Find out how to breathe new life into an existing deck structure with some simple maintenance tips in as little as one weekend. Hosts Amanda Rosseter and Pat Simpson provide basic repairs to warped deck boards and stray handrail systems.
E-mail This Page to Your Friendsx
A link to %this page% was e-mailed
1. Before taking on any repairs, do a thorough inspection to determine the overall condition of the deck. One of the most crucial areas of the deck to examine is the post substructure. Make sure the deck is supported by a strong, stabile foundation.
2. One of the most obvious problems is the dirt and algae build-up. To remove stubborn stains, rent a pressure washer with 2500 lbs. spraying capacity. Wear goggles to protect your eyes from debris.
3. Another option for removing deck grime is deck-cleaning solution. This is sold at any homebuilding supply store and is available in both granulated and liquid forms. If you purchase a granulated form, mix the solution in a bucket with tepid water according to the manufacturer's label. Use a pump sprayer to apply the solution, and use a deck scrubber brush to remove tough algae and dirt spots. Rinse off the deck with the pressure washer. Let the wood dry completely before starting any structure modifications.
4. Determine the budget for the structure repairs before deciding on your materials. For example, redwood is the most expensive wood option. While cedar is mid-range, treated wood tends to be the most inexpensive.
5. The biggest concern for repairing the structure is the railing that has pulled completely away from the post since it is a second story deck. Wearing safety goggles and gloves, remove the old deck rail with a crowbar.
6. Use a circular saw and speed square to cut a replacement handrail from two, 2" x 4" boards measuring 96" long. Note: Also wear a mask to protect yourself from inhaling the wood dust. For the remainder of the railing system, measure and cut 26, 2" x 4" at 25 ¾" long, one, 5/4" x 6" boards 104" long, one 5/4" x 6" board 14' long and two, 5/4" x 6" boards 105" long.
7. When attaching the new rail, pre-drill pilot holes and toenail the #8, 2 ½ " galvanized deck screws to secure the support boards in place. Start in the middle and work your way out when attaching the baluster rails.
8. To repair an existing rail that is sagging, use a board to straighten out the sag, and place a brace board underneath to hold the railing in place. Screw the brace board in place to support the rail permanently.
9. Bowing deck boards could be a sign that existing nails are losing strength. Reinforce the boards using lag screws for support.
10. Use 2" x 4" boards and galvanized deck screws to attach a new cap rail that hides the rail fasteners. Miter the cap board edges to fit together flush and secure in place with screws.
11. Add decorative post tops for an aesthetic finish.
12. Seal the deck immediately with a clear water repellant or stain that contains water repellant. Apply the sealer or stain with a brush, roller, or sprayer. Allow the deck to dry for at least two hours. Re-apply the sealer once a year to protect the deck against harmful ultra violet rays. Note: Do not attempt to stain your deck on a windy day, especially if you are using a sprayer to apply the stain. Much of the stain will be wasted in the wind.
Keeping your tools sharp is important to maintain top tool performance as well as to avoid personal injury.
- To sharpen a wood chisel, line-up a flat file with the angled tip of the chisel or use a honing guide to help steady the chisel.
- When sharpening a lawn mower blade, it's important to maintain the balance. Test the blade by balancing it on a screwdriver. The blade should remain balanced in every position.
- Sharpen shovels and hand spades with a bench grinder. Make sure to protect your eyes with safety goggles.
- Make digging easier by keeping posthole diggers sharp. Just be sure not to sharpen the tips too fine. Over sharpening can lead to thinning and easy breaks.
Even though pressure-treated lumber resists insects and decay, it's still vulnerable to moisture and the sun's rays. To keep it...