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Three Steps To Refinish Your Decks

deckKeeping decks sturdy and looking new is a three step process that can be low cost and require only moderate effort.

First, test the condition of your deck by performing a simple test. Drip water from a turkey basting or similar tool onto the surface. If it beads well, refinishing isn't necessary. If it soaks in rapidly, a full treatment is required.

Next, get a few different weather reports. Pick a period of a week where you expect moderate temperatures and low humidity. Several drying intervals will be needed.

Washing - the critical step

Decks wear and weather unevenly. Some areas get heavy foot traffic, others very little. Some parts are exposed to more hours of sunlight, while others are constantly shaded. Those shaded areas often get much less rain, snow and even wind that blows wearing dust across the surface.

But it's important to start with a uniform surface, throughly clean and mildew free and prepared to absorb stain or sealer. Some will require only a mild dish detergent wash with a long handled scrub brush, followed by a rinse from the garden hose.

Ensure that any debris between the slats is removed. Wash away spider webs, leaves, pebbles and so forth. If a hose isn't adequate a stiff paint brush or putty knife may be needed.

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