Re: question about resurfacing decks
From: Kay Argyle (
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 14:39:16 -0700 (PDT)
Traffic is not the major factor. Weather exposure is - sun, wind, moisture,
salt spray, pollution. Few finishes last more than about two years if
exposed, and, with the exception of only a few tree species, wood
deteriorates without a protective finish. (Unprotected plywood goes downhill

A suggestion of a product for forming groups to look into, to avoid the
question of how and how often to resurface decks from even arising -

About two-thirds of our units have a second floor deck. Due to needed
repairs to the walls below (drainage issues), most were temporarily removed
in early '06.  We had the choice of having the boards put back or replacing
them.  After evaluating the condition of the decking, some chose to replace.
One or two used "sustainably harvested" tropical wood, but most had Trex
installed, a recycled-material polymer/wood composite (there are other
brands also). It looks like wood, can be sawed like wood, is available in
various "wood" colors, or with a matte texture instead of wood grain - and
needs _no_ upkeep.

It's been 2 1/2 years - three summers.  If we had gone with wood, we would
need to be refinishing again. I don't remember any off-gassing smell (by
contrast, most refinishing products are pretty obnoxious). It hasn't faded,
doesn't splinter, hasn't warped or cracked or popped the nails like the
boards did, doesn't scar as readily, doesn't stain from leaf tannins if we
don't get all the leaves swept off before the snow falls (an impossibility),
ignores damp plant pots that we forgot to raise on pot feet - it doesn't
even seem as hot under bare feet as the wood got.  

It costs more initially than standard decking lumber. The National Park
Service is using it for boardwalks in Yellowstone (probably other places as
well, but that's the park I've visited most recently) - and given their
budget constraints I'm sure they looked into the cost/benefit ratio very

Based on our experience (so far at least), I'd heartily recommend it.

Wasatch Commons
SLC UT - a climate that is hard on wood

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