Deck Maintenance Guide

Posted by Greg Parkins on

Varnishing Decking

Having decked areas can look good but older style composite and wooden decks can take a lot of effort to maintain. If they’re not maintained they can end up looking worn, tired and old. Not to worry though, if your decking is looking a bit worse for wear this can usually be rectified and restored in no time.

Common issues with composite and wooden decking

  • Loss of natural colour
  • Build up of moss, mould or mildew (leads to slippery decking)
  • Deck that is cracking, peeling and flaking off

Top decking maintenance tips

Before starting maintenance on your decking, you need to work out and understand what needs doing. This will vary from person to person and the condition of their decking. If the decking has soaked up too much sun, it will need a treatment that keeps the wood protected and nourished and contains UV filters. If the decking is in an overshadowed area surrounded by trees, it may need protection from mould and algae due to the damp conditions.

How to clean composite and wooden decking

Before protecting your decking, you need to make sure it is clear of any debris or stains. This can easily be done by sweeping with a stiff brush until the decking is clear. If the decking needs a more intense clean to remove additional dirt build up, we recommend using a hose pipe or pressure-washer. Make sure your decking is fully dry before moving onto the protection process.

Decking protection

If you want to keep your decking looking the best it can possibly be, we recommend protecting your decking once a year. Decking protector, decking stain and decking oil are the three main types of products used for protection.

Decking protector absorbs into the water which creates a clear and waterproof layer. Decking stain comes in different colours and this will weather-proof the wood. Decking oils will replace the woods natural oils and leaves a subtle colour. Having these protective layers will not only make the decking weatherproof, it will look its best and be protected from knocks and scuffs. Make sure to not use a thick layer of oil, as this will take longer to dry.

Sealing decking 

Make sure to seal the deck once it is dry. Be aware, some sealants do stain which leaves a coloured tint to the decking. Sealant can be brushed on, rolled on with a paint roller, or sprayed on. Spraying is the quickest way but is hard to control, make sure to cover any plants in the surrounding area as sealant can be damaging for them. A good quality sealant will contain ultraviolet sunlight protection to reduce the damaging effects of the sun.

Do’s & don’ts of decking maintenance 

  • DO clean the deck thoroughly every year.
  • DO cover any nearby bushes or plants.
  • DO sand your decking before cleaning.
  • DO clean your decking at routine intervals.
  • DO check for any damages regularly.
  • DON’T overuse the power washer.
  • DON’T use chlorine bleach to clean the deck.
  • DON’T use paint as a sealant.

Even if you have low maintenance decking, you still need to give your decking some TLC every once in a while.

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