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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I have a couple of questions and appreciate any help:


1. This deck has an odd (to me) 2x4 as the underside (pictured) seems to have a channel carved out lengthwise on each piece. Can anyone tell me what the boards are called and where to get them?


2. So this deck gets nonstop sun all day, we bought the house and curious to what I should do to maintain as it has already started to develop fractures and faded real bad. Should I just orbital sander and try to match the old deck stain? Or pressure wash and stain? Would it keep the wood from continuing to fracture?



Thanks!
 

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Deck looks like mine in the spring before I clean it. I think it gets stained with mildew over the winter months. A quick scrubbing with Tide laundry detergent (powder form), hot water and bleach makes it look new each year.
 

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UV is worst thing on outdoor wood and you have to cover. But no paint since paint is a thick film that sooner or later will lift away. This was 30 yrs ago and it looks like still the same now. There is no miracle uv blocker or inhibitor even in this century.
Invest in a small power washer. Amazon has sunjoe brand with good reviews. I think I got fairly weak (1500 psi?) just to wash the siding and such, but now i see only 2000 psi and such. I don't think this is comparable to big rentals but should be good enough. Mix your own cleaner with laundry soap (limits bubbles) and bleach. Search for the ratios. Soap helps with outdoor pollution, grime and dirt. Bleach will help with mildew and whiten a little. If getting the washer, also get pump saver. One complaint about sunjoe is its hose connector with plastic parts. So I got a replacement with metal parts like other reviewers.


Wash your deck and let dry at least a week. If walked on, brush away dirt or such. I used cabot stain. Semi transparent oil base for deck boards and acrylic solid for rails. Rolled the rails 2 coats to cover the overlap marks. Brushed the deck, keeping the wet edge and board by board. One coat.


Rail solid stain can last a while but semi transparent must be recoated at least every 3 years. But semi transparent stain can be just washed and recoated without worry about thick film and lifting.


At least the rails, you may want to sand the surface and the edge. Wood that old, may have some raised fibers and splinters. Splinters, if big, cut away with a razor and round the edges with sander.
 

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I'd clean and stain the entire deck. I assume that groove is to help prevent the deck boards from cupping but I don't ever recall seeing that done on exterior decking.
Most likely was something like this. Is priced sort of high so I dont use myself. Since not in stock at my lumber yards and special order for me.


https://www.culpeperwood.com/products/culpeper-prodigy-the-ultimate-deck-board/

I use their treated 2 x 6' s. 2 levels down from this one. And it is very good. I then route the edges but dont do the relief groves underneath.
 

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For that deck.
I would clean and make sure dry.
Then Flood brand acrylic solid color stain. Should offer the best protection and prolong the life of the deck.
So far I am getting about 5 years before the need to recoat with this stain. And covers good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everybody, I have a sun joe pressure washer (have never done one without leaving streaks) and historically have used Cabots but I heard the formula changed. My railings are fading radically faster than the flooring boards
 

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I have a sun joe pressure washer (have never done one without leaving streaks)

If I understand that statement correctly it sounds like you are either using a tip that is too narrow or holding the wand too close to the wood. I prefer to use a cleaning agent to do the majority of the cleaning and the pressure washer for rinsing.
 

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We have been using Val-Spar solid stain for several years now and like
it very much. We have the color custom mixed... The deck floor
boards we do every two years, truthfully it could
go longer, but it doesn’t take long to mop it on, and it looks so good.
The rails and steps and pergola can go about 5 years without showing
wear...
 

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Wood is going to do that, I'd clean it up and apply a fresh coat of deck stain. The only way to get rid of it is to replace the wood with a composite. If you replace the bad boards with new they will have the same issue down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wood is going to do that, I'd clean it up and apply a fresh coat of deck stain. The only way to get rid of it is to replace the wood with a composite. If you replace the bad boards with new they will have the same issue down the road.
So no product will slow down the UV damage is that what you're saying? Or that some product is better than nothing at all?
 

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Most any coating will slow down the aging effects, the better coatings will hold up longer although no coating will last a long time on a deck as they are subjected to too much weather [as opposed to siding]
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Most any coating will slow down the aging effects, the better coatings will hold up longer although no coating will last a long time on a deck as they are subjected to too much weather [as opposed to siding]
Thanks, what is your preferred product? I used to use Cabots but I heard that they were bought out and not as great anymore.
 

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Generally you'll find better deck stains at your local paint store as opposed to a big box paint dept [better advice too] BUT no coating is going to last a long time on decks exposed to the elements. I like Flood's CWF, mostly on account of the look it gives. Solid and semi-transparent stains tend to last longer than their translucent counterparts.
 
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