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Old 05-02-2014, 11:27 AM   #1
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I moved from Phoenix to Minneapolis this winter (bad idea, I know) and bought a house built in 1986. The house is in good shape but needed a lot of updating etc but the winter was perfect for interior work. Now that spring has sort of sprung, I'm making a list of repairs on the exterior. One of the things that needs repair is the deck.

There are planks that are obviously damaged (holes) and rails look crappy. About 15% of the nails popped and needed to be reset so one can walk without tearing their foot. A few of the planks adjacent to the home are heaving and a few if not all of the hand rails are gray/dry rotted maybe. I have to be 100% honest, I am not used to working with rotted wood and can not determine what is 'normal aging' and what is 'rotted' so I'm looking for a hand. Or eyeballs. My intention is to make the required repairs so I can wash the crap out of the deck and either stain or paint the structure when temps rise therefore any repairs would have to sort of blend in with the others.

So my questions are
1. What causes these nails to pop?
2. What is causing the rood to seemingly rot?
3. What is causing the green color on the the bottom of the deck?
4. How do I determine which pieces of wood are rotted?
5. Should I jump of the railing?
6. Any ideas what causes the wood to heave and how to fix that problem

Please take a look at the attached photos and give an opinion.

Any input is encouraged...short of 'tear it down and start over'

Thank you
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ugly deck-wp_20140502_001.jpg   ugly deck-wp_20140502_002.jpg   ugly deck-wp_20140502_003.jpg   ugly deck-wp_20140502_004.jpg  

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Old 05-02-2014, 12:04 PM   #2
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The deck was never maintained. PT decking can last 30 years if keep sealed but can last less than 5 if not. I know you didnt want to hear it but I wouldnt put the effort into saving those boards. PT decking is surprising cheap. Stain is surprisingly expensive. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on cleaning products and stain just replace the boards and stain next year. Wood expands and contracts and every time it does it pushes the nails up. Screws will prevent this.
You have mildew under deck due to lack of ventilation or alot of moisture under deck. Scrub or power wash it off. Its not a big deal.

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Old 05-02-2014, 01:00 PM   #3
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You said that you do not want to hear the solution, so I got no idea.

ED
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:43 PM   #4
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JustinK-I figured the deck was never maintained, just like the rest of the house. You say PT is that pressure treated? As for hundreds of dollars on cleaning products go, I have about 8 gallons remaining of a cleaner that I bought on the cheap in Phoenix. The stuff does miracles. I have owned my pressure washer for a few years too for when I bought my PHX house so the only thing I hope to be spending on cleaning the deck would be my time.

I did bust out my pressure washer and cleaner and sprayed a small section with my cleaner and went over it really quick with the washer and the look is drastically different. The boards with huge holes in them are not washed because I now I must AT LEAST replace those ones. Could you look at these pics and see if your opinion is changed by them?

You said that stain is expensive? I've never had to purchase large quantities of stain so I will definitely take your word on that. I was just thinking maybe a Thompson's water seal if and when I get to that stage but I never thought about the cost of said material.

And the nails, I remember seeing deck screws all the time never nails. So using screws in the future would be prudent-thank you.

ED--thanks for the honesty. Brutal honesty that is.
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Old 05-02-2014, 02:50 PM   #5
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These angles look a little better but I can't see how safe the boards are from a picture. Multiple broken boards are normally a sign of more to come so I dont want to see anyone get hurt falling through deck board. If they just split so bad a piece breaks off its not as bad as a rotting board
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Old 05-02-2014, 02:53 PM   #6
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You should only be lightly pressure washing a deck. Too hard will cause alot of splinters
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:27 PM   #7
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That deck doesn't look that bad, get this deck wash instead of power washing, and for the underside the same company has a mildew remover, Home Depot has this product in stock and it works very well.

http://www.midlandhardware.com/12763...g#.U2PwybSCCpo
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:31 PM   #8
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With the new photos it looks like it might be salvageable, but you are still looking at MONEY for new lumber, SCREW IT TO IT, and lots of cleaning and deck treatment and mildew remover to save it for years to come. I advise that you replace every board , balister, railing, and every other component that is even marginally damaged, because when deterioration sets in it cannot be reversed.

And my brutal honest answers are often mis-interpreted as being a mean old man. But I suffer fools "not".

Do keep us interested parties informed on your progress.


ED
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:33 PM   #9
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Step One should be to make sure it is safe. I didn't see any bolts holding the main ledger board onto the house. Check for bolts also to hold the main beams to the posts. If the deck is wobbly you might also need angle braces from the main beams to the posts.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:04 PM   #10
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As far as the nail pops, I have had good luck with this method:

Pull the old nail
Use a new hot dipped galvanized nail
Dip the nail in gorilla glue
Drive the nail in the old hole.

Screws do not usually work in the old hole because the hole is too big. And if you use new holes for the screws, you have to deal with the old holes.

You might want to look into one of the deck restorer products. They come in a few colors::

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Restore-2...6042/204005178

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