Advice for Sealing Deck

I have a question about my deck and I'm getting lots of different conflicting information from old posts.
My deck is atleast 20 years old (but probably not much more than that). I just powerwashed it yesterday. (I recently bought the house - don't know when it was cleaned / treated last) It did a nice job with the wood. I now intend to sand it down to get it smooth.
After I sand, what should I do? I've seen "deck treatments". What is special about this? Can I just use something like Thomson's waterseal to keep the water out of the wood? What do the deck treatments have, if anything, that waterseal doesn't?
The deck has a nice color (I dont know what type of wood but it looks pressure treated) and I wouldn't mind just using a clear sealer. But I've read (here and in Consumer Reports) that the opaque sealers last longer.
Also, with the opaque sealers, what's the procedure when the process has to be redone? Do I need to powerwash again? Can I just apply a new coat over the old one if it hasn't peeled off? Would this be any different for a clear sealer?
Thanks. I've never had a deck before and am no familiar with all the different products for it.
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JAG wrote:

/snip/
If you are reading Consumer Reports, you know what they have to say about the Thompson's waterseal product.
I've used better quality translucent stains from Sikkens (Cetol DEK) with excellent results. If you choose these products be sure to apply them EXACTLY as the manufacturer recommends. Otherwise, I'd just follow the CR recommendations.
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If you recently read Consumers Report you would know they dropped Thompsons because it is total crap. Otherwise they explain your options quite thoroughly. If you sand your deck you need to counter set the nails or the galvanized treatment will sand away. If your deck was black and is in shade it was mold and bleach should still be used.
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CU does indeed reject Thompsons as ineffective. After powerwashing, I use Cabots semitransparent stain, not as well rated as their solid colors, but semi is easy to reapply down the road, as it need not be removed; just cleaned and dried before applying. It also lets some of the grain show through. We apply it every 3 yrs or so. If you have PT wood, sanding may put a lot of nasty chemicals in the air, so use a respirator/filter. Unless you have taken off too much wood with the spray wash, I would not bother sanding. Especially without countersinking the nails, as Ransley mentions.
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JAG wrote:

After trying a lot of clear deck finishes over the years and feeling that none of them held up for more than one New England winter, I used Behr's clear finish with silicone last summer and it looks like it's holding up much better. Water still beads up on it, and it looks like I won't have to recoat it this year.
I got it at Home Depor last year.
Try it, you'll probably like it.
Jeff
--

Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"As long as there are exams in public schools there will be prayer in
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Thanks.
So what I think I'm hearing is that the transparents and semi-transparents don't last as long as opaques or stains but can be reapplied down the road without taking off the old stuff. The opaques and stains DO require removal of the old stuff to reapply.
Is this all correct?

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Transparents dont reqire removal.
CCA Is bad poison its what is in treated wood. Sanding will release Alot of poison. Dont burn treated either
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m Ransley wrote:

Actually, the treated stuff of 2004 is not filled with the same nasties as the treated stuff of 1990 (or 1970 for that matter).
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Even the 2004 new treated stuff says "don't burn". So what does one do with all the left over scraps? Put it out with the garbage? I have a large pile of it leftover from a new deck.

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New treated wood has a new suprise, it eats-destroys all treated metals except Stainless Steel. Alot of people will be angry in a few years.
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Not sure it will occur "in a few years" but a recent flyer from Simpson Strong-tie does say they cannot provide estimates of service life of connectors and recommend periodic inspections. They also recommend using their ZMAX galvanized products as a minimium if, as they put it, the best solution (stainless) is not practical (read " costly"?). ZMAX has a thicker zinc coating than their standard products. Just built a deck using ZMAX connectors. Will report back in a few years; that is assuming I'm still alive after my deck collapsing LOL

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Treetops wrote:

I just built a small deck (20' L x 5' W with a small section angled out to 8", like a "P") using 16 year old reclaimed treated 2x6s and 2x8s from a previous deck. I used the galvanized metal joist hangers for the first time on a deck just because, although the reclaimed and shortened joists looked solid and I was close to the ground, I wanted a little more insurance against having to repair it. The decking was all new 5/4 x 6 treated decking. Since it is only about 5" from the bottom of the joists to the ground, if my deck collapses, the worse that could happen would be that someone might spill a drink.

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I loved that one when I first heard it last winter after having put up a 30'X14' deck last fall using that government mandated crap. Interestingly several (but not all) deck screws had rusted heads by this spring. Doesn't take long...
I did spend some time re-inforcing the rim this past summer by driving additional 3" deck screws in. The joist hangers (aluminum) and hanger nails (galvanized/stainless) were Simpson, so hopefully don't need to be replaced. The new screws are 'allegedly' ACQ compatible but appear to be no different than what I used last year except for the coat of paint they applied.
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote in message

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Yep, take it to the landfill dump.
wrote:

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Treetops wrote:

I removed a 16 year old 20' x 17' ground level deck last spring (to make room for a 4 seasons room to take its place). I saved all the 2" x 6"s and 2" x 8"s, and cut the 2" x 4" decking into 7' sections and had the highway dept pick it all up in the regular fall pickup (I asked them about it first and they told me to cut it up to fit in the dump trucks). My other alternative would have been to put it in my PU, and make many trips it to the dump some 15 miles away at $5 a pop + gas.

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