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skimsu
Repairing old deck
skimsu

Hi guys,

First post. I just purchased a house with an existing deck adjacent to to the house, which is in a state of disrepair. I am hoping to salvage it by replacing the clearly rotting boards with new boards-->pressure-washing-->oxygen bleach cleaner-->sanding--->re-finishing with a dark stain to try to match the board color. Question is whether just replacing a few clearly rotting boards is reasonable or whether you think the entire deck needs to be replaced (I've attached pics below). It feels very solid walking on it, but the wood does look quite weathered. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

Put 2 photos here, couldn't figure out how to attach in the message (kept getting error):
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B7c9BSiOVzshfmt6ZmNXSDhQbTVxRFhDOHR5OE9Uby1KUVpMaVhjX1dfSk1CNkRXOFBHQlU&usp=sharing

dj1
Re: Repairing old deck
dj1

You have a nice deck that just needs some TLC. I don't think you need to replace all your planks.

Some of the "bad" planks can be turned over. In fact, I would remove them all. Maybe there is some life in them from the under side. Re-using them will change the cutting/trimming angles, so you will have to fix that. While removing them, check your joists under them for termite damage, rot, cracks, etc and replace if necessary. Any damaged member will have to go. After you re-install them (use deck screws), power wash the entire deck and stain (2 coats will be better). Use only quality stain.

It won't be "new", but it will be on budget.

Then take new pictures and show us your "remodeled deck".

skimsu
Re: Repairing old deck
skimsu

Thanks for the advice. Glad to hear from a budget standpoint. I'll post some pics after I start next week!

ordjen
Re: Repairing old deck
ordjen

The structural members of decks are normally pressure treated lumber and should last for 20 to 30 years, even in bad locations. You should be able to just replace the bad decking boards. I would caution that it is very unlikely that the new boards will ever look the same as the old boards, even if of the same type wood. If using a transparent stain, the new wood will take the stain differently, first because it has inherently different coloration, and secondly, because the grain is newer and tighter. A solid hide decking stain would make everything uniform, although you would not be able to see the grain. A complete sanding of the deck would increase the chances of a more uniform look to the deck.

You can completely get rid of that graying of the wood by use of a deck cleaner containing oxalic acid. Behrs Deck Cleaner from Home Depot will do a great job of bringing back the natural wood tone. Just follow the directions on the bottle. I have used this product many times on fences and decks. Your other option is re-sanding the entire deck with 80 grit sandpaper. This would probably make for a better finished product, but is a LOT more work!

HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: Repairing old deck
HandyAndyInMtAiry

Skimsu
From the picture, it looks like there is a bow in the deck. Stretch a string from one side to another to see if the decking is indeed flat. If not, I would tear it all out and start over. You have no idea if the deck is secured to the house, or if it is just free standing. From the size of the deck boards, I would be you lunch that the structure is the wrong size. And sitting that low to the ground, even pressure treated is going to be rotting with no air circulation and no where for the roof water to go but under the deck. If needed, dig a few feet down and then set new post into the earth, build proper structure on that, and then use a better size deck members.

You will thank yourself many times over if you do it right the first time while you have the opportunity. If you do not, a mere 5 years from now, you will be doing as I described above. And that is if no one does not get hurt but a rotten truss member and they fall thru the deck member. I always ask myself and my clients, what is less expensive? Do the job right the first time and use the best quality materials that you can find, go above and beyond minimal code standards, and know that it will be safe and last for decades, or a lawsuit.

Handy Andy in Mt Airy

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