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Restore It, Don’t Destroy It

The perpetually sunny, Mediterranean climate of Santa Barbara is one of the reasons why decks are so popular there. Much of the city’s real estate feature sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean or the Santa Ynez mountains, and the scenery is only enhanced by good friends, food and stylish outdoor living spaces.

However, the same sun that makes using decks in Santa Barbara so popular is the one that harms wooden decks the most.

For those who enjoy the warmth and beauty of real, eco-friendly wooden decks there are only two things that one can do when deck surfaces become stained, faded, splintered or cracked.

A homeowner can either dismantle the old deck to build a new one or restore the old deck to make it look like new again.

Here are some reasons to restore rather than to rebuild decks as well as the common steps taken to breathe new life into worn out decks.

Benefits of Restoring Old Decks

A homeowner can invest a great deal of time and money designing a deck that fits their home’s style, space and their own unique needs. Recreating a comparable deck could cost them a great deal of money depending on their deck’s size, design and decking materials. If the old deck’s wood has not rotted or become infested by pests or mildew, then it is practical to restore the structure rather than throwing away usable wood in favor of building a new deck.

Steps and Materials Needed to Restore Decks

The three main steps for restoring old wooden decks are

  • Pressure Washing
  • Resurfacing
  • Coating and Sealing

The materials, tools and equipment that are minimally needed to complete the job are a pressure washer, hammer, deck screws, drill, wood filler, floor sander, sand paper, shop vacuum, stain and sealer.

Washing Decks

The most efficient way to prepare a deck for resurfacing is by pressure washing it. A carpenter or home improvement specialist will know the exact amount of pressure to apply to decks to avoid causing more wood splintering. Experts generally advise that no more than 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch be applied to wood deck surfaces.

Resurfacing Decks

When the deck is dry, one can make sure that nails are properly in place and can replace them with sturdier deck screws when necessary. Appropriately colored wood filler is used to make cracked and uneven surfaces level again. Replace boards that are actually rotted. After the deck is clean and dry, it can be sanded to uncover the old wood’s original color and grain. Vacuuming up the saw dust prepares the deck for its protective coating.

Deck Coating and Sealing

Homeowners can decide whether they want to keep the wood’s original color or stain it a richer color. If they to alter the deck’s original hue, the stain coating gets applied to the newly sanded deck first. They can then apply a sealer for extra weatherproofing. A couple of coats of penetrating sealer can be applied directly to newly sanded decks when homeowners decide to keep the wood’s natural color.