Top Tips For Looking After Timber Decking

Top Tips For Looking After Timber Decking
Timber decking has become a popular look and it looks great in many home’s gardens. But, it can become slippery, dirty and grimy after the winter. The surface of the timber is exposed to the elements, which leads to deterioration. But, you can keep your timber decking looks great with these easy maintenance tips.

Cleaning Your Decking

While there is a wide variety of timber decking in Melbourne or wherever you live, you can apply these cleaning tips to your decking.

– There are several preparations on the market to clean your deck with. Make sure you choose a reputable brand. Remember not to treat the deck or stain it without first cleaning it.

– You can use a weakened solution of trisodium phosphate with a little washing-up liquid to ensure a deep clean of your decking.

– Avoid using chlorine-based bleaches. It will help to get rid of mildew and algae, but it can break down the lignin, which holds the wood together.

– A weak concoction of citric acid can help to brighten up your greyed timber. It’s also a really safe way to clean the deck.

– Hydrogen peroxide is great for lightening up old timbers and is especially useful for older, darker decking.

– You can treat fungal growth with a general garden fungicide. This won’t lighten or clean your decking, but it can get rid of infestations.

– You can use a jet washer to clean your deck, but make sure it’s not a heavy-duty jet. Rather, use something smaller that has a wide fan jet. A powerful jet will leave a woolly finish on your timber, destroying the wood fibres.

Treating the Timber Decking

Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned your decking, you can then start thinking about long-term treatment to prolong the longevity and colouring of the deck.

Wood is made up of microscopic cells. Whether you have hardwood or softwood decking, the cells are empty. But, deck boards are a little different. They lay horizontal so that dust and dirt is more difficult to wash off.

Even though your decking has been treated during manufacturing, it still needs further treatment to improve stains. If you use a regular deck stain, it will just colour the surface area of your timber. It won’t fill up those cells, so dirt will still get into the spaces. You need a deck sealer to do the job, usually in the form of decking oil.

Apply decking oil in two coats with a soft-haired paint brush. This helps to spread the oil evenly and also acts as a sponge to mop up surplus oil.

Make sure you apply thin layers of oil and brush it in well to ensure there are no puddles or surplus left on the surface of your deck.

The first coat, if applied thinly, should dry within an hour in ideal weather. The second coat will further protect your timber and enhance the colour if you choose to use a tinted oil. If you do use a coloured oil, make sure it’s a lighter colour as it is easier to darken later on if you want to.

Typically, a 5 litre can of oil will cover 50 square metres of decking with two thin coats.

Take note of all the tips we’ve provided and ensure that your timber decking will last for years to come.