Maintaining a Deck

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Staining and sealing

Level of difficulty: Moderate
Estimated time taken: 1-2 hours
Tools required:

  • Paint brush
  • Sander
  • Stain
  • Vacuum
  • Broom
  • Cleaner
  • Hammer

Step 1: Prepare the area

  1. Remove any furniture,plants, or decorations from the deck.
  2. Sweep the deck off and clear it of any debris

Step 2: Make any necessary repairs

  1. Hammer nails that have popped up or screw in screws that have wiggled their way out
  2. Replace any old rotting or split boards

Step 3: Clean the surface

  1. Head to your local hardware store and pick up some kind of deck cleaner
  2. Follow the directions on the cleaner to strip your deck of any old stain or dirt

Step 4: Sanding

  1. After your deck is clean and dry, it's time to start sanding
  2. You want all of your wood bare and looking like new with absolutely no stain remaining on the wood
  3. Sand the ENTIRE deck
  4. Clean up all dust and debris after sanding by sweeping and vacuuming. You want no dust on your deck what-so-ever.

Step 5: Masking

  1. Cover up the edge of your house that the deck touches to ensure no stain gets on your house.
  2. Cover the railing or anything else that you do not want stain on.

Step 5: Applying the stain

  1. Start in the corner opposite of the side you want to end on. Don't paint yourself into a corner.
  2. Apply the stain to your deck according to the directions on the product you chose.


Example Video:


Replacing split or rotting boards

Level of difficulty: Moderate
Estimated time taken: 1-2 hours
Tools required:

  • Square
  • Spacer such a an old shingle
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Nails or deck screws
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Measuring tape

Step 1: Determine which boards you will be replacing

  1. Other than obvious boards that need replacing, pick out other boards that are showing signs of rot or splitting
  2. Simply putting all of your weight on a board will usually tell you if it's rotting or not. A good board should not feel squishy.

Step 2: Remove bad boards

  1. Using a pry bar, pry out bad boards
  2. Place something on the boards next to the bad board that you're prying on to ensure you do not damage good boards.

Step 3: If necessary, cut new board to length

  1. Lots of times, each deck board is a standard size and may not require cutting at all
  2. However, you may need to use a saw to cut your new board to length
  3. Either use a measuring tape and your square to mark a straight line across the board where it needs to be cut, or lay the board down in it's new spot and use your square to mark where it needs to be cut

Step 4: Attach board

  1. Place your board in position
  2. Step on it with your foot to hold it in position
  3. Screw it into place into the joist

Example Video:

Fixing screw/nail pops