Regular upkeep of your deck is necessary. This is exposed to harsh weather and can easily deteriorate. Make sure to wash the decking thoroughly before making any repairs. Use a pressure washer if possible to get rid of dirt and fibers. The pressure stream should be moving or else it is possible to scratch the wood surface. Allow the platform to dry for at least 12 hours.
Fix any loose nails using the hammer. It is advisable to make use of a screw longer than the nail in replacing the board. Cracked wood is an eyesore. Replace or patch up the board so your deck will always have a pleasant appearance. If the plank is ripped right down the center, mark the broken wood near the border of the support rafter beyond the split. Never mark the spot directly on top of the beam. Otherwise, this can dent your saw.
The replacement board may be higher and larger than the existing board. However, this will eventually get smaller as it loses dampness. In case the board still looks higher than surrounding boards after several weeks, use a belt sander to level and make it smoother. All the nail or screw heads should be buried in the wood before you start the sanding process.
The deck is vulnerable to sunlight and wetness. Thus, it is important to seal and stain. Using pressure-treated timber may not be enough. Look for a transparent wood preservative with ultra-violet protector to preserve the wood without causing discoloration. This will also bring a touch of freshness to the surface while shielding it from natural elements. Opt for an exterior stain before adding any color.
These exterior stains are available in solid and semi-clear finishes. Semi-transparent is ideal for outdoor decks but you can choose solid colors to accent railroads. This usually ends up looking like a painted polish. You can buy these stains in oil or latex although both varieties ensure lighter tone and resistance to molds.
Always wear eye shades and gloves for protection. Apply preservatives or stains using a roller brush. The chemical should stay on the wood deck for a minimum of 20 minutes so it will penetrate the lumber. Brush the surface so your deck will have a more consistent finish and eliminate patches or puddles. Apply another coat for additional coverage and protection. Let it dry for two days before applying sealant.