Wood decks especially the flat surfaces need care every 5 years or so. RAIN, SNOW will damage the surface and the SUN UV will degrade wood. 12 x 12 deck DIY cost 120$ in paint/stain. Contractor about 1k$. This deck being larger, came in at $800.00 in Material, $325 Trash haul, and labor will be 70 hours.
COMPOSITE/PLASTIC COSTS MORE but saves on long term maintenance.
BASIC CARE– Clean / blow off deck every month, especially the slots on deck for drainage. Clean off snow, blow off standing rain if taking too long to dry.
Construction-If the wood deck is installed crown down expect to cup. If large nail heads or non-counter sunk nail or screw sanding will be an issue from the type of machine to sandpaper cost.
ROT, Splinter area, Knot holes can be repaired with wood restore, and wood 2 part Bondo. 3o min cure time. See Moisture below.
SANDING– The easy machine is a single random orbital for medium to light sanding at 60 grit. Works well with nailheads if tight to the wood. 50 $ 4 hrs. Sandpaper 20 to 30$. Use a belt sander for the top railings
Sander weight > 75 lb
Belt sand corners/bevel and top. 80 grit.
PAINTING/STAIN or CLEAR – TEST with MOISTURE METER only paint when 15% moisture or less in wood and sample multiple areas. Treated wood will take a min of 4 to 6 weeks to reach 15%. 2 MONTHS in my case.
Clear works fine but over time semi-transparent stain will help with UV and cover some damage. Full opaque works well later in life. I find opaque works better for algae buildup.
Drainage and no ground/moist contact is the rule, these old flower boxes full of dirt and plastic liner gone years ago. The plan is to remove dirt add drain holes and use stone to allow placement of potted plants. Air and drainage are key.
The Moisture meter will tell where the issues are. If after 3 days the wood is not at 15% then look for trash, leaves, dirt trapped and never dries. the wetness will transfer to the deck.
WOOD REPLACEMENT – Areas will rot and decay. A typical 2 x 6 x 12 feet is 8$ not much for a replacement. Labor is the cost and hauling away the old wood. The flower boxes above will be covered and plastic planters installed.
The Deck there were 20 boards to replace, most a foot or two, but to preserve the pattern opted for full-lengths replacement. The hard part of these replacements was the USA made nails with large heads with ring shank ribbed and installed at an angle. THE TRICK use grinder with a metal thing cut wheel and cut off head. In most cases, a block of wood and a crowbar is all that is needed.
New Step need to install
2 Coats took 10 gallons. The Wagner Flexio 2000 is perfect for decks. Saved 50% of the time vs roller and brush and much better coating. It does take time to learn. 8 hours vs 20 hours.