The inevitable has happened. Your deck has finally come to the point where you can’t ignore the patchy finish, worn areas, and the faded boards. You now need to either hire someone or get your hands dirty for deck restoration yourself to give your deck the face lift it needs and restore it to its former glory. Here are the steps that need to be taken to have your deck looking brand new again.
Have a good look at your deck. Check the structure, areas of heaviest wear, and the state of the wood boards. Look for insect damage if there is any. Make note of any areas that need repair. If your deck structure is really old, you might have to update it according to the most current building codes. If you have flower pots or other heavy objects like patio sets on your deck, remove those and check for rot and other signs of damage where those items used to be.
Broken, missing, or rotten boards should be replaced. If most of the boards on your deck are too heavily damaged, a total rebuild is better than restoration with sanding and re-finishing. It would be a waste of time to sand and refinish something that will topple over quick and not to mention it’s unsafe. Nails or screws that are peeking over the surface of the deck boards should be put in their right place well below the surface of the boards. They’ll wreck the sanding machines and sanding paper if they’re jutting out. Creaking areas or loose boards should be secured.
Give your deck a good sweep or vacuum to get rid of dirt, leaves, and other debris. This should also be done before inspection to see clearly any signs of damage or rot. Use scrapers to get rid of large stuck-on items. In between the planks, use a flat-blade tool to scrape out dirt and leaves that have accumulated in those areas. The places where the planks are attached to the joists are usually prone to debris collection. You can rinse your deck free of dirt and dust. Let it dry completely before moving on to the next steps.
Check the weather forecast to make sure you’ll have sunny weather when restoring your deck. Gather all the tools you need to restore and finish your deck. You’ll likely need a tarp set up under and around your deck to collect all the debris from sanding. Buy, borrow, or rent the right sanding machines and buy sanding paper. A belt sander, orbital sander, and detail sander (for railings) are the usual machines you need. For each of the machines, you’ll need to buy the correct size of sanding paper in coarse grit, medium coarse grit, and fine grit. If you buy too much of each type of sandpaper, it’s okay. You can return the unused ones for a refund. It’s better than running out and having to stop your work to buy more. It’s important to always wear safety equipment like protective eyewear, gloves, and breathing masks. Having knee pads is also a great idea as you’ll be mostly on your hands and knees.
Use the belt sander for the deck planks. Move the sander with the grain of the wood planks. If your deck has a lot of old stain or old finish to get through to get to the natural wood, give the deck a whole sanding pass with a very coarse 30 to 40 grit paper. Do a second sanding pass with a medium coarse grit paper like 60, or 80 grit paper. The third and final sanding pass should be with the finest grit like 100 or 120 grit paper. The deck must be swept or vacuumed after each pass. The railings should be sanded with the medium to fine grit paper depending on the thickness of the old finish or the depth of the old stain penetration. The orbital sander can be used for the railings and the detail sander can be used for hard to reach areas and for fancier railing designs.
After the sanding is done, sweep or vacuum the deck. Some people give it a good rinse and let it completely dry before putting on the finish. You can choose an oil skin or penetrating burnishing oil (Best done by a professional), finish depending on your preference. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the finish. Let the finish dry completely before walking or putting anything on the deck.
If restoring your deck seems like a daunting task to do by yourself, hire floor and deck restoration experts like Floor Deck Sanding Brisbane. They’ll get the job done properly and efficiently to leave your deck looking as beautiful as the day it was constructed and finished originally. Call us if you would like your deck restoration to be completed by Floor or to see more please visit Deck Sanding Brisbane.