Summer is the perfect time of year to use your wooden deck, whether it’s for a small get-together or a large-scale barbecue. But after a winter of snow and inclement weather, it’s likely that the outdoor structure isn’t looking as great as it did last year. You may notice peeling, discoloration, or outright signs of damage on your wooden deck, but these are issues that can certainly be corrected.
In this article from All Flortec, New Jersey’s leading hardwood floor company, we’ll give you a rundown of the possible ways you can upgrade and enhance your wooden deck to keep it functional and aesthetically pleasing throughout this season and those that follow. For more information on hardwood flooring for your property, please get in touch with our team of deck refinishing specialists in West Milford today!
Deck Inspection & Repairs
The first but often most labor-intensive step of wooden deck restoration and enhancement is the repair process. Winters on the East Coast are still humid despite the raging cold, so your wooden deck is likely to have suffered a bit of moisture damage over the past six months. You may notice that certain areas are more or less elevated than others, or you may see specific sections that are splintering and cracking. To avoid an unwanted injury when walking barefoot outside, you should have your deck inspected and, if necessary, repaired as soon as possible.
Given its time-consuming nature, most homeowners opt for professional service and assistance with deck inspection and repair. It takes a certain amount of expertise to be able to spot compromised areas of a deck structure, so unless you have experience in identifying and diagnosing rotting or damaged wood, call the pros at All Flortec Inc. to assess and repair the weaker wood panels of your deck. We’ll give it a thorough inspection to check for everything from loose boards to severe splits to areas where stain and sealant have faded away.
The next step in a deck restoration project involves deck sanding, which generally begins not with the sanding itself, but rather a deep power-wash. This removes the dust, dirt, and debris that has accumulated over the course of the cold season, leaving you with a relatively flat surface to work on. Once the cleaning is complete, you’ll need a heavy-duty power sander to abrase the planks and panels of your deck. It may not be necessary to sand all areas of your deck.
The sanding process on an outdoor deck is a bit different from the one you would use for, say, an interior hardwood floor. With hardwood floors, you generally want to produce the smoothest surface possible, but the wooden deck in your backyard is a different story. Although decks are designed to withstand the harshest conditions of the great outdoors, you’ll need to use a less abrasive grit (no rougher than 60-80), or else you risk over-sanding your deck panels and increasing their porousness to the point where they can’t tolerate humidity and water and are less receptive to stains and sealants. Sanding should be done with, at most, medium pressure. Take frequent breaks to check the evenness of the wood, and be sure to use small detailing sanders on delicate areas like edges and railings.
Once your deck has been sanded to satisfaction, you’ll likely need to tackle the issue of discoloration or fading. Moisture from snow and rain can cause the color of your wood, whether natural or synthetic, to lose its vibrancy. Deck staining can correct this issue, and give you the ability to adjust the color of the wood to suit your design preferences!
Stains and varnishes are best suited for decks that absorb rather than wick away water; moisture absorption causes decks to lose their structural integrity and makes them more susceptible to collapsing. That being said, if you have a more structurally sound wooden deck and you merely want to darken or adjust its color, then staining is still a viable and effective option!
Since you’ve already washed and sanded your deck, there’s little preparation left besides procuring the right materials. Test your wood stain in an inconspicuous area before slathering it on a larger surface area. Once you’re certain that your stain is the right tint and type, check the weather forecast to ensure that no rain is expected to come in the next two days. Muggy and damp conditions will prevent the stain from setting properly and will negate its moisture wicking effects. If all looks dry for the next 48 hours, grab your paintbrush and paint pad applicator, and get started with your stain!
Enjoy Summer More With A Restored Deck
Deck restoration can be a season-long project, and if you go at it alone you may not achieve the results you want until summer has already come and gone. Take some strain off your shoulders and enjoy the season more by working with All Flortec’s team of deck refinishing specialists. We service cities all over New Jersey, so whether you’re in West Milford or on the eastern edge of the state near the New York border, we’re happy to visit your home and see how we can bring your wooden deck back to a state of vitality and functionality. From repairs to sanding to staining, call All Flortec for your summertime deck restoration needs!