Do you remember that first summer with your new deck? Chances are, you couldn’t wait to show it off to your friends and family, you hosted barbeques, enjoyed al fresco weekend breakfasts with your sweetie and kicked back barefoot with an attitude-adjusting beverage after a hard day at work.
But now, you don’t dare go out barefoot for fear of getting a splinter, and your once beautiful deck is not really a place that you want to show off anymore.
The good news is that you can fall back in love with your deck with a few simple deck renovations.
Whether you are a DIYer or you’ll be hiring a contractor, the first step in any deck renovation is to make sure the structure is sound and safe – and this usually involves making repairs. Special attention should be given to areas that make contact with the ground as well as where the deck connects with the house.
Any rusted screws or bolts should be replaced and joists should be inspected for rot. Also look for any nails that may have popped up and consider using screws instead. Stairs and railings should also repaired or replaced if they have become unsteady.
To ensure that you get the most out of your deck, it is important to give it a good cleaning at least once a year. There are many good deck cleaners on the market that come with their own applicators which can be hooked up to a garden hose.
These cleaners contain concentrated chemicals, so it is important to protect yourself by wearing safety glasses or goggles as well as gloves and long pants and sleeves. If you have a flower bed or some prize shrubbery adjacent to your deck, it’s a good idea to protect these as well using an old sheet.
If your deck has some particularly stubborn stains, using a pressure washer is recommended. Cleaning solution can be worked into the fibres using a stiff bristled brush.
Once you have cleaned your deck, you should allow it to dry completely before applying any stain. While newer decks can look great with a transparent stain, you may want to use a semitransparent stain if your deck is older. This way, the grain will still be visible but the end result will be a more uniform colour.
Depending on the age of your deck, you may also want to add a second or even a third coat. Additionally coats of stain should be applied while the first coat is still wet so that it can be absorbed into the wood. For extra protection, add a water repellent.
Since it is an important safety feature, you may want to consider railing replacement as part of your deck renovation. Traditional wooden railings are nice, but there are many other options to choose from including wrought iron and vinyl coated composite materials. These alternative options are often maintenance free, so it’s one less thing to worry about.
If your deck is looking a little tired, maybe it’s time to give it a facelift with some deck renovation so you can start enjoying those backyard summer get-togethers once again.