DIY Home Improvement Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hired a contractor to re-finish my cedar deck. As a first step he took a pressure washer to it and it now looks like someone has taken a screwdriver to it and gouged it from one end to the other.

He claims that he can sand it down and make it look like new again. I`m a little dubious about this and I`m concerned that he would need to sand it down to the point that the decking would no longer be structuraly sound.

Am I being over concerned about this and should I just let him go ahead and sand it down.
 

·
Civil Engineer
Joined
·
5,832 Posts
You did not tell us how thick your cedar deck planks are. You also did not tell us how deep the gouges are, or how much the contractor plans to sand off. Whether he can safely sand the deck down, and maintain adequate structural capacity, depends on how much structural margin you had to begin with. I will say that pressure washing a cedar deck is unusual, because cedar (like redwood) is known for being soft, and easily abraded. Perhaps your contractor is not familiar with cedar, and is used to pressure washing pressure treated lumber or composite lumber decks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Cedar Deck Refinishing

You did not tell us how thick your cedar deck planks are. You also did not tell us how deep the gouges are, or how much the contractor plans to sand off. Whether he can safely sand the deck down, and maintain adequate structural capacity, depends on how much structural margin you had to begin with. I will say that pressure washing a cedar deck is unusual, because cedar (like redwood) is known for being soft, and easily abraded. Perhaps your contractor is not familiar with cedar, and is used to pressure washing pressure treated lumber or composite lumber decks.
==============

I agree with Dan - it sounds like the contractor may have used too much pressure and an incorrect nozzle setting that gouged the lumber. They sell cleaning solutions for decks that require only a stiff broom and brush and then a rinse with a standard garden hose and spray nozzle. Dirt and algae are the usual contaminants that need to be removed.

If the lumber is badly splintered, those planks may require replacement. Trying to sand them could result in depressions in the wood that can trap and hold water.

If you apply a stain to the wood, it will require cyclical maintenance. They also sell a colorless waterproofing agent (sealer) for decks as well. Your local home improvement or hardware store should be able to advise you.
 

·
uva uvam vivendo variafit
Joined
·
641 Posts
He screwed up - that's for sure. I believe he can sand the wood without substantially decreasing the capacity. However, that's gonna be a lot of work and if he was foolish enough to PW cedar, I doubt he realizes how much work it will take to sand it down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,194 Posts
Having the jackass who damaged the deck, continue to work on it with power tools. What could go wrong with that?
Jetison this incompetant boob, get someone else to fix it, and then sue him in small claims court if he doesn't pay for the repair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update

The contractor took a look at the job his worker did on my deck and then proceeded to tell me that he was going to have to sand that deeply anyway.

I had a third party look at the deck, one of Canada`s largest full-service mitigation, restoration and reconstruction companies and they informed that the damage was so extensive that the deck boards would need to be replaced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,493 Posts
Did you check his insurance certificate before he started??

Follow Ron6519 recommendation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
How are the deck boards fastened to the joist? If not with hidden fasteners I would think the nails or screws would interfere with the sanding unless each board was removed before sanding - in any event this sound like a huge job. I think the contractor that power washed the deck needs to man-up and admit he made a mistake and work with you on a plan to replace the deck boards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
584 Posts
I hired a contractor to re-finish my cedar deck. As a first step he took a pressure washer to it and it now looks like someone has taken a screwdriver to it and gouged it from one end to the other.

He claims that he can sand it down and make it look like new again. I`m a little dubious about this and I`m concerned that he would need to sand it down to the point that the decking would no longer be structuraly sound.

Am I being over concerned about this and should I just let him go ahead and sand it down.
That wood can't be sanded down . He used to much preasure and went down in the wood fibers. Their is nothing to do but replace. Take a stick and put it down in the wood grove's and than measure with tape measure and that would be how far you will have to sand. Their isn't enough their to do that . Even if you took the wood off and planed it down Never happen. Look's like you will get a new deck. This time maybe preasure treated instead cedar . Look's like he almost went 1/2 way thro with the preasure cleaner
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Update

I would like to thank everyone for their reply.

Just to give you an update. My contractor is still telling me that he would have needed to sand my deck as far down as the deepest groove from his pressure washing anyway.

In other words the pressure washing damage, as far as he is concerned is a moot point.

I asked other contractors and they told me that they would have taken about one day for one person to sand the deck to get it ready for staining.

The contractor claims that it will take a team of 3 workers 2 days to sand the deck.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,627 Posts
cafferty, how old is that Cedar? Did he use bleach or any other cleaners?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,194 Posts
I would like to thank everyone for their reply.

Just to give you an update. My contractor is still telling me that he would have needed to sand my deck as far down as the deepest groove from his pressure washing anyway.

In other words the pressure washing damage, as far as he is concerned is a moot point.

I asked other contractors and they told me that they would have taken about one day for one person to sand the deck to get it ready for staining.

The contractor claims that it will take a team of 3 workers 2 days to sand the deck.
Right now he's just trying to cover his rear end.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top