Re-Stain or Replace my Wood Deck

My deck needs to be re-stained.. I'm trying to decide whether or not to re-stain it or just replace it. There are places on the deck that have some "give" when I step on them. What is the best way to tell? The deck is about 17 years old.
Thanks, Dan
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lagman wrote:

Big iron bar, like they sell in shovel aisle at the borg. A piece of thickwall metal pipe will also work if you have one handy. Holding it straight up and down, bounce it up and down all over the deck. From the bounce, and from the sound, you will be quickly able to tell what wood is still sound. Same thing you do on naked roof decking after a tearoff, just scaled up a little. The mushy spots will have a dead sound to them, and not bounce as high, or at all.
Leastways, that is how I do it.
-- aem sends...
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Having just dealth with a deck, if you try to poke anything solid -- ie -- a nail through the wood and it goes in easily, time to replace.
Otherwise, your underneath supports, and sorry, I am not a carpenter....may just be a bit too far spaced to give solid support....
So, if for years you had no bounce issue and now you do, probably need replacing of boards. If you always had the bounce, or just bought the house, check the integrity of the boards and go from there.
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If it is 17 years old and the deck boards feel spongy it's pretty safe to say it needs to be replaced..Atleast the decking boards...You can check the joists after removing the deck boards by poking them with a screwdriver...You'll be able to tell if they are bad....They will be soft and mushy...In which case it all needs to go...Also check for rot where it attaches to the house using a screwdriver to poke around...
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Agree. If it is only a board or two, replace them and stain the entire deck. If a bunch, consider replacing the deck with a better grade of wood such as redwood or ipe. This is the time to do an upgrade if you want. If you want to use the plastic woods, you probably have to add considerable to the underlying frame too as it needs 12" center instead of 16"
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