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resurfaced deck with railing

Deck Resurfacing

If your wood deck surface is old and worn out, you might consider resurfacing it. That means taking up the old deck surface, fixing what needs attention below, and putting down a new deck surface. This brings new life to your old deck. Something to consider, if a deck resurfacing is in your future, is composite decking. It has uniform color, no knots or natural imperfections, and it does not need to be sealed or stained to help it last.

Composite decking is a category of products that combine wood fiber and a binder, mix them well, put them together under pressure and extrude a plank that can be used as deck boards. Most come stamped with a wood grain texture. Additionally, some are coated with an exterior shell that provides UV protection and a more finished look.

Composite decking combines scrap wood fiber and binders which are – at least in part – recycled plastics. It is a great use for old water bottles. Utilizing materials available from recycling reduces the trees harvested to create deck lumber. Like wood, composite decking is also flammable, so an adjacent grill pad is best.

It looks great, has no natural imperfections, will not rot, requires less maintenance and is environmentally friendly; “what’s not to like”? There are two “Cons” to composite decking. One is the cost, and the other is tensile strength. Let us look these individually.

Tensile strength is the resistance of a material to bend or break under pressure. If you were to pickup a piece of composite decking it feels pretty sturdy. It is tough stuff, but it is not engineered for structural components, and it will not span the same distance as wood.

In English, this means the structure under your deck surface must still be built of pressure treated lumber, and the joists which the decking sits on – and are anchored too - must be closer together. Generally, 12 inches on center, vs 16 or 24 inches for lumber – depending on whether you are using deck boards or dimensional lumber for your decking.

So, composite decking costs more per the board foot than wood decking, and because the joists must be closer together there is greater lumber cost in the structure of the deck. For that extra cost, you get a great looking deck surface, with greatly reduced maintenance, and no splinters in your bare feet. With lumber prices elevated the last two years due to COVID and trade barriers, the cost difference between the two options has actually decreased.

If you need to resurface your deck, check out composite decking, it may be ideal for your needs.

If your deck needs resurfacing, with wood or composite decking, but you have no intention of doing this project yourself, know that Mr. Handyman has the staff, skills and experience to do this project for you. The above picture is repaired and resurfaced deck, with new railing, done by our team here in Jacksonville.

This one turned out great, and so will yours. Please call us to discuss the specifics of your project.