How Sanding Can Help Decking Repairs
As the days get longer and temperatures rise, deck usage will quickly explode for homeowners across the country. Spring and summer don’t last forever, especially in chillier regions, so the sooner you start preparing your deck for the warmer weather, the more enjoyment you’ll get from it. Depending on your deck’s current condition and your maintenance regimen, it might merely need some cleaning or require significant repairs. Regardless, sanding is an important part of this seasonal preparation equation. While sanding isn’t always necessary, like cleaning or fixing loose boards, this task facilitates deck renovation projects of all kinds, as long as it’s performed properly and at the right juncture (i.e., after power washing but before staining or painting). Let’s detail how sanding your deck can help with your decking repairs this spring.
The Benefits of Sanding on Decks
Smooth Out Those Splintering Surfaces
If a wooden deck isn’t well-sealed and resistant to water, its surfaces are susceptible to moisture intrusion. When water gains access to your deck’s pores, it can cause cracking, warping, rot, and splintering. All of these problems are pernicious in their own right, but splintering, in particular, can become an immediate safety hazard by creating an uneven surface that one can trip over and exposing one to sharp edges. If your deck surfaces are severely splintered, you may need to replace the areas in question. Otherwise, you can repair the problem in a few steps. For starters, you’ll want to bleach your deck to kill any mold/mildew and mitigate discoloration. After the solution has dried (after about 24 hours), it’s time to sand your surfaces. Orbital floor sanders provide the most efficient method for sanding your deck’s main stretch. Of course, rails, steps, banisters, and other smaller and less accessible surfaces should be sanded by hand. However you decide to approach this task, you’ll ideally be left with smoother wood that won’t poke the skin and leave splinters behind.
Cue You into Lurking Problems
Taking the time to sand your entire deck provides the perfect opportunity to assess every inch of it, which you should do each spring (and more often, if possible) anyway. As you sand down water-soaked, rough, and splintered deck components, you might come across burgeoning issues such as rot, loose rails, missing nails, and so on. The sooner you identify these problems, the easier (and cheaper) it will be to resolve them. While the process of sanding itself won’t be able to fix every deck dilemma you encounter, it can at least reveal some key information that other methods can fix.
Remove the Old Finish
If it’s been several years since you last sealed your deck with wood deck stain or paint, odds are those old coatings are no longer as adherent as they once were. Peeling deck paint and faded stain are eyesores, obviously, but they can also be problematic in a more practical sense. In particular, if a previous coating is failing (i.e., peeling, bubbling, blistering, etc.), it will make it more difficult for new coatings to provide the protection and endurance you desire. As such, it’s often a good idea to remove the old, worn finish before applying a fresh one. Pressure washing can help eliminate the looser portions of these obsolete applications, but some stubborn spots are bound to remain. To get rid of those lingering materials, you’ll want to enlist your trusty sanding tools. Using the proper equipment and right grit-size will allow you to rub away any remaining coatings of old before sweeping away or vacuuming up the remaining bits, leaving you with a bare surface that’s on its way to receiving fresh stain or paint.
Prepare Your Deck’s Surfaces for Fresh Deck Stain or Paint
Indeed, deck sanding and staining go hand in hand. Beyond just removing the previous coatings to make way for new ones, however, sanding also primes the wood to better absorb the incoming applications. When done right, sanding essentially opens up the wood’s pores, making it easier for deck stain to deeply penetrate the surface and provide the long-lasting protection your deck needs from moisture, impact, sunlight, pests, and more. And while deck paint doesn’t permeate the wood as exterior deck stain does, this deck application also benefits from well-sanded surfaces, as they are more receptive to paint and easier to coat evenly. Ultimately, then, deck sanding opens the door for more protective and durable coatings, which means you’ll end up needing to make fewer deck repairs in the long run.
Prepare and Protect Your Deck the Right Way
If you plan on spending plenty of quality time with your deck this season and beyond, you need to keep up with your deck maintenance. Sanding is only one piece of the puzzle, but it’s a surprisingly important step in both repairing and preparing your deck. At Nash Painting, our deck staining services include the essential surface preparation that precedes the coating process itself. Let us get your deck ready for the warmer weather as we’ve done for so many clients across Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN. To learn more about us, our hassle free painting services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!