Neglected decks often look worse than they are. Usually, it isn’t necessary to demolish it and rebuild it from scratch, either. Follow these steps to bring life back to your old deck.

Assess Safety

The most important step to restoring a deck is ensuring stability and safety. Evaluate support beams attached to the ground or house. If a screwdriver can be dug into structural beams, rot is present. Take note if screws or nails are loose or rusted.

If you cannot repair these problems yourself, contact a professional. When it comes to safety, you don’t want to take any shortcuts.


All decks should have an annual washing. If the deck is well maintained, a good cleaning will often quickly restore a deck to its former glory. Most cleaning products can be sprayed on and worked into the wood with a brush. Remember to wear eye protection and gloves when using these chemicals. Cover plants and grass around your deck to protect them from harmful chemicals, too.

Protect Wood

Now that the deck is clean, it must also be protected from the elements. A semitransparent stain is best for older decks because it covers more imperfections. Apply two layers with a sprayer and use a roller or brush to even out the stain between coats.

Following these three steps will bring color, shine, and beauty back to most decks. They will extend the life of your deck and put a costly remodeling project far off in the future.