How to prevent your deck from splintering

How to prevent your deck from splintering
Besides being unsightly, a splintering deck can pose a real threat to children or pets whose feet (or paws) can suffer real damage and pain from sharp, wooden shards. Luckily, splintering decks are relatively easy to prevent as they are often largely due to neglecting your deck-care regime.

Splintering in a good quality deck usually won’t happen unless an extended period of time has gone by in which no maintenance, staining, sealing or cleaning has occurred.

Without adequate protection, such as that that comes from sealing your deck to prevent the wood from absorbing water, cracking in the wood causes slim fibres to lift from the main wooden panels in sharp protrusions that can cause a painful accident. Should this happen to your deck, follow these steps to restore your deck to its original condition.

The first step in repairing your deck is bleaching. Combine a solution of 50% bleach and 50% water and use this solution to spray the entire surface area of your deck. Concentrate specifically on areas of your deck that have sprouted mildew and scrub away at this fungal growth until it has been completely cleared. The bleach is effective at restoring the colour of your deck and killing any fungal growth.

Give your deck a thorough sanding down after the bleach has dried. Sanding is effective at removing the sharp ends of fine, wooden splinters in order to restore your deck to a smooth, even surface.  Use a rough hand-sander to rub down railings or steps and consider renting a large floor sander to take care of the horizontal deck area. Make sure you hose off the fine layer of dust left over from the sanding job. A power washer can also be hired to wash off this dust if your deck covers a large surface area.

Finally, treat the deck with a sealant and repeat this process every three or so years.