A great way to keep your decking area looking good is to sand and refinish the wood every two or three years. During the warm months, most people spend a good amount of time outside on their deck. Therefore, it is important to keep the area looking good, so that you can enjoy being there. If you want to learn how to do this on your own, take a look at the process.
Get the Right Type of Equipment
What equipment you use depends on the area of your decking. If you have a large area, consider hiring two machines; a regular sized sander—which you operate with two hands—and a smaller sander for the rails and edges. If you have a medium or small decking area, you could probably just use the small sander rather than hiring the bigger one. Also, make sure that you have plenty of sandpaper for the machines, and a supply of fine grit sandpaper which you can use by hand. Remember to wear eye and ear protection, work gloves and work boots.
Start at the Edge
Start by using the small sander, and sand around the perimeter of the decking. Depending on the design of the decking, this may mean going under rails or tricky-to-reach places. Take care, and try to sand as much of these areas as possible. Try tackling it from a different angle if you are struggling. Once you have sanded the perimeter, you can start with the main section of decking.
Work Slow but Steadily
If you are using the regular sander, start at one area of the perimeter and move the machine along the board of the decking. Take your time, and don't move the machine too quickly. Give it a few seconds to work on the wood. If you have never used this kind of sander before, it doesn't take long to get used to operating it. Be aware that when you are sanding, you have to move the machine away from the wood to see the result. With small sanders, you can see as you work. Whatever kind of sander you are using, work slowly and methodically along each board of decking.
Remember the Hand Rail
People using the handrail will be able to gauge how good a job you have done by the smoothness of the rail. Remember, once you have sanded it with the small sander, go over it with a fine grade of sandpaper, to smooth it off. If you are planning to stain the handrail, don't sand and smooth it down too much; this closes the pores of the wood, meaning it won't properly take on the stain color.
Although it make take some time to do, the end result of sanding and staining your decking is worth it. For more tips or assistance, consult companies like MI Floor Sanding.