Deck Restoration by J.K. Schwartz, Inc.
Few things are as beautiful as wood. Its color, grain and texture have long been praised. In the hands of craftsman and builders, this economical, durable and versatile building material has no equal when it comes to enhancing the appearance of our homes and yards.
All exterior wood needs to be protected from rot absorption, ultra violet rays, moss, and mildew. If left untreated or neglected, the wood could deteriorate costing thousndends of dollars in unnecessary damage.
The most important thing for any consumer to know is that deck restoration takes knowledge, skill and experience to do the job correctly. The use of a power washer in inexperienced hands could cause unrepairable damage to pine pressure treated decks and even hard wood in a matter of seconds.
Every deck and fence restoration should start with a structural inspection checking for exposed nails and screw heads, lose deck boards, rails and steps. You will find that simply resetting nails and screws will fix many problems. Occasionally we might have to replace any boards that are rotting or severely split.
Their are many methods of cleaning or stripping wood to the bare surface. Using a pressure washer equipped with a pressure control valve is the fastest and most economical way to strip and clean wood. After the initial inspection, we apply an environmentally safe cleaning agent on the wood surface. We let it work into the dirt, grime and stains for about 15 minutes.
Using a semi-coarse brush, we scrub the entire deck removing dirt, stains and debris. With just the right pressure. we pressure wash the surface of the wood to ensure a clean appearance.
Deck restoration requires sanding. No matter how you look at it, sanding the floor of the deck needs to be incorporated into the process for best results. In order for the stain to adhere properly to the wood, the wood must be sanded with a 60 grit sandpaper to open up the pores of the wood. This process will guarantee a longer life. Most contractors will skip this step to save time and money.
Stripping Old Finish
To remove old worn out finish from your deck, we use an exterior industrial wood stripper. This is a stain and sealer stripper that works best on oil based and water based finishes. It is used to remove heavy full cover stain. Using a 2 gallon deck sprayer, we apply a liberal amount of stripper to the surface including rails and steps. After letting the stripper stand for approximately 30 minutes, we scrub the entire deck with stiff-coarse brushes to lift the old warn out stain. Using low pressure, we then rinse the surface of the wood several times.
This process usually takes about 4 to 5 hours depending on the size of the deck and the condition of the wood. The stripping process is also known as an acid bath. This process should be done only by an experienced and skilled wood restoration company. Therefore, we do not recommend the homeowner attempting this process.
Old Worn Out Finish
Deck Stripped- after stripper has been applied. Stain is lifting off the deck surface. The deck is now ready to be scrubbed with a stiff bristle brush.
Rinsing Process- During this process, the deck must be rinsed several times to insure all the stripper is out of the pores of the wood and off the surface of the deck.
Stripped- The deck is now stripped completely of the old stain. It has dried and is now ready to be sanded and stained.
Sealing and Staining Process
Preventing water from penetrating the wood surface can greatly extend the life of your deck as well as add to the attractiveness. Their are many products on the market for protecting wood surface. We found, through many years of experience that Sherwin Williams products are among the very best. Applying stain/sealer is like painting in most respects, but conditions need to be just right. We begin by masking off areas to be protected such as siding concrete slabs and landscaping.
We use a good regulated airless paint sprayer to apply the stain. Paint sprayers allow the stain to penetrate deep in the pores of the wood, surface cracks and in between the boards.
After thoroughly mixing the stain, we spray 2 to 3 thin coats of stain to the wood surface going with the wood grain allowing each coat to dry but not thoroughly. Using a soft bristle brush we back brush each coat to unsure an even application of stain to avoid a blotchy appearance. Stain should never be back brushed with rollers. Rollers will not distribute the stain evenly.