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My deck is post-2004 pressure treated pine, probably 15 years old. We are far from fussy in our care for it, are now the process of cleaning it. Pay back. I would like to use a deck resurfacer on it, like Cabot DeckCorrect or Behr DeckOver. Apparently, these are recommended where there are crack & splinters.

Our deck gets a little sun, but is shaded by pines and hardwoods

Consumer Reports gives Behr's solid stain the best rating (82 out of 100) and Cabot's solid stain an 80, but they haven't rated resurfacers.

Have any of y'all used a resurfacer? If so, I would really appreciate hearing about your experience.

Thanks.

B.C.

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My 2 cents. Pressure wash it carefully.  Let it dry and determine if you like that new clean look.  If not go with  transparent stain.  I tried solid color stain and was disappointed with longevity. A transparent stain can be recoated, a solid color needs all new prep.

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PT Pine is a terrible decking material. BUT if you choose not to replace it, I'd power wash it with a strong bleach solution, let it dry for a long time.... Like a week w/o rain. then spray it with a Borate/polyethylene glycol solution like Boracare. The glycol will allow the borate to penetrate and remain, not just act as a surface protectant. Borates (borax) will not only kill WDOs and fungal spores, but also prevent new ones from infiltrating.

 It's not a forever cure, but it's better than slathering bleach and wax on your deck. (IMHOP)

BTW any plants immediately adjacent to your deck will die, unless very well protected from both over spray and runoff of both the bleach, and the borax.

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Oddly I just tried cleaning a wood deck about 10 minutes ago.   Expensive stuff from Lowes.   Smells like bleach.   Worked sorta-kinda well, but I will need to redo as I ran out.  I'm thinking diluted bleach for the next pass.

A whole week to dry?  Really?  I wanted to apply deck treatment Saturday.   :-/

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12 minutes ago, Windward said:

Oddly I just tried cleaning a wood deck about 10 minutes ago.   Expensive stuff from Lowes.   Smells like bleach.   Worked sorta-kinda well, but I will need to redo as I ran out.  I'm thinking diluted bleach for the next pass.

A whole week to dry?  Really?  I wanted to apply deck treatment Saturday.   :-/

You'll just be sealing the moisture into the deck boards. I generally pre-treat deck boards before installing them with 3 coats of Wolman's or some other deck sealant on the underside, and at least two on the surface side, then another coat after installation. And I do this under cover so that the stuff really soaks in, not getting washed away or diluted by rain and dew. But old decks are hard to finish underneath, hence the PEG/Borax solution.

True that most of my deck installation experience is in New England, not other parts of the world, but WDO are everywhere, and the decks that I built in the old days all rotted from the under side and where the deck boards contacted the joists. Since I started pre-treating, and leaving larger gaps (1/2" between deck boards as opposed to the old "Just use a nail as a spacer") I've had much better success.

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Bull,

I went through this recently with a wood deck the former owner coated several times with house paint. It of course quickly failed, but it was very hard to get all the old paint off so I could not use a transparent stain. I looked at deck resurfacers, they are really very thick paint, kind of like non skid on your boat. Their reputation is to work well at first filling in checks and splinters, but over time fail and are a nightmare to deal with. There are class action lawsuits involving several of the products. I ended up going with cabot solid stain and given what I started with am pretty pleased with the result.

My advice is to pressure wash the deck and see how that works. If that looks OK, go with a tranparent stain. It is easy to apply, and when it starts to go bad requires minimal prep, just pressure wash and apply again, a sponge mop or roller on a stick works fine. If it looks uneven and crappy go with a solid stain (really just good quality deck paint) keeping in mind every season or two you will need to scrape, sand and paint a few small areas that start to go bad.

If what you have is too far gone for the above, try the deck resurfacers. It is way cheaper than a new deck, and if in a few years at all goes to hell at least you got some added milage from the deck. At that point it is time to replace the boards, I have become a big fan of trex and other fake wood products, no coatings at all. I have older Trex on both my porch and deck and the only maintenance is to use a low power electric presssure washer once a year.

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Check out the cost to replace the deck board with a synthetic version.  We looked at using a deck over product but in the end decided to have a local handy-man tear out the deck and replace with the synthetic from Menards.  Partly motivated by having a toddler at the time and concern about splinters remaining after the deck-over product.  Also concerned that the weathering was on the max recommended side for the deck-over to fix.

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After trying pretty much everything sold at the big box stores, I came across Defy deck products and have never looked back.  By far better than anything I tried over the 20+ years of maintaining PT decking (Chicago area).  And it lasts and lasts.  It was on out PT deck for two years when we sold the house and still looked great.  But it HAS to be applied wet-on-wet.  You can't let the first coat dry before applying the second.

If we had teak decks on our boat, I would have used it there because it doesn't leave a slick finish.  By far, the best outdoor finish I've used.

 

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bull,

ive done the behr deckover.  my PO had painted the deck and it was starting to peel.  so about 5 years ago  I pressure washed cleaned and then applied deckover.  its thick.  heavy and will hide and encapsulate splinters, knots, etc.   my quarterly cleanup involved one gallon of bleach, two gallons of water and some dish soap. find a less than sunny day and if it was drizzling even better.  spray it down let it set and then rinse.

the deckover has started to show it is age so last month  came in with a pressure washer,  hit it hard.  blasted up loose stuff, let it dry for a week and then reapplied another two coats of deckover.

Id recommend...

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Ya might want to look into Trex or some other alternative material.

After fighting the elements on the left coast for 15 years we decided to bite the bullet and spend the capital to avoid the regular maintenance wood requires. 

YMMV

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We have been using a deck cleaner from Lowes, probably the same stuff @Windward used. Comes in a big, green jug, and you spray it on. It has been pretty impressive. Pic 1 is our deck "before."  We ain't done, so I don't have an "after" yet. I've got some loose boards that you can see, and some that have spongy spots. 

@Ventucky Red What is that yellow machine called?

We have a lot of tree cover, so the challenge is not UV, but all the crap and filth that the trees drop. @Mrleft8 When I put down the deck boards (prolly 15 years ago), I should have left a bigger gap between them. We're using some meat skewers to clean the tree crap out of them. (Mrs. Bull plans to recruit grandchild labor tomorrow in exchange for cookies.)

We also have a pressure wash issue - we're on a well and don't like to use massive amounts of water. But a  once or twice a year "quickie" would probably be possible.

We like the look of the pigmented stains, so we'll probably go in that direction. I'm probably going to use a semi or solid stain on the railings. The deck transitions to a screened porch (Pic 2) and the wood in there is in very good shape. We'll probably use solid stain on the "floor" and semi or solid on the railings. The railings will be white/off white to match the house trim. I think the "floor" will be a grayish tan.

At such time as the deck boards need replacing, I think it will be a synthetic.

Lots of good information to digest here. Thank you all very much. I'd be interested in more info on the longevity of products.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_5865.thumb.jpg.3ce4bba3c2debfecdd4e6d7b1e37eb0a.jpg

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_5866.thumb.jpg.1093d1850695898fa397ee1ded6aaadb.jpg

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Just re-finished my son's deck with the Behr Deck Over, power washed the loose stuff off, added deck screws to the loose boards and painted it with a standard knap roller.  The roller recommended by Behr will provide a very heavily textured surface which is very hard on bare feet.  The deck looks great and will function for at least another 5 years. 

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8 minutes ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

we used Sikkens on our cedar siding which gets full sun,  still good 7 years later

We have cedar siding, and use an Olympic solid stain. It lasts a long time.

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Maybe it's just me, maybe they don't make power washers like the used to, but I don't like the idea of using a power washer on wood.  I don't see anything good coming from forcing at least some water into the wood. Is there something I'm missing?  It's kind of a different world over here, I haven't kept up with that kind of thing in the US for a long time.  For example I had never heard of deck resurfacer until this thread.

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9 minutes ago, Ed Lada said:

Maybe it's just me, maybe they don't make power washers like the used to, but I don't like the idea of using a power washer on wood.  I don't see anything good coming from forcing at least some water into the wood. Is there something I'm missing?  It's kind of a different world over here, I haven't kept up with that kind of thing in the US for a long time.  For example I had never heard of deck resurfacer until this thread.

I never understood the concept of pressure treating wood with water either.

Then again, there are a lot of people who make their living off of power washing vinyl sided houses/trailers. That forces the water in behind the siding, where it sits, and turns the OSB underlayment sheathing into black, moldy mush.... But people get paid good money for this.....

Then the house becomes uninhabitable, and the insurance co. refuses to pay because of water infiltration, and then you have another pile of moldy shit on the side of the road.

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51 minutes ago, Ed Lada said:

Maybe it's just me, maybe they don't make power washers like the used to, but I don't like the idea of using a power washer on wood.  I don't see anything good coming from forcing at least some water into the wood. Is there something I'm missing?  It's kind of a different world over here, I haven't kept up with that kind of thing in the US for a long time.  For example I had never heard of deck resurfacer until this thread.

 

37 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:

I never understood the concept of pressure treating wood with water either.

Then again, there are a lot of people who make their living off of power washing vinyl sided houses/trailers. That forces the water in behind the siding, where it sits, and turns the OSB underlayment sheathing into black, moldy mush.... But people get paid good money for this.....

Then the house becomes uninhabitable, and the insurance co. refuses to pay because of water infiltration, and then you have another pile of moldy shit on the side of the road.

You two chaps need to be careful that you don't incur the wrath of PWNA (Power Washers of North America) https://www.pwna.org/

or the PWOA (Pressure Washers of America) http://www.pwoa.org/index.html

Which brings to mind, what is the difference between pressure and power washing?

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58 minutes ago, Ed Lada said:

Maybe it's just me, maybe they don't make power washers like the used to, but I don't like the idea of using a power washer on wood.  I don't see anything good coming from forcing at least some water into the wood. Is there something I'm missing?  It's kind of a different world over here, I haven't kept up with that kind of thing in the US for a long time.  For example I had never heard of deck resurfacer until this thread.

I imagine a deck resurfacer is a substitute for elbow grease.

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5 hours ago, Bull City said:

 

@Ventucky Red What is that yellow machine called?

 

 

Rotary Floor Machine.  You should be able to rent one at your nearest tool rental place.. 

That said, before you go hell bound for election on this, you may want to try a little area with a scrub brush and see of this is going to give you the results you're looking for.

 

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1 hour ago, Ventucky Red said:

Rotary Floor Machine.  You should be able to rent one at your nearest tool rental place.. 

That said, before you go hell bound for election on this, you may want to try a little area with a scrub brush and see of this is going to give you the results you're looking for.

We're making decent progress with the E-Z deck cleaner stuff from Lowes that comes in the big green jugs. We've hit it twice with assistance from a scrub brush on a long handle. I think one more round will do the trick. What I would really like to find is some tool, other than an old meat skewer, to clean the shit* out from between the deck boards.

*This "shit" seems to be decomposing pollen, pollen pods, twigs, pine needles, earthworm droppings, and who knows what. Whatever we decide upon to coat the deck boards, this shit will be with us forever.

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36 minutes ago, Bull City said:

 What I would really like to find is some tool, other than an old meat skewer, to clean the shit* out from between the deck boards.

a thin saw blade?

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to clean it just use napisan 1 heaped cup in a 5 gal bucket of hot water. its sodium percarbonate like a few of the wood cleaners that are pre bottled in the hware store. You can make your concoction stronger. mist the deck down, splash on the napisan, let it sit then scrub away with a deck brush, keep all areas wet (don't let the napisan dry on the wood) mist or an extra splash of napisan, after 20 min hose off the nappisan. use a full pressure garden hose or a power washer at max 500 psi with the spray fan nozzle. let it dry.  or further clean with an acid cleaner (the deck clean prebottled stuff they call something like grey deck restorer / deck cleaner or similar). to make  any of the acid based  deck cleaners they are all usually 10% oxalic acid that you dilute 1 to 4.. buy oxalic acid crystals (tile brick stone cleaner) in the hware store and mix to a 10% solution you will have the same deck clean chemical at a fraction of the price. hose off well.. let dry .. apply oil etc

 

to get between the boards get the fan bladed power wash nozzle and turn it sideways don't go too close it will tear the wood.. pine is soft.. when using the power washer on a board use the width of the fan to set the wand height.. lower the nozzle until the fan of water matches the width of the board .. don't let it get closer.. 

 

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This type of work was in my wheelhouse when I had my construction business. There a many good ways to prep a deck for a coating, all of which have been mentioned here in previous posts. So choose which one works for you. Obviously the cleaner you get the wood the better it is to accept the coating.

Deck resurfacer products, IMO, are for weathered wood, and work great for that purpose. These product are thick and water tight, this is important because weathered pine cupps and hold water, which is the enemy of your wood deck. The key is make the wood on you deck impervious to water and it will last much longer. There was a saying I used to tell my customers when explaining this, water can carve canyons out of granite so it laughs at that thin coat of paint you think should last for decades.

And just putting my $.02 on composite decking. I have installed a million board feet of this stuff all over my coastal town in Florida. At first I thought this stuff was miraculous but I soon learned that between the harsh suns uv rays and water, these decks have no more serviceable life then pressure treated wood. So I would urge customers to save their money. The only advantage I saw in composite decking was it is a uniform product with no knots or warped boards. I still had about 70% of my customers choose the composite decking.

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As we go through this deck cleaning and prep, I am astounded by the amount of tree filth that has accumulated between the boards. We're still digging it out with the meat skewers. I shudder to think what condition the inner edges of the boards are in. BTW, the joists are on 24" centers, so we used 2 X 6's. Also, I have noticed that the deck screw heads are showing a little corrosion. 

So I'm wondering...

  1. Should I remove the boards and scrape them clean, and then flip them, using new fasteners?
  2. If so, should I coat the new bottom and edges with stain-sealer before re-installing?
  3. I was going to ask if the new fasteners should be SS, but I think not, if I'm using old wood.
  4. Maybe increase the spacing between boards so that the tree shit and filth is more likely to drop through? Or...
  5. Should I just slather on the deck resurfacer, call it a day, and figure on new decking in XX years?

Thank you for your continued interest.

B.C.

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On 8/6/2021 at 8:02 AM, Wetabehindtheears said:

This type of work was in my wheelhouse when I had my construction business. There a many good ways to prep a deck for a coating, all of which have been mentioned here in previous posts. So choose which one works for you. Obviously the cleaner you get the wood the better it is to accept the coating.

Deck resurfacer products, IMO, are for weathered wood, and work great for that purpose. These product are thick and water tight, this is important because weathered pine cupps and hold water, which is the enemy of your wood deck. The key is make the wood on you deck impervious to water and it will last much longer. There was a saying I used to tell my customers when explaining this, water can carve canyons out of granite so it laughs at that thin coat of paint you think should last for decades.

And just putting my $.02 on composite decking. I have installed a million board feet of this stuff all over my coastal town in Florida. At first I thought this stuff was miraculous but I soon learned that between the harsh suns uv rays and water, these decks have no more serviceable life then pressure treated wood. So I would urge customers to save their money. The only advantage I saw in composite decking was it is a uniform product with no knots or warped boards. I still had about 70% of my customers choose the composite decking.

There have been some big misteps in composite decking. It is after all about 50% wood, wood absorbs moisture, moisture breeds mold.  There are big efforts to limit water absorption, ad UV inhibitors and just generally make the decking a better product. At my last job our decking customer made an aweful lot of sample decking to our formulations to test UV degradation, water absorption. abrasion resistance, impact performance etc.

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16 minutes ago, Bull City said:

As we go through this deck cleaning and prep, I am astounded by the amount of tree filth that has accumulated between the boards. We're still digging it out with the meat skewers. I shudder to think what condition the inner edges of the boards are in. BTW, the joists are on 24" centers, so we used 2 X 6's. Also, I have noticed that the deck screw heads are showing a little corrosion. 

So I'm wondering...

  1. Should I remove the boards and scrape them clean, and then flip them, using new fasteners?
  2. If so, should I coat the new bottom and edges with stain-sealer before re-installing?
  3. I was going to ask if the new fasteners should be SS, but I think not, if I'm using old wood.
  4. Maybe increase the spacing between boards so that the tree shit and filth is more likely to drop through? Or...
  5. Should I just slather on the deck resurfacer, call it a day, and figure on new decking in XX years?

Thank you for your continued interest.

B.C.

If you remove the boards, why would you not put new ones down?  Unless you plan on a reconfiguration of the deck, putting down boards with much of thier life used up seems ______?  On  that note relaying new or old boards, increase the spacing.  I know I did the 16penney nail spacing my self 25 years ago and it was way to close and I regretted it. Bigger spacing gives more air circultion for those overstressed 24 OC 2x6s.

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1 hour ago, warbird said:

If you remove the boards, why would you not put new ones down?  Because I would save lots of money. Unless you plan on a reconfiguration of the deck, putting down boards with much of thier life used up  Maybe not. seems ______?  On  that note relaying new or old boards, increase the spacing.  I know I did the 16penney nail spacing my self 25 years ago and it was way to close and I regretted it. Bigger spacing gives more air circultion for those overstressed 24 OC 2x6s.  I agree.

In addition to the above, new, but not SS, fasteners, with a deck sealer of some kind, might get me another 15 years. I would be 87, and wouldn't give a shit. Sounds like a plan!

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20 minutes ago, Bull City said:

In addition to the above, new, but not SS, fasteners, with a deck sealer of some kind, might get me another 15 years. I would be 87, and wouldn't give a shit. Sounds like a plan!

I won't question your motivation or time frame. Add more spacing if you re lay you decking. Else,  run a skill saw down the gaps to clean/open up the gaps.

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25 minutes ago, Bull City said:

In addition to the above, new, but not SS, fasteners, with a deck sealer of some kind, might get me another 15 years. I would be 87, and wouldn't give a shit. Sounds like a plan!

Use SS or coated fasteners.

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2 hours ago, warbird said:

There have been some big misteps in composite decking. It is after all about 50% wood, wood absorbs moisture, moisture breeds mold.  There are big efforts to limit water absorption, ad UV inhibitors and just generally make the decking a better product. At my last job our decking customer made an aweful lot of sample decking to our formulations to test UV degradation, water absorption. abrasion resistance, impact performance etc.

Thanks for the info. I understand the industry evolves so they are working on correcting shortcomings. I haven’t done a deck in 4 years so I’m that out of the loop.

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One more thing to contemplate based on my errors compounded on errors of the past.

Select a product that you will be able to buy again in a year or two should you be recoating the deck.

I've had a run of dissimilar products used (with all the best of intensions) and none of it was compatible.  Mess was made.

Thanks to Lowes, they stop carrying the product I used last time with some regularity, forcing me to shop around to find the Thompsons brand elsewhere, but slightly different.

I want to sand the whole mess off and start again.   Ugg...

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36 minutes ago, Windward said:

Select a product that you will be able to buy again in a year or two should you be recoating the deck.

Good point. I'm pretty sure I'm going to use Behr stain, which Home Depot carries.

 

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  • 3 months later...

Mrs. Bull and I are almost finished with this project, and I'm pretty pleased. We used Behr soild stain/sealer on everything, a dark green on the railing, and a tan (called Sage) on the decking. I may have mentioned that I spoke to a tech guy from Behr. He discouraged me from using the resurfacer.

We've had a very dry fall so far, which has helped. After cleaning with the Lowe's stuff, we had to replace some decking. I wasn't too anal about it, because I think some synthetic decking is in the future for the exposed decking. The porch decking is in very good shape.

It would be an understatement to say that staining the lattice-style railing is a lot of work - it is a shit-ton of work - bit it really looks good. I'm glad we went with the dark green and not the white. Here's a pic of the railing, before we did the decking. Right now, leaves are falling like cats & dogs (:wacko:). They cover the deck in about 30 seconds. Otherwise, I'd take some new pics.

38E9CEA9-4715-4957-935D-3F740F475EC2_1_105_c.thumb.jpeg.9c6014fdf57dac1828f9b1639b69fbe6.jpeg

 

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Removed old boards and used a shop vac to remove all the roots and dirt that has accumulated on top of the ground cloth I put down.  I was impressed with how it held up being wet for 20 + years.

Framing was wolmanized ground contact wood, not the AC2 crap

20211108_081821.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

For any phenol-heavy wood, I am told that pressure wash is a no-no, it dries the wood pulp by breaking the cell structure. Having pressure washed both cedar and pine I can attest to the eventual mess it makes. Light sand and lots of oil-based refinish.

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