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Deck rehabbing (cleaning, staining, etc)

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by boomertsfx, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

    Feb 14, 2002
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    Howdy gang,

    I'm in the process of cleaning my deck and fence around my townhouse and had a few questions.

    [*]Are there only a certain few colors that you can stain the wood to be in line with the HOA guidelines?

    [*]What is the best way to get the wood back to looking nice? I have a piddly 1400psi pressure washer and have started to pressure wash the deck with just plain water so far, with no cleaning agents.... are cleaning agents recommended/required? House built in 1996...

    [*]What would be the best way to apply waterproofing or stain? I've seen foam/felt pads, brushes, and sprayers.... Any suggestions?

    [*]I've seen a few people stain the inside of their fence and deck so that when you look at a row of townhouses from the back, each fence is not a different color and looks wonky.... is that the preferred way? or should I just stick to the same color (just sealed, no stain) as my neighbors?

  2. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

    Jan 8, 2002
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    I'm not sure about the colors, when I did mine it was just a light oak stain.

    For cleaning, at the time I first used cleaning agents and then just borrowed a pressure washer from a neighbor who had a couple. That did an amazing job. I'll never touch scrubbing with cleaning chemicals again (pressure washer did 10 times better job in 1/20th the time and effort).

    For staining I found by far the easist solution was spraying and using a roller where needed. I only used a brush in the hard to get to spots to smooth out where the sprayer hit. Oh, and don't forget to put up plastic on the side of your house and on the neighbors decks to protect those areas from spray. If it gets on your siding it's stained for good (lessons learned).

    Got Broadband?
  3. Mr. Linux

    Mr. Linux Senior Member & Moderator Forum Staff

    Jul 26, 2001
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    I 2nd Hornerjo's comment about putting down tarp/plastic. Our neighbor stained his deck a couple years ago and stain got EVERYWHERE. All it takes is a little breeze and you've partially stained your neighbor's deck and siding, as well as your own...

    Me? I'm lazy and simply ripped out the cheap wood the builder used to build the floor and handrails of the deck and replaced it with ChoiceDeck composite from Lowes. Had the whole project completed in a weekend and the results are awesome. What I love best is NO MORE STAINING! Yea, I'm lazy... :D

    Mr. Linux
    Got Broadband?
    Yea, REALLY SOON now!
  4. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson New Member

    Mar 12, 2002
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    My Motto: Laziness is the Mother of invention
  5. neilz

    neilz New Member

    Dec 7, 2003
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    The HOA guidelines are fairly straightforward ... however, there are no specific colors that we recommend for staining. The exact guideline is on page 20 of the Guidelines, page revised 05/02:

    Decks should be constructed of wood left to weather naturally, or painted/stained in a muted color that is harmonious with the colors of the house.

    Townhouses have some specific guidelines based on the townhouse section/builder.

    As for cleaning, even a 1400 PSI pressure washer works fine, however, my suggestion for an 8 year old deck is to sand it down, then restain/reseal with a good stain/sealer. I've been told that a floor sander (which can be rented from various rental locations) works great with 80 grit sandpaper to refinish the decks.

    Two things, 1: make sure that you sink all the nails/screws below the level of the boards, and 2: if the wood was pressure treated, wear a GOOD dust mask, not one of those paper masks.

    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999

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