When most homeowners consider what should be done to deal with an older deck covering, they usually decide to replace the entire deck. But very often an old deck can serve as a type of foundation or base for an entirely new layer of deck material. The success of this kind of project is of course dependent on the condition of the old deck and if the new layer is properly installed.

Clean and Seal Your Deck

If you are dealing with a composite type decking material, use a pressure washer on your deck to remove dirt, debris and mold (all of which can cause problems to any new installation). If your deck is made of wood, use the pressure washer and then allow your deck a minimum of 48 hours to fully dry. After it's dried, apply a layer of a quality sealer to protect the wood from insects and to keep moisture away from your new top layer.

Making Repairs

Begin your repairs by either fastening down or fully repairing loose, older planks. With many composite decks, it is very often the case that mounts and screws become loose over time. This is why it is important to make sure that they are fastened down tightly. If necessary, replace any older fasteners.

If your deck is wood, check all the wood to see if it's in fairly good condition. Any insect damaged or rotting sections should be replaced using similar pieces of wood material. Install these pieces in the same fashion as the existing wood is installed so as to ensure that you will have a good mount for your new decking.

Choosing a Direction

There are several choices available to you when deciding on how you will install your new decking material. For example, you may opt to install your new decking material to match that of the previous deck. On the other hand, you may decide to go in the opposite direction (assuming the previous layer is fastened down soundly). If you choose this latter option, you can overlap the planks over the older ones.

Another option is to offset the planks so that they're spanning the small space between the first installation's older planks. If you are an experienced carpenter, you may decide to use a diagonal approach when installing the new planks. This is especially effective if you have some extra time to put into a more complex design layout.

The Basics of Installation

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions with regard to allowing for enough space between the planks for both contraction and expansion. If you don't, you may find that your deck will buckle under the pressure of wetter, warmer months. Anytime you are installing a new decking layer, ensure that screws or nails are twice the length as are recommended. This is because you will need to go through two layers of planking before the nail, or screw, sinks into your deck joists.

To learn more, contact a company like Havmack Construction Inc. with any questions you have.

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