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August 2003

Deck OF The Month
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A Note From Me

I started this web page because I believe in this product and wanted to
share with you how it works and my experience with it.. I believe seeing
is believing. I hope this site helps you with your building of your deck.

Ed Jones

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Deck Built With Dek-Blocks
Summer05_234X60
After Snow  Storm
2007 Snow Storm
3 Feet of snow

    Although cedar is naturally durable, a surface coat is
    recommended to protect the wood and extend its service life.
    Cedar accepts a wide range of stains and other coatings and
    whichever is selected should be a good quality product
    recommended by a paint or building supply dealer. When
    selecting a finish coat, make sure it contains the following:

    Water repellant
    Fungicide/mildewcide
    Protection against ultra violet (UV) light

    Penetrating oil-based products are recommended for cedar,
    particularly those containing pigments. Pigments provide
    increased UV protection. Note that decks require products
    specifically formulated to withstand the abrasive effects of foot
    traffic. Use of varnishes or other types of film forming coatings
    are not recommended for cedar decks. These coatings can crack
    and peel and once applied are difficult to remove. Also, avoid
    non-drying coats as these often feel sticky underfoot and can
    result in stains on interior floor coverings.

    Information Courtesy by
    Western Cedar Lumber Association
    Copyright 2001.
    The photos on this web site are of my deck built with a "Floating
    Foundation Deck System" that uses 45-pound blocks of cast
    concrete called "Dek-Block" instead of having to dig footers.. The
    Dek-Block brand pier sits on top of the ground, moving up and
    down just as your driveway or sidewalk would. The structure is part
    of a system and is designed to accommodate the frost movement".
    Neither footing nor holes are dug using this method. This system of
    Dek-Block allows the deck to be built quicker and at a lower cost.
    There are also helpful links and articles. For example: Finishes
    for wood decks, Details for a lasting deck, Water-repellent
    preservatives for wood, Cedar wood care, and ACQ lumber info.
    Also scroll down on this page for more helpful hints.
TrapEase Composite Deck Screws
    NEW

    The A to Z’s of Keeping Your Deck Beautiful by Kenn
    Fenner

    The largest complaint I hear is that wood sealers do not last.
    What starts as a labor of love soon turns to a monotonous
    yearly cycle of reapplying sealers.  It not only gets expensive, it
    gets old quickly. While the quality of the sealer is important, the
    most important determining factor of a durable exterior wood
    finish is the wood prep.  A few invisible mold spores can wreck
    an...  Click here to continue  with this Feature Article
    Ken Fenner of PressurePros, Inc
    www.restore-a-deck.com

    Revive Your Tired Deck by David Radtke

    Remember how excited you were the day you finished building
    your new deck? The smell of fresh-cut wood, the warm, even
    color of the new deck boards, that summer afternoon spent
    admiring the fine details that made yours the best-looking deck
    in the neighborhood…It takes just a few days, mild cool weather,
    some cleaning and stripping solution and a few minor tools to
    get…continue Feature Article • Revive Your Tired Deck • April
    2000 © 2000 The Family Handyman Magazine ®

    Using A Pressure Washer On A Deck
    By Patrick R. Occhino
    PRO Deck Doctor

    Of all the questions I receive about cleaning a deck the most
    often asked question is “HOW?” So, this is going to begin a
    series of articles…continue

    Deck Cleaners
    Redwood and Cedar


    Deck Pressure Washers
    Spring is here and that means spring cleaning.  It's time to
    remove all that dirt and grime that has settled on your
    deck…continue

    Maintaining Deck  Your
    Once of the biggest ravages your deck can face is moisture. In
    order to keep your deck in good shape for years to come, you
    need to re-seal or re-stain it each year....continue

    How to Replace Damaged Deck Boards
    If you have only a few cracked or rotted sections on your deck,
    replacing a board or a section of one could be the answer. Just
    make sure...continue.


    To Stain or Add Water-Repellent    
                  
    For a new deck built with pressure-treated lumber, let the decking
    dry out for about two to four weeks, depending on weather
    conditions. Test the lumber for dryness by sprinkling water on the
    surface. If it soaks in readily, the surface is ready to receive a
    finish. Untreated lumber should be finished as soon as it is dry to
    the touch. If you wait too long, the surface of the wood will have
    begun to degrade already.

    Let the deck dry completely before you apply stain. If you've just
    finished cleaning your deck, wait two or three days before you
    apply a stain. Give a new deck made from pressure-treated
    lumber several days to acclimate before you stain. Even if you
    touch the wood and it feels dry, you can't trust that. If you use a
    stain when the deck is still wet, the oil won't penetrate the wood,
    and the stain will sit on the surface instead of seeping in. When
    you stain, cover as much of the wood as you can, including the
    ends.

    Water repellents are transparent, protecting the wood from water
    damage without altering its natural coloration. Water repellents
    with an added preservative combat mildew. Ultraviolet (UV)
    stabilizers are additives used in some clear finishes that offer
    some protection from sun damage. Semitransparent stains are
    more durable than water repellents. The pigments used in the
    stain protect better against sun damage. Penetrating finishes can
    include an insecticide. Look for products specifically made for
    use on decks.

    More on when to stain               
      Information courtesy
             Better Homes & Gardens®

    Deck Cleaning with Oxygen  Bleach


    Do not use chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) to clean your
    wood! It is a very strong oxidizer that will remove the natural
    color from your wood and destroy the lignin in the wood. In
    addition, chlorine bleach is highly toxic to any vegetation
    surrounding your deck. Beware! Many off the shelf deck
    cleaners contain chlorine bleach.   Study the product label
    before you buy.  If you see the words sodium hypochlorite, this
    means the product contains chlorine bleach

    A much better cleaner for wood decks is oxygen bleach.  This
    product will not remove the natural colors from the wood nor will
    it harm vegetation. Oxygen bleach kills mildew and removes
    algae and dirt from wood decks and other outside surfaces. This
    product is a powder that dissolves in water. Thousands of
    people use oxygen bleach each year to clean exterior wood
    surfaces.

    Oxygen bleach should be used with moderate caution if it is used
    to clean redwood.  It can sometimes darken the wood.  This
    happens most often with freshly cut redwood that has a low pH
    value.  As redwood ages its pH value becomes more neutral and
    the oxygen bleach will not darken it.  The California Redwood
    Association recommends using oxalic acid to clean redwood.

    Dirty and weathered cedar can be cleaned with oxygen bleach.  
    The results are spectacular.  Once clean, the cedar looks like
    new. Oxygen bleach also helps to remove mill glaze from new
    cedar.  It opens wood pores so that your deck sealer will
    penetrate more deeply.
    Information courtesy of
    Tim Carter
    Ask The Builder

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