Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

DO-IT-YOURSELF : Stacking the Deck in Your Favor Against Wood Wear

July 31, 1993|From Associated Press

I f you have wood decks around your home, a certain amount of routine maintenance is required to keep them structurally sound, safe and looking their best.

Chances are your deck is built of either cedar, redwood or pressure-treated yellow pine. These are the most commonly used materials because they are resistant to rot and insect damage. When exposed to the elements for extended periods, however, any wood will show signs of weathering. Even if the deck was originally treated with a stain or preservative, this treatment eventually needs to be renewed.

The first thing to do is inspect the surfaces of the deck and railing for excessive splintering. If splintering is a problem, sanding the surface is the simplest solution. Use a belt sander to smooth the boards on the deck. Sand only in the direction of the grain, and keep the sander moving evenly with a sanding block to avoid gouging.

You'll find many stains and sealers designed specifically for your deck. Several manufacturers offer products called deck brighteners (actually bleaches) that remove stains and signs of weathering from the wood surfaces. Apply these products according to the manufacturer's directions, usually with a stiff bristle brush, and rinse off thoroughly before applying any top coat. Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection when using these products.

Sealers protect your deck from moisture and are available clear or tinted to act as a stain. Sealers need to be renewed periodically to offer continuous protection. Stains are offered in a range of capacities for either hiding the grain, or showing it.

When it comes to choosing a stain and sealer for your deck, check that the products are compatible and that they're suitable for the type of wood your deck is made with.

After a new deck has been exposed to the weather for a year or so, shrinkage of the lumber can cause nails to pop up. If the boards are still flat, reset the nails slightly below the surface using a nail set or punch that matches the size of the nail heads.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|