refinishing wood deck

What You Need To Know About Refinishing Your Wood Deck

Refinishing wood decks: all you need to know A wooden deck is excellent for getting more out of your outdoor space. You can use the area for entertaining purposes, relaxing, or setting up an outdoor kitchen. However, while a wooden deck is a great feature, it comes with some maintenance that some people may find overwhelming. Besides regular cleaning, refinishing your deck is necessary to keep it in good shape. A refinished wood deck not only looks great, but it also protects the wood and extends its life. Of course, you can do it yourself to save on some cash, but it’s always a great idea to bring in professionals for a seamless finish. At Southern Power Wash, we offer professional pressure washing in preparation for your restoration services for all decks. Not only that, we clean and seal the decks on your structure to stretch out its lifespan. Having a well maintained deck is important in increasing the lifespan and integrity of it for years to come. WHY SHOULD I REFINISH MY WOODEN DECK? HOW DOES REFINISHING PROTECT MY DECK? Refinishing a deck helps maintain its nice look and protects it from moisture-related damage, thus prolonging its lifespan. For many homeowners looking to refinish their deck, the question becomes; should I stain, paint or seal? If you’ve had a similar issue, here is a breakdown that may help you decide what you should go for. seal If you want to highlight the deck’s natural wood grain, using a sealant is a great choice. A sealant is a clear protective coating that sits on the wood. It will provide a degree of UV protection to the wood surface. It’s an excellent choice if you’re okay with the look of your wood’s natural color and simply want a layer of protection. Since it is clear, you won’t see flaking and chipping easily against the grain, but sealant does not last very long, either. This is a good option if you like the natural color of your deck. Stain When going for a more natural, but beautiful look, your best bet is to stain your deck. Wood stain partially fills the wood pores and forms a thin layer over the deck that lets the superficial cracks in the wood and the grain pattern seep through the stain giving you an earthy natural look. However, if you’re looking to disguise your deck’s imperfections while maintaining a rustic aesthetic, using a highly pigmented solid stain is a good choice. Paint At Southern Power Wash, we never recommend you paint your wooden deck. Paint isn’t breathable; as your wood swells and shrinks with temperature changes, paint is likely to crack, leaving your wooden deck exposed to the elements. Instead, you can use solid color stains for a look similar to a painted finish.  HOW TO TEST THE WOOD TO SEE IF IT NEEDS TO BE REFINISHED YET? To determine if your wood is ready for refinishing, pour a cup of water over a few areas on your wooden deck. If the wood absorbs the moisture in under ten minutes or it darkens, it’s an indication that it’s time to stain it. On the other hand, if the water beads on the deck surface without being absorbed in 10 minutes, you can wait to apply a new stain or remove the old finish. Decks typically undergo a lot of wear and tear over the years. Be it sun damage from exposure to direct sunlight or a lot of foot traffic; there’s no doubt that your deck will get to a point where you won’t be able to refinish it. It may take a while before you have to replace it, but the need may arrive sooner than you expect. Here are times that refinishing the deck just won’t cut it anymore: Obvious damage to the deck – If you notice any cracks in the wood, holes, or broken board, it’s time to get a wood replacement to make the deck sturdy once again. Rotting – Wood rot can creep up on you and destroy your whole deck. If you notice one rot spot, carefully examine the entire deck and replace the rotten wood with top-quality material. Rusted fixtures – While checking for rot, inspect the fixtures for rusting. If you’ve had your house for a long time, the fixtures and fittings are probably rusted and weakened. Replace them as soon as possible to prevent structural compromise. Expensive refinish costs– If your refinish costs start being almost equal to your replacement costs, it’s time to get rid of the entire deck board. Can My Neglected, Weathered Deck Be Restored? Yes, you can restore your weathered deck to its original glory. Although it’s a project you can undertake on your own, a professional will help you achieve the right results. Don’t hesitate to give Southern Power Wash a call for your deck restoration needs. We want to help breathe life back into your home’s wooden deck. When is the best time to refinish my deck? The best time to restore or refinish your wood deck is the dry season, that is, anytime between May to September. However, if you choose to go into the later months of the year, you need to be careful as it can get extremely cold, and you want to ensure your sealants or strains are cured, which is impossible to be sure of during the cold season. A good rule of thumb is that most decks need to be redone every 2-4 years, depending upon exposure to sunlight and other elements. This is something you do not want to rush.  HOW IS THE WOODEN DECK REFINISHED OR RESTORED? To refinish a wood deck, we first clean it, then strip it of the existing finish. We usually use a hydroxide-based stripper to allow the power washer to cut through any remaining sealants. We then neutralize the wood using a wood brightener to bring it to an acceptable pH, apply the new finish and