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UWW
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UWW
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PostFri Jun 30, 2017 11:11 pm 
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It's time for my first ever round of deck maintenance! Being new to the maritime climate, I wanted to get some expert opinions on how to proceed.

Previous owner used latex paint right before putting the house on the market about 2 years ago. It is starting to flake and chip pretty badly. I'm not sure how to tell how much life the wood has left in it. I don't see any obvious rot or soft spots, but the wood is pretty grey underneath. Area is about 300 square feet.

I guess my main question is if I should strip away the paint and go for a stain (what type?), or just bite the bullet and rip it out and replace with composite deck. I'd like to do it myself.

Here's how it looks now:

deck
deck
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RandyHiker
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PostFri Jun 30, 2017 11:41 pm 
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Latex paint on a deck is the wrong paint -- as you can see...

A pressure washer should do a pretty good job of ripping off most of the remaining paint.  Pressure washing will also tell you how much rot has set in -- pressure washing will blast apart rot softened wood and you'll have a better idea of how much life is left in the deck boards.  A heat gun +  a wire brush will remove any stubborn sections of paint.

If you decide the wood is sound, then after the wood dries out completely, use an oil based wood preservative -- like Thompson's water seal  to reduce further decay.   Re-apply water seal every couple years. 

If you don't like the look of the weathered wood -- you can repaint it with an oil or epoxy based deck paint -- that will hold up much better than latex.

if you decide the decking is shot -- Trex is a synthetic decking material that holds up well around here.   However Trex requires tighter joist spacing than wood (it is more flexible) so re-decking requires adding additional joists.
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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostSat Jul 01, 2017 6:13 am 
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I had a cedar deck on my Oregon Coast house.  It looked a bit rough, and wasn't a huge area so I used a belt sander on it.  That brought the cedar look back to it and then I used a water seal on it and reoiled or sealed it every year.  Nobody had ever painted it though.

I have a Trex deck on my current house and it needs to be cleaned.

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What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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Joey
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PostSat Jul 01, 2017 8:27 am 
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Years ago we stained our deck, some fencing and barn with some inexpensive stain.  All the wood is cedar.  After some years went by a lot of the wood had ugly black areas.

Turns out that the stain we used included ingredients that mildew uses as food!  After a bunch of research we put a lot of time/energy into killing mildew and cleaning and then used this stain:
http://www.defywoodstain.com/product/defy-deck-stain-for-hardwoods/
This stain does not attrack mildew.
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mike
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PostSat Jul 01, 2017 8:39 am 
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ditto.gif what RH said. Also looks like you might need to go around with a nail set to make sure the nails are set below the surface. FWIW whoever originally installed this deck did a poor job and tried to cover it up.


RE pressure washer:

Good tool for this job alright but you can do a lot of damage unless you know how to use it correctly. Especially with a soft wood like cedar.
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Ski
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Ski
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PostSat Jul 01, 2017 10:22 am 
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UWW: you're going to get different responses from different people.

First, whoever painted your deck right before selling the house was doing a "get it done and let the next guy worry about it" job. (i.e., jackass)

I have re-painted this deck at least five or six times over the last 20 years. It is not my deck - I am just the painter:

deck 01
deck 01
deck 02
deck 02
deck 03
deck 03
deck 04
deck 04

The deck is constructed of dimensional untreated lumber (which appears to be what you have.)
Painting is 90% prep, and 10% paint. I am beyond obsessive-compulsive when it comes to prep.
First time I did it with an oil-based, exterior solid color deck stain, after pressure-washing, taking a belt sander to some areas, and re-setting all the nail heads that had worked their way up.
That job lasted about two or three years and started flaking off.
Second time I did it with an acrylic-based, exterior, solid-color deck stain, after pressure washing and re-setting the nails that had worked their way up.
That job lasted about two or three years and started flaking off.
Third and fourth and fifth (?) time was about the same: pressure wash, re-set nails, hit it with the belt sander in some areas. Different brands of acrylic-based, solid-color deck stain.

Homeowner got tired of re-painting deck every two or three years (as did I.)
Homeowner hired another crew to come out and apply some sort of sealer/stain stuff over the entire deck surface. I cannot recall what it was they used. It was NOT paint or stain.

The photo set was taken last summer after I finished it again, after pressure-washing and re-setting any nails that had worked their way up. Again, I used an acrylic-based, exterior, solid-color deck stain (from Sherwin Williams.) Looks great, and has not chipped or peeled during the last year. (Which is great, because I'm really getting tired of painting this deck - it wraps around a geodesic dome and it is huge - seven gallons huge, as I recall.)

I will ask homeowner what the product was the other crew used and find out exactly what Sherwin-Williams product it was I used on there. Homeowner is currently out of town and will not return until the end of this next week. You have plenty of time to do the prep work.

High-pressure pressure-washer will cause the surface of that old wood to feather and bring up the grain, and you'll be out there with a belt sander. Crank the dials way down on the pressure washer and take your time.
I use an old exhaust valve from a 1946 Case tractor for a nail set for jobs like that - it has a great big head and I don't smash my left hand with the hammer.

Thompson's Water Seal is a complete waste of time and money.
BEHR products are the worst paint ever introduced on the market - I wouldn't use BEHR paint or stain to paint your dog house.

Painting since 1965. (Watercolors and fingerpaints in preschool started much earlier than that.)

Just my lousy two cents.

==

I'm also the landscaper and decorator for this client. The loveseats were done with some of the old oil-based solid-color deck stain. All these photos were taken August 31, 2016 right after I finished this job.

loveseat 083116 02
loveseat 083116 02
loveseat 083116 01
loveseat 083116 01

--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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forest gnome
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forest gnome
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PostSun Jul 02, 2017 7:33 am 
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1/3rd bleach..1/3rd simple green/...1/3rd tsp crystals...put into pump sprayer..

rent a real pressure washer....keep it 1/4 in. off when stripping ....

let dry 2 days...then use some cabots....

solid body "stain"..is actually latex and yes every 3 years..


that deck coating mentioned prev. is another way to go.
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InFlight
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InFlight
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PostSun Jul 02, 2017 7:43 am 
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No fun being left with that mess.

I have a small painted upstairs deck, and a larger stained cedar one below.

You might start with a wide nozzle  pressure wash. But ultimately you will likely need to sand some of it off.  If there are any bad boards just replace those.  I've replaced about a 1/5 of my cedar deck over the years. (A chemical strip might work decent as well, the only way to get it off the sides of the boards.)

Once painted, repainting would be simpler.  If you remove everything you could stain it.

I used a specialized deck paint from Sherman Williams that has held up really well for 5 years now.  I've have to mess with cedar deck every year, still no need to touch the painted one again.

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“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...”  ― Henry David Thoreau
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Backpacker Joe
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Backpacker Joe
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PostSun Jul 02, 2017 12:08 pm 
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I pressure washed my deck and put Superdeck on it and its fantastic stuff.

https://www.superdeck.com/


House
House

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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Leafguy
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PostSun Jul 02, 2017 1:13 pm 
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After having to sand and refinish a cedar deck 3 times and finding there is no such thing as a finish that lasts on a horizontal surface more than a few years, I went with a solid PVC decking made by AZEK. I'm sure there are others too.
After some research, I definitely didn't want to use any of the "composites" that contained any wood product in them. Trex was in the midst of a huge class action suit over their products that were swelling and falling apart because of the wood content.
The decking I got has a wood texture to it and is solid like a board. No channels on the bottom like the home center crap. It cleans up easy with a stiff short bristled brush on a push broom handle. Also, the solid core material doesn't show scratches.
Spendy, but well worth it. I haven't missed the constant maintenance the cedar required a bit.
Good luck.
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Ski
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Ski
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PostSun Jul 02, 2017 1:22 pm 
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^ My two cents on "TREX" decks:

My mother has a "TREX" deck on the back of her house.
Unlike the deck in the photo set I posted above, my mother's house is not surrounded on three sides by 70-foot-tall Douglas Firs. It does, however, get a limited amount of direct sunlight each day because it's between a 7-foot-tall fence and the house.
I have to go over ever year and spray it down with a bleach solution in a 2-gallon pump sprayer, scrub it down with a deck broom, and then pressure wash it with a low-pressure washer. The fake-o "wood grain texture" they stamped it with collects just enough organic material to support a healthy crop of mold every year.
The pressure washing, of course, even at low pressure, necessitates having to re-paint the wood railing around the perimeter of the deck (every.goddam.year.)

If you hit "TREX" with a high-pressure washer, it will cause the surface to get fuzzy and further compound the problem with mold and mildew.

"TREX" was a great idea.... for Arizona.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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tmatlack
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PostMon Jul 03, 2017 1:09 am 
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We have an old and ugly deck.  After reading all this maintenance stuff, I think we'll go with a cement, patio-style replacement. Pac NW climate, big shade trees, limited al fresco ops, and wood/faux wood decks don't seem like a match.

Tom
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UWW
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UWW
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PostMon Jul 03, 2017 12:10 pm 
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Thanks all for the advice, I really appreciate it.

"Get it done and let the next guy worry about it" seems to be the architectural style of my house! Hard to get the momentum to do something right when it will contrast so badly smile.gif

I looked closer and of course the deck joists are like 30" on center or something ridiculous so I'd have a lot more work to go composite. There are two joists separated by an inch or so every interval so I'm not even sure what the plan was other than making my life miserable since it didn't even save the $100 in materials.
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Navy salad
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Navy salad
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PostMon Jul 03, 2017 12:39 pm 
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We have a cedar deck and have had all the problems described above!

I read a persuasive article that most of the paint failures on decks are from vapor pressure coming through the unpainted side, passing through the wood, and then literally pushing off the paint on the other side; and that if you must paint a deck, it's best if you can paint both sides to reduce that vapor pressure -- something obviously best done before you nail down the decking boards!

Although I didn't like the high maintenance requirements when our deck was stained, it was way better than after we painted it!
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Steve
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PostMon Jul 03, 2017 12:42 pm 
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With 30" spacing you may want to consider tearing down the deck and building a new one. Hopefully it's not an elevated deck. With a 30" span the allowable loading on the deck would be very low.

The last deck I built was WRC for the decking and railing and I applied Sikkens on it (not a good product) but if I were to build a long lasting deck, I'd go with ipe decking since you never need apply stain to it and it is very strong stuff.

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Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt.
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