How to Preserve and Maintain Your Wood Deck
Maintaining a wood deck as you well know is a lot of work. Sure you can power wash it and restain it each year. But after so many years it seems to get harder and harder to keep it looking good. So what do you do? eventually you will be faced with the decision of what to do next with your deck. Below are a few options you can do as well as get a rough idea what it would cost to do them.
Deck Tips that will make it last a lifetime
Ok, so like most people, you’ve probably have done the usual of power washing and staining your deck year after year to keep it maintained. Now after many years, you either decide there’s got to be a better way to keep it looking good and making it last as long as possible before having to totally replace it.
How to Power Wash and Stain
This is the most common form of maintenance and typically the least expensive. You can rent a power washer if you don’t own one from a home improvement store usually anywhere from $60 – $100 a day, depending on the size of it and of course of where you rent it from. Usually the bigger stores like Home Depot will give you your best price. Then there’s the cost of Stain, which can run anywhere from $10 – $50 per gallon or more, depending on quality, brand and where you buy it. So lets say you have an average deck of maybe 16′ x 20′, material and rental costs probably will cost you in the ball park of about $200 if you go with a medium quality stain, of course prices will vary based on how much other wood you have on your deck such as rails and lattice. Costs to repair any rotted wood would need to be added in as well.
Installing Artificial Grass on a deck
Have you ever considered to get more years out of your deck by putting down some outdoor carpeting? Years ago you didn’t have many choices in style and color for outdoor carpeting, usually that green grass type was what you mostly seen. Today, there are many other colors, patterns that range in various prices. In the picture above you will see a deck that is roughly 16′ x 22′ that was covered with outdoor carpet for around $180. The advantages of carpeting your deck is that it can give it a warm feeling almost like you are inside your home.
You don’t have to stain it and typically it can last you 2-5 years without having to replace it, depending on environmental factors such as weather and use. But look at it this way, you will pay that amount to stain and power wash your deck once a year, you’d be lucky if you get more than 1 year without having to redo it. Depending on how you install the carpet, from gluing it or stapling it down can determine how fast you can get it done. The picture above was taken from a deck that was carpeted in less then 6 hours. You can do searches on the internet to see best practices if you choose to go this route.
Painting or Staining a Deck
Well, maybe your deck is past the point that it cant take another power wash due to the fact the wood is starting to splinter and maybe even starting to rot. Painting your deck may be an option for you where staining is not. Of course its recommended you at least fix or replace any rotted wood first if you choose to paint it.
Painting can last a little longer than stain but you arent going to get that wood grain look that you would normally if you stained it, but painting does allow you many more options in colors. Painting a deck will cost you roughly $1 per sq foot on the low end to over $2 per sq foot on the higher end.
Rebuilding an Old Deck
You may come to a point that you have no option but to rebuild your deck from scratch. Of course this can cost several thousands of dollars depending on size and material used. Trex is definitely the most expensive way to go, but in the long run it will last you many more years with less or no maintenance.
Using regular wood would be cheaper but then again you are back to having to maintain it year after year. Definitely do your homework if you are to have a contractor build it, you can save money just by shopping around for the best quotes, but make sure whoever you pick is a reputable company and is insured.