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It is a common thought that wooden decks add beauty and comfort to a home. However, they do need to be refinished from time to time to maintain that beauty. It is best to maintain your wooden deck every few years (1-3 years). The length of time a wooden deck will stay in good condition depends on one's choice of deck stain and exposure to various weather conditions. Also, playing a large role in a deck's longevity is preparation; and by preparation I mean the work involved before applying a finish. This is extremely important in the maintenance of your deck.

Molds, mildews, etc. must be taken care of in order to prevent damage. DO NOT SAND BEFORE THE MOLD IS REMOVED! Sanding while there is mold will only cause the sand to become embedded more intensely within the wood, causing an even larger problem. You can use a deck cleaner (for larger areas) to remove any molds or fungi, and bleach and water for smaller surfaces and spots.

At this point, look at the wood. Take notice of its condition. Is it stable? How does the prior staining look? After some time, stains tend to powderize. This can be removed simply with water. If you chose to power wash your deck, make sure you are experienced with this technique, as it is quite difficult and can cause damage if not properly done. Wood strippers or brighteners can be used in the power washing process.

Sanding is, by far, the most important preparatory step. Power sanders will help considerably in this process, as it requires and extensive amount of work. If the deck is in very poor condition, you may sand before you wash the deck. Washing cleans the wood, opening its pores, allowing for the best absorption of stains. If your deck is actually in fairly good condition, only a light sanding is necessary. This can be done after the washing step is completed.

Deck Sealers

After the surfaces have been cleaned, you may now apply a wooden deck sealer. There are lightly tinted sealers and ones that are solid colors. The more color in the sealer, the longer the life span of the sealer. How long to you want to wood to last and what exactly do you want it to look like? For more information on various wood stains that may be used, please visit the article Choosing the Right Wood Stain. Wood stains may be applied with brushes, rollers, paint pads, or by spraying.

Please note that refinishing your wooden deck is not an extremely quick and easy project, however, the end result is a great reward. In order to prevent excessive refinishing work in the future, figure out a good maintenance schedule for your deck. The more the wood is neglected, the harder the task is to do.

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