Decking Maintenance Best Practices
Just like the inside of your home, the outside of your house needs plenty of maintenance. This is especially true if you have a decking area and it is important that you understand best practices when it comes to maintaining your deck. Decking can quickly lose its appeal after harsh weather or a length of time left uncared for, which is why regular maintenance is so important in maintaining both aesthetic & functionality. To ensure you give your timber flooring the proper attention it deserves, read this quick guide on getting the most out of your deck.
At the very least you have to ensure that you are cleaning your decking on a bi-annual basis, preferably when the climate is dry and warm. The tools you’ll need for this are a garden hose, a suitable deck-cleaning solution and a brush. Cleaning the deck will ensure that you get rid of any mould and bacteria that has built up in-between the decking and it will prevent weeds and moss from taking root. A pressure washer can be a tempting tool here and it will certainly get rid of all the grime, unfortunately it can also gouge the wood if used incorrectly, so be sure to check the type of wood and pressure washer you are using before cleaning. Finally, remember to cover any nearby shrubs or plants before starting as the chemicals in deck cleaners can kill foliage.
Sealing the Deck
Sealing the deck should be done every 2/3 years, you could do it annually if you wish, but this can get expensive and it is a large job to have to do every single year. When you are buying a stain or sealant, be sure that you get the right one for the wood which you have used for the deck, rather than opting for an all-purpose stain. For example, certain hardwoods like merbau decking require different types of decking oil compared to other woods to achieve maximum protection. Prior to sealing the deck be sure to sand it down and get rid of any splinters which have appeared, and make sure that it is a dry day, so that the sealant will have the chance to sink into the wood.
Beyond making sure that your decking is clean and well protected, it is also important that you carry out small, day-to-day tasks to ensure that your deck stays at its best. For example, if there has been a spot of rain and water is sitting on the decking, grab a brush and sweep it off as it can absorb into the wood, which can cause mould & bacteria to form between & within the wood. On top of this, any repairs which need to be made should be done as soon as possible. A small crack in wood can very quickly become a much bigger issue if ignored, so be sure not to put it off to avoid unnecessary costs down the track.
Decking can last for a very long time, but only if you make sure that you are doing all that you can to maintain it. Be sure to follow these steps to have a deck that will last you for years to come.