How you can repair your deck

A deck attached to the house or surrounding a swimming pool is a great place to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of your home. The very nature of decks mean they are subjected to the weather; the sun, rain, snow, sleet and anything else mother nature can throw at it. This weathering takes a toll on the deck and it needs to be cared for.

If the deck repair you need is serious, if the deck is sagging or feels like a trampoline then you are advised to hire a competent team of skilled craftsmen, but if it’s just a bit of general maintenance and deep cleaning, this can be handled by the homeowner.

A few tips on deck repair

Frequent inspections of your deck may show raised nails or perhaps a loose handrail. These small issues require immediate attention as they can worsen or perhaps even pose a hazard. When you see raised nails, don’t drive them in again, they will just re-appear. Pull them out and replace them with coated screws. Repair loose railings as needed.

To clean your deck, everyday dirt and grime can be removed with a mild detergent mixed with water. Scrub the deck and hose down with plenty of clean water. If there are drops of tree sap, these can be removed with mineral spirits without doing damage to the deck.

Portions of the deck that are constantly shaded are targets for mold and mildew. If this is not taken care of quickly it can result in a rather detailed deck repair procedure. To remove them, prepare a mild solution of bleach and water, a ratio of 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water is good. Although this is a good solution, commercial cleaners are available which may have a longer lasting effect.

The moment the new deck is finished it must get an application of a stain specially formulated for decks. If the deck is made from pressure treated lumber it should stay uncoated for six months and then stained. Re-staining the deck every couple of years keeps it fresh and fights rot that can easily set into the timber. If the deck is painted it has to be stripped before stain can be applied.

A deck repair is inevitable if you apply clear finishes such as varnish or shellac. These clear coatings cannot tolerate the sun and rapidly begin to peel. When this happens the entire deck must be stripped and sanded.

If you find bards that have rotted this deck repair should be undertaken by a carpenter. There are a number of tricks to remove decking, especially if it is tongue and groove.

So to really enjoy your deck for many years, a little bit of routine maintenance will keep it “ship shape” for a long time.

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