Waiting Too Long…

Back in 2002 I repaired the deck on the TreeHouse, adding concrete footings and replacing the four concrete-filled iron support posts with 6×6 wooden posts, and adding three 4×4 support posts across the center of the 16-foot span. I replaced the railing around the entire deck, tore up the original decking and replaced it, then built a lattice skirt around the entire deck. It took me the entire summer (actually, April to October), but it was done in such a way as to allow us to use the deck for most of the summer during reconstruction.

Every year or two after that, I also stained and sealed the deck with Thompson’s Waterseal (Honey Gold) to preserve it and help it to look good and last.

Image5The past 4-5 years I’ve neglected deck maintenance, and it showed. It wasn’t rotting or anything (I built it with pressure-treated lumber), but it was looking weathered and, well, old. Add to that the fact that when I had sealed the deck with Thompson’s, I did just the “inside” of the deck, not bothering to stain and seal the outside-facing wood, so it looked like crap from the yard or the street. It was time to take care of ALL the wood on the deck.

A few weekends ago, after clearing the deck of its usual accoutrements (deck table, chairs, grille, plastic storage bin, hanging plants, hanging plant drip watering system, outdoor sound system, etc.) I fired up my 6.25 HP 2550 PSI power washer and power-washed the entire deck; railings, balusters, decking, etc., and the following weekend I mixed up batches of TSP, bleach, and water (1 cup of TSP, 1 quart of bleach, 3 quarts of water), and scrubbed the daylights out of all surfaces to kill any mildew and clean the wood.

IMG_7699This past weekend, I spent two days hiking up and down ladders, staining and sealing the inside AND OUTSIDE of the railing (52 feet of railing, with a gazillion balusters), and Monday I left work early to stain and seal the walked-on decking surface. Boy does it look nice again! Now it’s time to put the deck “back IMG_7713together” (put the table and chairs and grille and storage bin back, remount and rewire the Bose 151 SE indoor/outdoor speakers, reconnect the drip watering system and rehang the potted plants) so we can finally use and enjoy it like we usually do. I can’t wait.

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EPILOGUE #1 – 15 JULY 2014

IMG_7929acIMG_7932acThe Thompson’s Waterseal stain and sealant I applied to the deck before escaping to Maine for a week seems to be working….

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