A Comprehensive Guide to Deck Restoration

Decks are popular in many homes, providing outdoor space for entertainment, relaxation, and enjoying nature. However, exposure to the elements and constant use can cause decks to deteriorate over time, affecting their appearance and functionality.

It may be time for a deck makeover if your deck looks worse. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to restore your deck and make it look brand new.

How to Restore a Weathered Deck in Australia

Restoring a deck can be time-consuming and challenging, but the results are well worth the effort. Following a few simple steps, you can restore your deck to its former glory and protect it from further damage caused by weather and use.

This section will walk you through each step of the deck restoration process, from inspecting the deck’s condition to replacing damaged boards. Whether your deck needs a complete overhaul or a simple paint touch-up, here’s how to restore a weathered deck.

Inspect and Assess the Deck’s Condition

Before starting any deck restoration work, it’s essential to assess its condition to determine what needs to be repaired or replaced. Look for signs of rot, decay, insect damage, and any loose or damaged boards, railings, or stairs.

Inspect the ledger board (the part of the deck attached to the house) to ensure that it’s securely fastened and free from rot. Check the hardware, such as screws and nails, to ensure they hold firm. Once you’ve identified any issues, list the repairs needed to restore an old deck.

Clean the deck Thoroughly

A clean deck is crucial for proper outdoor deck restoration, so start by removing any debris, leaves, or dirt with a broom or leaf blower. Next, use a power washer to remove any dirt or grime that has built up on the deck’s surface.

If your deck has mildew or mould, use a deck cleaner designed to remove these stains. Apply the cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions and allow it to sit for the recommended time.

Then, use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the deck clean, rinsing thoroughly with a hose or power washer.

Sand the Deck to Remove Rough Spots and Splinters

After cleaning the deck, you may notice rough spots or splinters that need to be sanded down. Use a sanding tool to smooth out rough spots or splinters on the deck’s surface.

If you’re working with a large deck, you may use a belt or floor sander to speed up the process. Wear protective gear like goggles and a mask to avoid breathing in sawdust.

Apply Deck Stain or Sealer to Protect the Wood

Once your deck is clean and sanded, it’s time to protect it from future damage by applying a stain or deck seal. Deck stain or sealer will protect your deck from UV rays, moisture, and other elements that can cause it to deteriorate over time.

Choose a stain or sealer appropriate for your deck’s wood type and the climate in your area. Apply the stain or sealer according to the manufacturer’s instructions using a brush, roller, or sprayer. Be sure to apply the stain or sealer evenly, working in small sections to avoid overlap marks.

Replace Any Damaged or Rotten Boards

If your inspection revealed any damaged or rotten boards, replace them before continuing with the deck refurbishment process. Use a circular saw to cut out any damaged or rotten boards, being careful not to cut into any joists or support beams.

Measure the size of the opening and cut a new board to fit. Secure the new board with screws or nails, ensuring it is level with the surrounding boards.

Essential Tools and Materials for Deck Restoration

You will need specific tools and materials to restore a deck to ensure the job is done correctly and efficiently. In this section, we’ll list the essential tools and materials you’ll need for deck restoration.

Power Washer

A power washer is a crucial tool for deck renovation. When using a power washer, adjust the pressure to a level that won’t damage the wood. A pressure of 1500 to 2000 PSI (pounds per square inch) is recommended for cleaning and restoring wooden decking.

Deck Cleaner

A deck cleaner is a chemical solution to remove dirt, grime, and stains from the deck’s surface. Deck cleaners are available in various types and strengths, depending on the severity of the stains or dirt on your deck. Be sure to choose a cleaner specifically designed for timber decking restoration, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when applying it.

Sandpaper and Sanding Tools

You’ll need sandpaper with a grit of at least 60 or 80 to sand down rough spots and splinters. You can use a handheld sanding block or a floor sander for larger areas. Wear protective gear like goggles and a mask to avoid breathing in sawdust and paint when restoring an old deck.

Stain or Sealer

Deck stain or sealer protects the wood from moisture, UV rays, and other elements that can cause it to deteriorate over time. Stains come in various colours and opacity levels, ranging from clear to solid colours that cover entirely the wood’s natural grain. Be sure to choose a colour or sealer specifically designed for use on decks and appropriate for your deck’s wood type and the climate in your area.

Replacement Boards

If you notice any damaged or rotten boards during your deck inspection, you’ll need to replace them. You’ll need replacement boards that match the size and type of the existing boards. Use a circular saw to cut out the damaged board, and then measure the opening to determine the size of the replacement board needed. Be sure to secure the new board in place with screws or nails, making sure it is level with the surrounding boards.

How the Deck Restoration Process Changes with Different Materials

Decks can be made from various materials, including wood, composite, and PVC. While the process of deck restoration may be similar for different materials, some specific techniques and considerations must be taken into account for each type of deck. This section will cover deck restoration steps and techniques for decks made from different materials.

Restoring Wooden Decks

A wood deck requires regular maintenance to keep it in good condition. A power washer and deck cleaner are typically used for wooden decks. To restore decking apply a deck stain, sealer, deck oil or paint to protect the wood.

Restoring Merbau Decking

Merbau is a popular hardwood often used for outdoor decking because of its high durability and resistance to decay and rot. Restoring decking timber like Merbau decking is a process similar to that of a timber deck restoration, but there are some unique considerations to remember, such as it may require more sanding than other types of wood.

Merbau can be left unfinished and will develop a natural silver-grey patina over time, or you can apply a clear sealer or stain to enhance the colour of the wood. Be sure to choose a finish designed explicitly for hardwoods like Merbau, as some finishes may not suit this type of wood.

PVC Decking Restoration Process

PVC decks are low maintenance, but over time they can become discoloured and faded and may develop scratches and scuffs. PVC deck paint restorers are specific products made for PVC decks, so make sure you use the right paints and cleaner to rejuvenate PVC decking.

Restoring Composite Decks

Composite decks are made of recycled plastic and wood fibres and require considerably less maintenance than wood decks. Composite decks tend not to require any form of specialist deck cleaner or a stain or deckseal for composite materials to keep them looking their best.

Deck Repair

Before and After Care

Regular maintenance is essential to maintain your newly-restored deck. Simple tips can help protect your investment and keep your deck looking beautiful for years. Here are some tips to help you maintain your newly-restored deck.

  1. Regularly sweep and remove debris from the deck to prevent buildup and potential damage.
  2. Wash the deck with mild soap and water to remove dirt and grime for a DIY deck restoration.
  3. Monitor the finish for signs of wear and reapply the deck paint restorer and sealer.
  4. Look for any damaged or rotting boards and replace them to prevent further damage.
  5. Use furniture pads and grill mats to prevent scratches and scuffs on the deck surface.
  6. Move furniture and potted plants periodically to prevent discolouration and uneven wear.
  7. Keep the deck clear of standing water to prevent moisture damage and rot.
  8. Consider applying a fresh coat of stain or sealer every few years to maintain the appearance and protection of your deck.
  9. Avoid using metal shovels or sharp-edged tools to remove a buildup of dirt and grime, as they can scratch and damage the deck surface.
  10. Regularly inspect the deck for any signs of damage or wear and address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.

In Conclusion

Restoring a deck is essential to maintaining the beauty and functionality of your outdoor living space. Whether you have a wood, Merbau, PVC, or composite deck, you can follow specific steps and techniques to restore and protect your deck from the elements. Regularly maintaining and promptly addressing any issues, you can enjoy your beautifully restored deck for years to come.