Decking restoration: should you restore or rebuild?

By Peta Boyce

Check out our carpentry tips before getting your decking hands dirty.

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A deck in an Australian home is almost an institution. It sees days of barbeques and family gatherings, catch-ups with the gals and guys, and lazy Sundays by the pool. But when your decking is getting along in years it also sees plenty of wear and tear.

Knowing when to restore or rebuild is a common conundrum. When it comes to major projects like decking you need to settle on the right decision.

Deck restorations can mean a lot of different things. From straight forward deck sanding and re-coating to an entire makeover of new decking boards.

Often, the requirements of deck restorations involve what lay beneath too – support posts and deck jolts that no one really sees. But it is not about out of sight out of mind for a major restore. These factors require some serious thought.

We have probed the minds of our local carpenters to uncover a few tips on how to make the decision to restore or rebuild simpler for you.

Rolled into one neatly packaged article – here you have it!Weathered decking

Peeling or blistering

A quick touch-up or recoat generally won’t solve the issue when peeling or blistering occurs.

Whilst durable in nature and user-friendly, a majority of deck coatings on today’s market are not suitable for corrections once the original coating starts to fail.

Nonetheless, there are some products that claim to work their magic.

Restorative deck coats are generally friendly on moderately weathered decks. The surface needs to be prepared with a deck primer or deck stripper before applying the top coat. Prepare poorly and you risk lacklustre adhesion and potential coat failure. So, be sure to follow the recommended directions in their entirety.

If you are unsure just Google search for recommendations or ask a decking professional their opinion before you start any work on restoring your deck.

Structurally challenged

A deck that has gone through trauma or many years of harsh conditions is at risk of being structurally challenged.

Other nasties like termites also contribute to structural damage. Heavy gym equipment or portable spas also make the deck structure work harder than it needs.

If your home has recorded problems with termites, damage from a storm or other weather conditions, arrange a professional to inspect the deck first.

Decking care

If you have taken over a home with an existing deck, query the former owners on the care they previously gave it.

Touch-ups and re-coats are a necessary evil in maintaining the condition of a deck. More often than not, the amount of deck restoration needed will be a direct consequence of how it was previously treated.

If the deck is peeling or blistering, you will need to undertake some serious deck sanding before applying anything to the face.

Guarantee the longevity of a new deck by undertaking proper maintenance from the start.

Thinking of a decking project at your place – get decking help on Airtasker.


Peta B

With a witty sense of humour, and an obsession for detail and nitty-gritty, Peta loves flexing her talents as a copywriter, marketer and event manager. She's put together some pretty impressive corporate shindigs in her time and now works across a variety of assignments as a freelancer, between being a full-time Mum.

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