Many times the only part of the deck that is damaged or worn is the surface. Thatís because the surface takes the toughest beating from the sun and rain as well as wear and tear from furniture being dragged across it, and grease stains from backyard barbecues.
If you find that is the case with your deck, use a cat claw nail puller to remove the nails keeping the board in place board.
Lift the board out, turn it over and if it looks good on the other side simply flip it over and nail it back. You may have to do a little sanding to bring back some life to your wood but you will certainly get twice the wear from your wood by using both sides.
Here are some more quick tips we found for you.
If only part of a board is damaged cut out the damaged section rather than replace the entire board. You will want to use a jigsaw to crosscut the board adjacent to a joist. Cut a 2 x 4 block; bore clearance holes for two 3-in. no. 8 exterior screws; and secure it to the joist at the repair location. Cut a newer board to fit in the area you just cut; and secure it to the nailer and any joists with screws.
To secure the boards you are replacing you will want to use 3-in. no. 8 exterior wood screws and a drill-driver. Drill clearance holes (equal to screw diameter) through the decking only when attempting to draw down warped or cupped boards, and at the ends of boards to prevent splitting. If you can you will definitely want to use the drill's torque setting to prevent snapping off screws due to too much force.
A power washer does a great job getting rid of mildew and restoring the original color of your deck and you donít have to spend hours scrubbing away on your hands and knees. You can rent a power washer for a few hours and your deck will be clean in no time.
Once your deck is clean you will want to inspect it with a close eye. Itís likely you will find loose or wobbly nails that need to be replaced. Be sure to replace them with galvanized, all-purpose deck screws. Drive the new nails close to the old nails and then use wood filler to take care of the old holes.
You will also want to apply a water sealer or stain with a paint roller. To save your aching back you may want to consider buying an inexpensive extension handle for the roller so you can work standing up. Start by applying the sealer on the decking nearest the house and work your way out away from the house. You will have to get down on your knees and use a paintbrush to apply the sealer in the corners and between tight spaces like the railings or steps. In that case, you will want to have knee pads handy as well as a piece of carpet on which to kneel.
Wood doesnít last forever, but with the right care and maintenance you can keep your wood deck looking beautiful for a long time.