Monday, May 25, 2009

Deck Maintenance, Phases 1 and 2

We really aren't "deck people" like some of our friends, but when we purchased our house in 2007 it came equipped with this simple 14' x 20' platform that was less than 3 years old at the time. We sanded and sealed it that year and haven't worked on it since. This year it's due for maintenance.

This is the way the deck looked before our work began.

The first phase involved dismantling a portion of the decking so we could address a water movement issue underneath. Like most of the rest of the house, the ground around the foundation under the deck sloped back toward the house, encouraging rain water to pool around the foundation and seep through the block basement walls on particularly rainy days. We've addressed the slope of the ground on the other sides of the house, but because of the difficult access, this area was saved for last.

We raked the pea gravel away from the foundation far enough to allow us to add a bit of dirt next to the foundation. Once the decking is removed, it's always interesting to see what the previous owners left under it. I found a few pieces of decking long enough to be useful somewhere, several snack food wrappers, and the real treasure: a disposable diaper, used of course.

A bit of clay dirt uncovered by the garage construction last fall proved helpful here in creating a ramp to direct water away from the house.

Finally the pea gravel was moved back in place, ready for our next rainfall, or the next washing of the deck.

After the decking was screwed back in place, we moved on to phase 2: cleaning the deck in preparation for staining. Wow, who would have guessed it was that dirty?

Now that the deck is power-washed all we need is a dry day or two so we can stain it. Thanks for visiting.


  1. i have "water movement" issues at my house as well... except i didn't even know that was what they were called. i also have to do some kind of work on my 100 year old porch- a couple of the boards are starting to sort of fray in the front. and i do need to paint it too... but painting is fun;)

    your deck looks great. i always like coming here to see what you're doing because you do your work so carefully and well. you really seem to know what you're doing! (unlike me, lol!)

  2. Thanks for the kind comments, Diane. I've found that if you take photos from a distance all your projects look better than they really turned out!

  3. Your deck looks great. We just had to have the professionals out to raise our sinking deck and sunroom. We then discovered a strange type of bees have been drilling holes in our deck and calling it home. Glad to hear you were able to solve your water problems. That must have been a big job.


  4. Thanks for the compliment Victoria, but I hope the deck looks even better after the staining. I imagine your sinking deck was a much bigger job than our project; I hope the professionals were able to set everything back in order so you can enjoy your home with peace of mind.