Top Tips to Maintain Decking

Posted on: June 19th, 2019

Top Tips to Maintain Decking


Decking has been a popular feature for homes and gardens for many years now.

Offering lower maintenance than gardens, creating more usable space that feels like an extension of the home and often increasing the value of the home – what’s not to like?!

Though making a great feature in any type or size of garden, from modern landscaped to cottage style, decking does require upkeep.

Throughout the year, your decking will weather and change in appearance.

From general foot traffic and use to sunlight, rain and cold weather the wood will be attacked from all sides.

Commonly this can result in the following:

  • colour fade
  • moss and algae can build up
  • finishes can crack and peel
  • boards can loosen

The occasional bit of maintenance will ensure longevity and durability, keep decking looking as great as it did when first installed and make it safe.

Below are some handy tips on what to think about, perhaps at the beginning of spring and winter (when the greatest changes in weather are as these have the most impact) to keep your decking in tip top condition.


Tips on how to care for your decking


Treatments

If a specialist installed your decking, then check with them as some decking materials can be pressure treated – the timber is treated with preservatives.

Otherwise all new wood decking should be treated as soon as possible after install to prevent damage and ensure the maximum lifespan of the product.

You need to use a high-quality treatment that permeates into the wood, preventing the wood from being damaged (cracking/splitting) from excess moisture or water. Also consider protecting against insect damage.

A simple colour stain is not going to be enough to make your decking weatherproof.

Please take into consideration if your decking is hard wood or soft wood, real or composite!


Cleaning

Decking will change colour through the year with changes in light, temperature and moisture. It may grow some moss or even become dirty.

Decking cleaners are designed to work with wood stains, oils and paint and help to eliminate mould and algae for longer.

To clean your decking safely, use a professional decking cleaner and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to apply. Usually you will need to wait for a dry spell so that the wood can be cleaned, left to dry and re-treated over several days, without wet weather interfering.


To clean decking normally you would:

  • clear the decking of patio furniture, pots, BBQ’s etc
  • sweep/brush away debris
  • apply cleaner as directed on container
  • leave to dry
  • re-treat if necessary

CAUTION!

If you decide to use a pressure washer on your decking please take care, as this may cause significant damage to the wood. Test on a small unseen area initially to ensure you have the correct nozzle and setting to achieve the desired result.


Check the structure

Check all parts of your decking on a regular basis for signs of damage or wear. Catching problems early can save you money and time in the long run and ensure the area is still safe to use.

A few things to watch out for:

  • loose panels
  • loose or missing screws
  • signs of rot in posts, boards, steps (top & bottom)
  • how the deck feels to walk on – stability

Re-Finish

Once you have completed all the above, you can then consider re-staining, varnishing, applying oil or paint to your decking in a shade of your choice.


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