Removing Behr Deck Over

Dug8498 Posted By Dug8498, Jul 19, 2018 at 8:21 AM

  1. Dug8498

    Dug8498
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    Jun 20, 2018
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    Morning Everybody,

    Figured I'd post this here as a lot of you guys seem to know what you're doing with DIY home projects:

    I just bought a house in January and knew I was going to have to do a bit of work on the deck when I bought it. Structurally, it's in good shape, but I could see (and the home inspector pointed out), that whatever was on the surface was peeling up and the deck needs to be resurfaced. At first I thought it was stain that was on the deck, but after looking through the organized pile of paint cans left behind by the previous owner I can see it's this shitty product called Behr Deck over. From what I read online so far it's very difficult to get up, and this is what I'm finding. I borrowed a friends power washer and that did not work well at all. In order to take any of it up, I had to score the wood. Next I tried using one of those wire brushes to remove the paint and it did an alright job getting up some of the loose stuff.

    I really dont want to sand the whole deck as it's friggin huge (probably 15-20 ft wide by around 50-60 ft long, picture is attached- there is probably another 5-10 ft in length that is not shown in this pic).

    What can I do here? Are there any products I can put down over this behr deck over, or do I need to remove it all first somehow? If I need to get it all up, does anyone know how this can be accomplished while still maintaining the integrity of the wood? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     

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  2. Ashful

    Ashful
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    This is a tough one. If you actually wanted to save the decking, chemical stripper is where my mind goes. I’ve stripped entire wood boats that way (easily as much surface as you have there), but you’d want to be fastidious about keeping the area under you tarped and cleaning up (dry) as much as you can before washing, so it doesn’t destroy your vegetation.

    More importantly, folks usually use that deck-over crap to bury or hide a deck that’s in rough shape. So, it’s very likely the wood hiding beneath is not going to look all that nice.

    What is the decking material? If anything less than cedar or redwood, I’d just tear off the decking and redo. If the old decking is just face nailed, I could do that whole deck in a Saturday, and stain it on Sunday. If old deck is screwed, teach your wife or kids to use a screw gun, so they can be pulling screws ahead of you removing boards.
     
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  3. Dug8498

    Dug8498
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    Yeah that was my other concern that maybe I wouldn't like what I found underneath! I'd say about half the boards seem to be pretty smooth and in good shape, another quarter are not rotting, but aren't smooth, and then the remainder just need to be replaced.

    It's pressure treated wood, not really sure what type, just your standard PT boards. It's face nailed. there are nails coming up all over the place. I keep hammering them down and they keep popping up. I dont let people go on the deck unless they're wearing shoes of some sort.

    So in your estimation, it would be worth it just to replace the wood on this one? Wasn't looking to spend hundreds of dollars on lumber, but looks like i may not have a choice. Do you think it would be possible to flip any of the boards and just stain the other side? Also, this is kind of a stupid question i'm sure, but I am a very big newbie with DIY home stuff: how do I pull the boards off? would i need to get underneath the deck and hammer the underside of the board to get it to pop off? or is there a way to do it while on top of the deck?

    You could do that whole thing in 2 days? Wanna come up from PA?!!

    My last question is- assuming i do start over. should i use a solid or a clear stain?
     
  4. semipro

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    2nd this.
     
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  5. NateB

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    There is the option of just getting rid of the deck. Whatever you put down will need yearly or more maintenance. You could use some of your better pieces of wood to have a small deck by the pool with steps, and a gate. If you want a deck type area landscape with brick stone or concrete. I think that would open up the yard, and save money.
     
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  6. Dug8498

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    We thought of this, but unfortunately the entire area under the deck is filled with gravel; i believe they used gravel as fill around the entire foundation as well. If we remove the deck, we'll just have a big gravel pit, so yes, we would need to landscape that area with brick or stone. I feel like that would look a little odd though? walk down 4 feet from the house to the ground, and then up another 4 ft to the pool?
     
  7. Ashful

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    A raised flagstone patio with retaining wall would be fantastic, and the gravel fill might already make a reasonable foundation for that, but your mention of hundreds of dollars of lumber takes this $30,000+ project off the table.

    If replacing the wood decking, since it’s face-nailed all you need is a wonder bar and a crowbar to remove old boards. To install new boards, I’d be looking at one of the invisible fastener systems, most of which rely on a biscuit jointer or router to mortise edge of each board at each joist, and use a plastic cleat to hold the boards down invisibly. Either that, or face screw it with deck screws. Depending on your joist spacing, you might be able to do 5/4 cedar, or one of the many more durable (but often cheaper than cedar) African hardwoods.

    Pressure Treated (PT) wood is what it is. It’s always going to split and check, and look like hell. It’s great for deck framing, but it’s a very poor decking surface. Flipping it might work in a few cases, but I’d not want to spend the time to carefully remove boards without damaging their back sides, my time is worth more than the money saved in just replacing the planks.

    For stain, I prefer the semi-transparent. Transparent would be the best look, but it doesn’t offer the best protection. Opaque just looks like hell after some wear, IMO. The semi-transparent is the compromise. Of course, you’ll need to wash and re-stain all horizontal surfaces every 2nd year, and vertical surfaces (railings) every 4th year. That’s a lot of perpetual maintenance, but that’s what decks are.

    BTW... patios are less maintenance, but they have their issues, too. I have four flagstone patios, one very large exposed aggregate patio, and one wrap-around porch. In summer, those patios heat up so substantially that it can be uncomfortable sitting out there even on a nice summer night, if the patio is still radiating the day’s stored heat. Pick your poison.
     
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  8. Dug8498

    Dug8498
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    Thanks for the detailed response. I'm going to have to look up half the terms you just used in the first paragraph :oops: I will look into all of this and will consider starting from scratch on this (putting down new boards and keeping the existing PT frame). If thats the case, I think i'll just let these boards wear for a little longer until I feel like tackling this! And yes, 30k project aint happening right now. Just dropped a ton of money on the house purchase, and I've got removal of 20 pine trees, replacing wearing siding, and installation of mini splits all ahead of this project in the priority line.

    I rented for the last 12 years and am constantly surprised how friggen expensive a house is. Although, I do really enjoy owning something and puttering around doing stuff in my own yard
     
  9. Ashful

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    Sounds good. When evaluating your projects, consider the cost of not doing them. In other words, if your roof is leaking and you choose to delay the repair, it’s going to cost you more in interior repair. Or if one of these trees falls on the house...

    The deck is a no loss thing, it can wait until you’re ready to tackle it. If the end goal is replacing the decking anyway, maybe hit it with another coat of the Behr cover all crap, at least it will look a little better while it waits.
     
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  10. Dug8498

    Dug8498
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    Hmmm i never thought of that; that's actually a pretty good idea. Well my ideal end goal would be to replace the deck with composite material (trex). I really like the deck and even the size of the deck. The picture is from the real estate listing; we have quite a bit more furniture out there as well as plants. I think I may just do that for the time being to avoid sinking more money than I need to into the deck.

    Last question for you; can I put down trex boards onto the existing PT frame, or should i also replace that with a composite material?
     
  11. blades

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    A home is a hole in the ground into which one pours money, a boat is a hole in the water into which one pours money, A vehicle is a portable hole- yep same money problem. Heating and cooling appliances are vaporization units for money. Thus ends our financial education for today :)
     
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  12. Dug8498

    Dug8498
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    Sounds about right!
     
  13. gzecc

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    You really need to identify what you have. Could be pressure treated 5/4, pressure treated 2x, Cedar etc. Is it structurally sound? Maybe just a few bad boards need replaced. I've seen some very nice deck over jobs over the years. All decks need maintenance unfortunately.
     
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  14. Ashful

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    I’m an old house nut and scholar of traditional construction techniques, so I really know very little about composite decking. I know some of the composite options require different joist spacing than a 2x (“two by”) PT decking would require, but I believe there may also be some composite options designed for transplant onto standard 16” OC framed decks.
     
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  15. Dug8498

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    How would I go about identifying what I have? I believe they're just pressure treated 2x4's
     
  16. Dug8498

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    Ok Thanks Ashful, appreciate all of your insight on this. I'm going to go with either doing nothing for the time being, or putting another coat of that shitty "Behr deck over" until I'm ready to sink some serious time and or money into this project.
     
  17. gzecc

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    Post a close up picture of the end of a few of the boards with a tape measure in the shot, so we can see what you have.
     
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  18. semipro

    semipro
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    In defense of Behr: I've used this product with mixed success. What I've found is that, like any coating, a successful application depends on the condition of the surface you're applying it to. When I've applied it to clean, solid wood it has worked very well. When I've applied it to worn wood it has not. It peels off, often taking some of the wood with it. I don't blame that on the coating.
    Trouble is, most people buy this to put it on wood that's in poor condition to start with otherwise they'd be staining or painting.
     
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  19. Dug8498

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    I will do that tomorrow when I get the chance and throw a couple pics up. Appreciate it.
     
  20. Dug8498

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    Most of our deck definitely falls into the second category. It's useable and still has some life left, but it's not ideal. Isn't that the whole point of the "deck over" product though? I thought that's what it was made for; to even out and fill in worn wood to make it look "like new" again.
     
  21. semipro

    semipro
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    Agreed, but their instructions make it pretty clear that you must prep the surface to get rid of rotted and loose wood fibers and previous coatings. Makes sense -- else what does the coating cling to? I've seen it fill in cracks and voids well but it only stays in place if the existing wood is solid.
    Installation instructions here: https://images.homedepot-static.com/catalog/pdfImages/67/679ce23a-c743-4338-ac2e-869e3dd00718.pdf
     
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  22. Dug8498

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    Right that does make sense. I think i've got the deck pretty clean with the power washing and wire brushing so hopefully there's something to stick to if I opt to go try that out. Thanks for the link.
     
  23. kennyp2339

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    A little off topic but wheres the wood pile going?
     
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  24. Ashful

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    One track mind...
     
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  25. Dug8498

    Dug8498
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    Haha, I actually have wood piles all over the place right now. I managed to get 6 cords stacked by late June. Most of the stacks are to the rear of my property where they get full southern exposure. My wife thinks I went a bit overboard on the amount of wood I got this year... I tell her I have you guys to thank for that
     

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