The Rot Doctor


Subject: deck repair/rebuild
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002

I've read your questions and answers - very informative, but they seemed to hit all around my question, so here it is... I have a large area of outdoor deck (typical "treated" 5/4 pine boards) that is severely damaged from too much pressure washing and not enough UV/water protection over the years. The boards are basically in good shape, but the surface is badly splintered, split, etc. Can this be coated with a product that will re-build the wood to a new, smooth surface, and then stained/painted and protected (or an all-in-one application)?
John H.


From your description, I would say that probably the most thorough approach would be to machine sand smooth, vacuum clean, apply a couple of layers of our ELASTUFF 120, and then over-coat that with the RHINO TOP. This would give you a smooth, totally waterproof deck coating. The deck would be opaque, not woody-looking, but attractive stained decks are a constant maintenance headache.

Depending on the size of the deck, this can be a relatively expensive solution, with ELASTUFF 120 running $157.18 per 2-gallon unit and coverage at only about 100 sq ft per gallon. The RHINO TOP is a little better at $40.69 per gallon and coverage at 200 sq ft per gallon. I should mention too that two coats of each are required. But it's a one-time solution, with future maintenance being only touching up the RHINO TOP when necessary.

The ELASTUFF 120 would fill all shallow grooves and cracks. Once cured it can be sanded if you want a REALLY smooth decks, but I think that between two coats of ELASTUFF 120 and two coats of the RHINO TOP the deck would emerge reasonably smooth. Details on both these products are on our website, and you should come back if you have additional questions.

An alternative would be to go through the sanding/vacuuming process, treat the wood with our CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer), fill all cracks and voids with Fill-It Epoxy Filler, and then paint with any standard "porch" paint (or the RHINO TOP). CPES coverage would be around 150-200 sq ft per gallon, and the Epoxy Filler would be a volume issue -- enough to fill what needs to be filled. In this alternative, the CPES would protect the wood from rot and deterioration, and the opaque paint would protect the surface from the UV degradation. This would be a "weather-proof" solution, in that the Epoxy Filler would not crack or pop out under changing weather conditions.

Unfortunately there are no really effective clear coatings available that will protect the WOOD surface from UV light damage -- except marine-grade varnish, and this would be a path you don't want to travel. The normal deck sealers are petroleum-based and some have micro-particles to protect the wood from UV light, but the petro bases gradually degrade and coating usually has to be done at least yearly. And the decks turn dark and unattractive, so that means power scrubbing with TSP/warm water before each treatment. Petroleum-based products also promote the activity of wood-destructive bacteria.

Hope this has been of some help. Come on back if we can answer any questions.


Note: Current pricing on all our products can be found on the Product Information page.