Hi all, This is my first post and have read many decking related advice given on this site. I will tell you my situation. I currently have a 5 year old 90mm merbau deck approx 5M x 5M. 80% of the deck is undercover in an alfresco room and the remaining 20% is open to the elements. I had the original deck built by a qualified carpenter and the advice given to me was to use Sikkens 'Cetol Deck' on the merbau. I was told to apply the first cost straight away without allowing the timber to weather and then apply 2 more coats 24hrs apart. I have since been told and learnt that this is incorrect and that I should have let the merbau weather for approx 2-4 months and then wash it down with a deck cleaner/wash, let it dry thoroughly before applying one coat of Sikkens HLS (stain), then 2 coats of Sikkens 'Cetol Deck'. Mind you, the deck still looks great but my wife and I really want 140mm merbau that is screwed down as opposed to nailed as some of the nails are lifting and some of the current 90mm merbau is splitting near the nails. Here is my problem.........I have been told that I should not rip up the 90mm merbau as the holes in the joists could cause issues later.
A few questions for anyone who is interested:
1) Will these holes in the joists be a problem later down the track?
2) Besides the cost, are there any issues with removing existing 90mm merbau in replace of 140mm?
3) What screws do you recommend for the 140mm merbau?
4) What is the most agreed weathering time for merbau? 2,4,6 months?
5) Is there a better product than Sikkens available as it just has a great sealing type smooth finish that some other oils and products don't have?
6) I am in the Malvern East area so anyone know where I can get 140mm merbau at a good price as Bunnings sell it for $5.95/M?
I would really appreciate your replies and advice.