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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Sheila in North Carolina is calling in with a deck issue. There’s some graying going on. Tell us about the problem.

    SHEILA: Hey.
    LESLIE: Hi.
    SHEILA: Yeah, we moved in about a year ago and the vines had overgrown the railing. So we cut them way back and we found that the wood underneath was a gray color. We thought it was just dirt but it’s not going away, so we don’t know if it’s rotted or has to be replaced or if it just needs to be restained or …
    LESLIE: Did you use a pressure washer to give it, you know, a good, thorough cleaning?
    SHEILA: No, we didn’t, we didn’t. We just cut them back and thought maybe all the rain in North Carolina would take care of it. (chuckles) It hasn’t.
    TOM: Is this a first-floor deck? Is it one level; ground level?
    SHEILA: Yeah, it is.
    TOM: OK. So what I would do is first of all I would check the deck’s structure and make sure that you don’t have cracked, checked or otherwise rotted or split boards. Make sure it’s attached well to the house and it’s very secure.
    In terms of the graying, that’s pretty normal, Sheila. I don’t know if you have pressure-treated lumber or not but both types of lumber will gray from exposure to UV radiation, to the sun and to the weather. And what you might want to think about doing here is to stain the deck. We would recommend that you use a solid color stain that has a lot of pigment in it and, if you want to do something to that stain that’s going to make it stick a little bit longer, you can add one pint – actually, one half a pint – of polyurethane to it.
    LESLIE: To a gallon, right?
    TOM: To a gallon. Yep.
    SHEILA: To a gallon? OK. And the graying is raised on it in that area. So do we need to sand that down or …?
    TOM: No, no reason you can’t. If you want to sand any of those areas, go ahead and do that first and if you have any badly cracked or checked deck boards, you can actually pull those out; flip them upside down and put them back down again because the underside should be in good shape.
    SHEILA: Oh, OK. So it doesn’t – the graying doesn’t mean that the structure – I mean that the wood (inaudible at 0:10:49.9) has been compromised (inaudible.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) No, it’s pretty normal.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) No, it’s just wear and tire.
    TOM: Yep, pretty normal.
    SHEILA: Oh, OK. OK. Alright, great.
    TOM: Alright, Sheila.
    SHEILA: So I think we can tackle that. That’s a lot easier than replacing the deck. (chuckles)
    LESLIE: Oh, yeah.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) It sure is. Sheila, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT

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