Remodeling a Dated Wrap Around Deck

December 16th 2009
Remodeling a Dated Wrap Around Deck

Q. We recently purchased an older two level home with a wrap around deck that covers a carport. We are planning to have it replaced in a few years and we are starting to research our options on how we can update the exterior of our house. It is a large second floor wood deck with a vinyl surface and black wrought iron railings that are quite worn and dated looking. We just plan to replace the railings and the vinyl surface but not the structure. What type of railings would you suggest for replacement that will hold up better in our climate than the wrought iron? We would also like an alternative to vinyl for a non-drip through deck surface over the carport. Could we cover this surface with an outdoor tile or would there be a concern with the moisture leaking into the space below. What type of underlayment would be suitable for exterior tile applications?

We will not be doing the work for a few years so my other question is regarding how to paint the existing wrought iron railings to clean them up. There are some rust spots on them. Is it necessary to sand and prime before I paint them?

A. First, to finish the existing wrought iron railings, rub the rusty spots with medium steel wool. Clean the surface with the Shell Busey Home Cleaning Formula. Rinse well, then prime the bare metal with a red oxide primer. Spray or brush on finish with at least two light coats of an acrylic paint such as Cloverdale Paint's Ecologic gloss or semi gloss ensuring the surface is dry between coats.

When you are ready to replace your railings, consider using composite wood or aluminum powder coated railings. Both are very resilient and maintenance friendly options that are available in a variety of styles and colors to suite your home's curb appeal. There are user-friendly do-it yourself railing kits available through manufactures such as MoistureShield Composite Decking and ProBuilt Aluminum Railings.

For the area above the carport, you will require an approved roofing membrane under the ceramic tile. To tile the surface above the carport, I would strongly suggest you have a qualified installer take care of this to ensure there are no water leaks or structural integrity issues. Tiledek, by Duradek is an outdoor anti-fracture roofing membrane designed specifically for outdoor tile decks in which the tiles are bonded to the fabric-covered membrane with thinset mortar. However, this system is not available to the do-it-yourself market. Note: Do not use a roofing asphalt based substraight material.

It's also important to note that before beginning construction of a new or existing deck to contact your municipal office to ensure necessary permits and building code requirements are met.

Shell Busey