Page 6 - Discover Winter 2021
P. 6

Editor’s Note

                                                              By Tim Ernandes

         There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of       finishing it off with a highly recommended
      a job well done.                                        deck stain.

         What’s not so satisfying is to have to                  In another few years, there were more
      go back and do it again because of inferior             rotted boards, this time numbering quite a
      materials.                                              few, and it was a huge enterprise to replace
                                                              them. In a few places, the rot had eaten into
         Let me take you back 17 years. Jo-Ann
                                                              the joists, which I repaired as I went along.
      and I had our house built on our waterfront
                                                              Another generous coating of stain followed.
      lot. It was an exciting time for us, but we had
      to stay within our budget. That mean, among                At this point, one might wonder: Why
      other things, that although we have a walkout           hadn’t I used pressure treated lumber? That
      basement, we did not have the requisite deck            stuff is supposed to be rot free for 30 years.
      installed by our contractor. We balked at the           In point of fact, I HAD. However, I thought
      rather high price of $18,000 for a deck that            back to the time when I had originally built
      was barely large enough for a table and chairs.         my deck. It was shortly after the time when

                                                              the denizens of the ivory towers of the EPA
         Instead, we opted to have our back doors
                                                              had issued an edict: The original formula for
      temporarily barricaded, until such time as
                                                              pressure treated lumber had to change. It
      we could build our own deck. A few years
                                                              contained arsenic, and after so many years of
      later, we commissioned an architect to draw
                                                              successful use, it could no longer be produced.
      plans for a much larger two-level deck. I put
      my considerable skills to work, and brought                I remember all of this because it happened
      this masterpiece to life for a little more              right before I started building my deck,

      than $4000. It took me 6 months worth of                and I had to wait for the “new” formula to
      weekends, but I got it done, down to the last           be available. I was assured that it would be
      detail.                                                 equal or superior to the original. Some genius
                                                              in some other place had created this new
         It took less than 5 years for the first deck
      boards to show extensive signs of decay. They
      were very spongy in places, and many had ugly              When I placed the initial order for this
      cracks. I went to work, replacing the spongy            heralded breakthrough in green technology,

      ones, and then I power washed the entire deck,          pun intended, I was advised by the clerks

      4      Discover Smith Mountain Lake  WINTER 2020
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