The rising cost of timber makes replacing decking boards a significant expense, and it’s one which you may be able to avoid. By so doing, then you’ll also preserve the appearance of your deck. Most decking lumber is rot-resistant cedar or redwood, and though it is now warped, cracked or discolored, the wood may still be usable. In many cases, giving your deck some TLC and a brand new seal coat is a cost-effective alternate to board replacing.
Straightening Warped Boards
Decking boards that have been in the sun and rain can’t help being impacted, and a number of them inevitably warp. This becomes an issue if a board pulls out the fasteners holding it into the joists. Replacing the fasteners isn’t difficult — you simply pull out the old ones and drive new ones — but straightening the boards can be difficult. A solution is to work with a bar clamp. Work among the stops into the gap between 2 straight boards and set the other stop on the edge of the warped board, then tighten the clamp to pull the warped board into place. Use extra fasteners to hold it before removing the clamp.
Bar clamps are useful for correcting cracks that show up on the ends of decking boards. After spreading two-part epoxy adhesive at a split, you can close it with a bar clamp. The glue is strong enough to maintain most cracks closed after it places, but it’s almost always a fantastic idea to drive a fastener on each side of the crack as a precaution. Epoxy filler is the best material for filling cracks that are too wide to close. Prior to using it, it’s important to dig out any rot that you see in the crack, and also so the rot may continue to spread.
Washing and Sanding
Maintaining the deck a comprehensive cleaning may make a surprising difference to the way it looks. In many cases, sweeping it and then giving it a once-over with a power washer may be all that’s necessary to restore its natural colour and mix the repairs. If you made extensive repairs, however, you may have to sand the deck to mix them adequately. As soon as it’s feasible to sand a smaller deck with a hand sander, you can save yourself stress on your knees and back, and do a better job on any dimension deck, by renting a floor orbital sander.
Among the reasons your deck needed repair may have been that the finish had worn away, and a brand new finish coat may be all it needs. If the deck is in full sunlight, a pigmented stain or seal coat provides better protection than a clear one. You might even think about painting the wood if it had been essential to repair extensive damage. Clear waterproofing sealers offer the least ultraviolet protection, so in the event that you’d like to be able to see the wood, you should choose a heavy exterior varnish, such as spar varnish.