pull any loose nails, drive in the rest. Buy a belt sander not rent one, just not cost effective for how long your going to need it. Kill the mold with bleach and water, use deck brighner, replace the nails you pulled out with 3" ceramic coated decking screws, then stain it after letting it dry a few days.
Do not stain it if there's going to be rain within 48 hours.

CaptRandy 08-28-2012 09:53 AM

No finish left on the deck, clean it with sodium percarbonate cleaner and a power washer. Remove loose nails and replace with deck screw. If you go the sanding route use 80 grit paper.

hyunelan2 08-28-2012 10:46 AM

I did a complete sanding on my deck last summer. I had much better luck with the 6" random orbital sander (using 60 and 80 grit) than I did with my belt sander. An oscillating multitool with a sanding head also came in very handy for tight corners and spindles. You can expect many manhours to be spent on sanding.

teamcampreder 08-28-2012 10:13 PM

Thanks for all the great replies everyone.

I pulled some nails today to see how they looked and test my countersinking punch. The nails are in really bad shape, and also very difficult to get out.

Any suggestions on how to get the nails out cleanly and easily other than the back side of a hammer? I'm worried because one of the nailheads popped clean off from the nail!

I am going to do the random orbit sander. How many sanding pads do you think i will need for a 12 x 18 deck?

Lastly, any reccomendations for a nice, strong, natural looking deck stain. Is there a separate product to seal the wood, or is it all built into the stain?

Needless to say, this is my first time with this, so many thanks in advance!!!

CaptRandy 08-29-2012 08:27 AM

You might have to pull up the deck boards completely to get at the nails without heads.

MEE123 08-29-2012 10:02 AM

Great thread. Gotta' do the same to my deck soon. Might have to replace a board or two as well.

teamcampreder 09-11-2012 10:21 AM

So I went with 2 gallons of Behr Premium Semi-Transparent for the deck stain. I replaced and added about 12 lbs of ceramic coated deck screws (those babies are expensive!!). I am in the sanding process right now, and I had one more questions.

I did one coat of mold remover, and was planning on doing another coat of mold remover right before I do the stain. Any thoughts on how long I should wait from the time I do the mold remover (which thorougly soaked the wood last time), and the stain? I figured a day would be enough, but it seems like some of the wood stayed wet for 2 days.

techpappy 09-11-2012 10:34 AM

what's the rush..READ THE LABEL...maybe you should be washing the mold remover off first..otherwise, I think the wood should be dried thoroughly before applying stain..please provide oictures when done..would be nice to see

Gissle 09-11-2012 02:52 PM

Recently treated our deck. Yours looks Ok.

We swept, pulled out loose nails, sanded, swept. renailed then stained.

That should do the trick!

avenida 09-12-2012 12:16 PM

It would need a lot of work but you are right, you can repair it for the meantime when you can't still redo it. I am also thinking what to change it.

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oodssoo 09-12-2012 01:58 PM

Looks like the deck is approaching the late-middle of its life. Depends on how long you plan to live in your house, and if money is not an issue, just replace the deck boards, handrails, and any other flat-laid boards that have been rotting/mildewing due to normal standing rain water.

Restoring deck is a big job and will cost a lot of money and time. So you have to weigh the options of restoring vs replacement.

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