- How to Level a Mower Deck for a Toro
- How to Cool a Hot Concrete Patio Deck
- What Is a Cool Deck?
- What Can I Use to Cover Below My Deck?
- How to Adjust the Deck on a Murray Lawn Mower
- Should a Pool Deck Go Over the Pool Rails or Under?
- How to Build a Wet Deck
- How to Clean Weatherbest Decking
- How to Fix a Kool Deck Pool Patio That Is Cracking
- How to Build a Deck That's Not Attached to a House
- The Best Way to Install Deck Screws
- Homemade Soil Screener
- Deck Plans and Ground Preparation
- Home Remedies to Remove Water Stains Off a Deck
- Cleaning Plastic Deck Chairs
- How to Paint a Concrete Deck
The first indication of an uneven lawn cut is an immediate call for action. A couple of things will cause a deck to cut unevenly. Bumping against an obstacle while operating the mower is common, while hanging the edge of the deck on a slope or incline is another possibility. In either case, a readjustment of the deck is necessary.
Position the mower on hard, level ground. Attempting an adjustment of the deck on uneven ground will result in less than optimum results.
Arrange the mower blades in a perpendicular position to the lawnmower. Measure from the tip of the outermost edge of both the left and right blade to the ground. A difference of 3/16 inch or less between the two measurements is acceptable.
Locate the leveling brackets on the right- and left-hand side of the mower deck. On the low side, adjust the deck up by removing the hairpin and washer from the adjustment pin with needle-nose pliers. Rotate the leveling bracket to the next hole and re-insert the pin. Adjusting to a leveling hole nearer to the rear of the mower raises the deck. Holes nearer to the front of the mower lower the deck.
Recheck the deck by measuring the distance between the blade tips and the ground as before. If the difference between the two is less than 3/16 inch, the mower deck will cut level.
Spray cold water over the concrete. For temporary and immediate relief, cold water is the best option to cool it. It works immediately and keeps the concrete cool until the water evaporates and dries. This is only a temporary measure, but it works immediately.
Stain the concrete a light color. Dark colored concrete can soak up the sun and produce more heat while light colored concrete will reflect the sun and is ultimately much cooler. A simple stain can change the color to a lighter color.
Place a large deck umbrella, gazebo tent or any other structure that can provide shade over the deck. A permanent structure might not always be appropriate, depending on winter weather conditions and how long it might last, but temporary structures are available in home goods stores, wholesale stores or even sporting goods stores. A temporary gazebo-like tent or an umbrella can provide shade and keep the worst of the sun off the patio to result in lower temperatures.
Apply a concrete cooling material. Materials like Cool Deck are applied directly over the concrete and are designed to cool down the patio deck. They are available at home goods stores or hardware stores, usually in the outdoor or garden areas. The materials seal, waterproof and extend concrete life while keeping the deck much cooler. These materials are usually added when the concrete is poured and drying to seal the concrete, but adding later to reduce heat is another option.
Specially formulated to be stronger, more durable and more stain-resistant than plain concrete surfaces, the Kool Deck concrete topping stands up against rough and demanding environments, such as 100 degree temperatures and freezing nights.
Kool Deck concrete topping makes it possible to walk, sit, sunbathe or play on the pool's deck surface during times of hot, direct sunlight without suffering the effects of scorching concrete.
Available in luxurious, pastel and other various colors, Kool Deck can match existing colors and patterns on pools, walkways, patios or entire landscapes. The rich, consistent color and texture of the Kool Deck topping make pool areas more attractive than plain concrete.
Treated Dirt Coverings
You can cover the area below your deck with treated dirt. Dirt that is treated with salt will be void of vegetation, and will be less likely to retain water. Sprinkle rock salt or sidewalk salt on the dirt below your deck. Allow the salt to settle into the soil. This will prevent tall grasses and weeds from growing through the slats in your deck. It will also be non-toxic if children or pets climb under your deck and play or dig in the soil.
Plastic prevents vegetation from growing under your deck, so you won't need to worry about unsightly weeds poking through the slats. Line the ground with a plastic covering, such as a tarp, pond plastic or landscaping plastic. Dig out about two inches of soil and lay the plastic down. Make sure one end of the plastic is higher than the other so that water can drain off of it. Put the two inches of soil back on top of the plastic. At the base of the slope, create a small ditch that leads away from the deck to drain excess water.
Vegetation and Rock Coverings
If you have a high deck that is open on one end, you will want to take the time to landscape while you cover the areas under your deck. You can use either the treated dirt method or the plastic method to cover under your deck, but instead of simply putting dirt down on top of it, lay down landscaping rocks, plant shallow mosses or place small statues to create a landscaped area. This is especially important if you have an upper deck but people still use your backyard and can see underneath the deck.
Place the mower on a hard, flat surface.
Adjust the cutting height lever, which is located to the left of driver's seat, all the way down to the last notch. This will engage the motor's level-adjustment position, which will allow you to easily adjust the mower deck.
Move to the left side of the mower. The mower's left adjustment knob is located on the deck arm that is connected to the frame directly behind the front tire. Use a 3/8-inch wrench to loosen the black adjuster by turning it counter-clockwise. Reposition the pin to by sliding it up or down. Once the deck look even, screw it tightly by turning the knob clockwise with the wrench.
Move to the right side of the mower. Look for the right adjustment knob located on the same section as the left side.
Reposition the deck adjuster lever to a cutting height deck. The mower will now be ready to cut.
Under Looks Best
A deck that terminates just under the top rail of an above-ground pool looks best because the deck edge and ends of the decking are hidden. Use this if looks are more important than functionality.
Over Works Best
Terminate the deck on an above-ground pool over the top rail of the pool if your pool is destined to have lots of people running, jumping and climbing in and out of the pool. A deck built above the top rail will eliminate the problem of stubbed toes and offer protection to the rail as people climb out of the water.
Decks can be built to go over or under the top rail of a pool. Heavily used pools should always have decks higher than the rail. Most pool decks are built this way. If appearance is of paramount importance, a deck terminating under the rail gets the nod.
Excavate the area for the wet deck. Remove surface materials to a depth approximately 8 inches below the pool's water level. This allows for 4 inches of deck or pool floor material and 4 inches of water.
Pave the surface of the wet deck. Concrete is commonly used to provide a waterproof backing to the floor of the wet deck. Cover the concrete with any decorative tile work or other finishing surface you desire. Because the concrete surface serves as the waterproof barrier between the wet deck and the ground grouting is not required between tiles but may still be done for aesthetic purposes.
Construct the walls of the wet deck. Often these walls are poured at the same time the floor of the wet deck is poured. The reinforcing rods used on the floors should be bent and extend up into the walls of the wet deck to tie the two structures together. In some wet decks, the floor is sloped to a higher level than the water surface of the pool.
Fill the pool with water. The wet deck should have about 4 inches of water across the surface.
Rinse your deck every week with a garden hose so dust, pollen and other airborne pollutants don't accumulate.
Scrape any accumulated debris from between the deck planks. Use a plastic scraper and take care not to gouge the planks.
Wash your Weatherbest decking with a commercial deck wash that is rated for composite decking. Mix the suggested amount of solution (according to the manufacturer) with water and apply it to the deck with a mop. Allow the solution to soak for a half-hour, then rinse it off with a garden hose.
Remove grease stains by applying a household degreaser, such as a citrus-based orange cleaner. Allow the solution to stand for 15 minutes, then rinse.
Clean ground-in dirt with a pressure washer. Use a cleaning solution that is approved for both composite decking and pressure cleaners.
Put on a pair of protective gloves.
Combine two parts of the solution from Can A and one part of the solution from Can B in the bucket. The kits come in different colors. Choose one that matches your decking.
Mix thoroughly for at least two minutes. Continue to mix until the color is uniform.
Pour the mixture into the squeeze bottle from the kit.
Squirt the solution into the cracks to fill. Add just enough to fill each crack, and work quickly. The product is self leveling.
A backyard deck can be a great place to cook out; get some sun or relax while reading a book. While it may look hard to do, building a deck just takes a little patience and some skill. The work can be done by just one person. Here is a plan for an 8-by-12 foot deck that can be built low to the ground.
Intalling Deck Screws
First, lay the deck board on top of the frame and make a pencil mark on top of the board to denote where each base board is underneath the deck boards. You want to make sure your deck screws are drilling into the base boards or else the deck screws are not going to be connected to anything.
The positioning of the deck screws is also very important. You want to place your deck screws 1 inch to the inside of the edge of the board. If the deck screws are installed too close to the edge you risk splintering the boards. Set your drill at the lowest level so that you can have complete control over how deep the deck screw will go. You want to have your weight behind the drill and drive the deck screw straight down into the board, making sure the deck screw is not going in at an angle. Drive the deck screws into the board so that they are flush with the top of the board itself; slightly deeper than flush is alright, too. You just want to prevent screws from being too high or too low on the boards.
Lastly, make sure that the screws are installed roughly the same distance apart on every board. If your screws are different distances apart on every board, you will be able tell as there will be an obvious skewed pattern of the screws on top of the deck floor. The goal is to install the deck screws so that they are not noticeable and just become an understated part of the overall deck's appeal.
Cut two 36-inch lengths of wood and two 30-inch lengths of wood from 2-by-4-inch boards. Choose a length that matches the width of the hardware cloth or mesh screen you've purchased.
Stand the boards on edge and arrange them in a rectangle, with the 30-inch boards laying inside the 36-inch boards. Connect the boards by driving 3-inch deck screws through the sides of the outer 36-inch boards and into the ends of the inner 30-inch boards. Pre-drill guide holes prior to screwing if the 2-by-4 is a hard wood variety.
Cut a 29 3/4-inch length of hardware cloth or mesh screen with tin snips. Snip 1/4 inch off one end of the 36-inch width of the screen as well.
Lay the screen over the top of the 2-by-4 rectangle. Align the edges of the screen with the edges of the 2-by-4 boards.
Place a length of reinforced deck plate or any other long, solid object over the wire screen along one edge of the screener. Screw four 1 1/2-inch deck screws through the deck plate and into the wood at equal distances along the board.
Screw in more deck plate to secure the wire screen to the remaining three sides of the screener. Connect the deck plate with four screws in each board. Tighten the screen as much as possible before screwing it into place.
Plan out where the deck will be installed in your yard. You may need to consult with the contractor to get exact measurements.
Mark the perimeter of your deck plans with a length of string or other marker. This is the area of the ground that will need to be prepared.
Remove sod by digging a hole about 1.5 feet into the ground all along where your deck will be installed. Use a post-hole digger to make the initial cuts into the ground.
Use a square-nosed shovel to move the dirt from the ground to a wheelbarrow.
Get a two by four and lay it across the ground. Put a level on top of the two by four. This will show you where additional diggings needs to be done. To adequately prepare the ground for deck installation, it needs to be perfectly level.
Dislodge Debris and Cean Up
Prepare the deck for cleaning by brushing it with a stiff brush to loosen debris. Push all the debris off the deck, and use a putty knife if necessary to dislodge large pieces of leaves and other materials in deck board cracks. Rinse the deck off with a garden hose to remove any leftover debris.
Washing Deck Off
Rent a pressure washer and wear goggles while spraying a powerful stream of water on the deck boards. To protect the wood from damage, keep the sprayer's head about 4 to 6 inches away from the boards. Work your way by following wood grain and keep a firm grip on the pressure washer. The powerful stream will remove most stains, including water stains and mold spots that form from water stains.
Using household cleaners
Stubborn water stains need to be treated with household cleaner and water mixture. Combine a 1 cup of household bleach with 1 gallon of water in a plastic bucket to make a homemade deck cleaning solution. Wear rubber gloves while applying cleaning solution and brushing it off with a stiff brush. For added protection, wear safety goggles if you are using a hand held brush to scrub our stubborn spots.
Hose off the entire deck with a garden hose and not with your pressure washer. The pressure washer will spray particles of bleach on other surfaces, possibly causing staining. Using a garden hose is a better practice to gently rinse off homemade cleaner and get rid of all water spot damage.
Sweep the deck of any debris, and then hose it down to wash it. Let it dry completely. Then sweep it once more to get rid of any debris that collected in the meantime.
Pour a small amount of the masonry sealant and primer onto the deck, then use the paint roller to cover a small area with it. Continue to work section by section, keeping the exit at your back so you don't paint yourself in.
Leave the sealant to dry as directed by the instructions. Drying time is typically several hours.
Pour a small amount of paint onto the deck, then use the roller with a fresh sponge to cover an area with it. Continue to work section by section, again keeping the exit at your back. Be liberal with the paint, covering the deck with a thick coat, to avoid the need for a second coat.
Let the paint dry completely.
Pour a small amount of the clear sealant onto the deck, then apply it with a fresh sponge on the roller the same way you applied the primer and paint.
Let the sealant dry according to the package directions.