6 Tips for Simple Wooden Deck Repair

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The importance of wooden deck repair projects should never be underestimated. Wooden decking provides a garden centerpiece where friends and family can relax and the maintenance of this key area guarantees a pleasant experience for all users. Carrying out basic deck repair projects is vital to continued enjoyment of your wooden decking areas and maintains a safe environment for all users.

1. Loose Nails

Loose nails can provide a number of different hazards. As well as causing the structure of your decking to become unstable. Nails protruding over the surface of the wooden decking create snagging points which can tear clothing or cause injury.

Check decking periodically for nails that have begun to loosen. The best practice is to remove old nails completely using a claw hammer. These should be replaced with new nails of the same size, in a new hole to ensure the best grip.

2. Railings

deck with railing and beach in the background

Although decorative wooden railings can greatly enhance a wooden decking area, the continual stress of family members leaning on them can leave them loose and rickety. This creates a potential falling or collapsing hazard and should be rectified immediately.

Test wooden railings regularly by applying a firm amount of pressure by hand. If the construction of the railing is unstable, old screws or nails should be removed and new screws or nails with a fresh weather-resistant coating can be used to replace them. Always try to find new entry points for screws or nails as the movement of railings that have become unstable can make existing holes excessively large. This makes the same holes unsafe to use again.

3. Cleaning

As well as carrying out deck repair projects, strict attention should be paid to cleaning your decking regularly. A simple solution of mild detergent and water is ideal for washing down wood although strict attention should be given to rinsing down the decking to prevent the detergent from causing stains or breaking through protective sealant.

4. Stains

screwing in deck boards

Most families use wooden decking as an area of relaxation and over a period of time. It is highly likely that stains will occur from food, drinks or other foreign contaminants. Although detergent and water will remove most of these, there are many other materials that can cause lasting damage to wooden decking or sealants.

Tree sap is a particularly common problem and this should be removed regularly with a small amount of mineral spirits.

5. Staining

It is likely you’ve already added a stain or sealant to your wooden decking when the installation was first made. One of the most common deck repair projects involve the rectification of damaged staining but making your wooden decking good is reasonably simple.

Peeling stain or sealant should be feathered back to a smooth edge using a medium grade sanding paper of approximately P320 grit. Excessive dust should be wiped away with a damp cloth and fresh stain can be applied.

Always use a stain that doesn’t require a layer of varnish afterward. Varnish is particularly susceptible to warm weather and heavy rain. The varnish will begin to peel again after a period of excessive sunlight or moisture and should be avoided at all costs.

6. Mildew

Mildew is a common problem with wooden decking and should be treated with a solution of bleach and water. A ratio of one cup of bleach to a gallon of water is ideal. The treated area should be rinsed thoroughly and a commercial brightener can be used to rectify any marks caused by the solution.