Revive Your Deck: Extend Its Lifespan for Another Season

Discover the essential DIY tips and professional assistance needed to restore your worn-out backyard deck after a busy summer. Ensure its durability for years to come and continue enjoying outdoor gatherings.

Discoloration: Correct with new stain.

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Illustrative image Discoloration: Correct with new stain.

Discoloration may not pose a safety risk, but it’s certainly an eyesore.

Restoring the vibrancy of your deck involves stripping off the existing color, washing the wood, and applying a UV-protective deck stain. This straightforward DIY project is manageable even for beginners.

Late summer or early fall, with mild temperatures and low humidity, is the ideal time for this task.

Slippery surfaces

 Save with a pressure washer.

If your deck feels as slippery as ice, it’s likely due to a buildup of algae or moisture. The solution is a thorough pressure washing to remove any hazardous spots. Perform this maintenance annually in early spring, after the snow has melted, and before you bring out your grilling and patio equipment.


Cracks: Fill and seal

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Illustrative image Cracks: Fill and seal

Deck cracks, although unattractive, are commonly seen as a natural result of aging and weathering. Fortunately, addressing these cracks is feasible with different approaches depending on their length and severity.

When dealing with cracks shorter than six inches, a practical solution involves filling them with latex wood filler and sealing the entire deck surface. This process effectively conceals the cracks and protects the wood from further damage.

For longer cracks, a more thorough evaluation is required. Begin by inspecting the underside of the affected boards to determine the extent of damage. If the underside remains structurally sound, reattaching the board using deck screws is the recommended course of action. This approach restores stability and ensures the longevity of the deck.

However, if the cracked board exhibits significant damage on its underside, a complete replacement is necessary. Safely remove the damaged board and replace it with a new one, securing it firmly to the underlying joists. This approach eliminates potential hazards and guarantees the integrity of the deck’s structure.

By assessing the length and condition of cracks on your deck, you can choose the appropriate repair method. Whether it involves simple filling and sealing or more extensive board replacement, taking prompt action will maintain the deck’s visual appeal and extend its lifespan for years to come.

Rotted boards: Replace right away

Rotting boards usually result from water damage or insect infestation.

To prevent further structural deterioration, address wood rot on a board-by-board basis. Begin by removing nails and screws, then replace the rotted board carefully, ensuring surrounding boards remain intact. If rot is widespread, it’s advisable to seek professional help.

Large gaps between boards

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Illustrative image Large gaps between boards

 Close them up.

Intentional gaps for drainage can widen over time, creating tripping hazards. Quickly resolve wider gaps by replacing all the boards with accurately sized replacements.

Remember to consider the moisture content (MC) of the wood when purchasing to minimize future gaps. Install the boards evenly with proper spacing to accommodate any future shrinkage.

By following these guidelines, you can effectively address common deck issues and maintain a sturdy and visually appealing outdoor space.

*The information is for reference only.