How To Maintain Your Deck
If you’re lucky enough to have a timber deck, you already know the great benefits it offers for entertaining and relaxing. To get the most out of your deck, you’ll need to stay on top of regular deck maintenance.
While this might seem like a hassle, it is essential for minimising timber degradation, which can lead to far more headaches down the track. With just a little care and elbow grease, you can keep your deck looking its best and functioning as a safe, comfortable living zone for years to come.
How to maintain a deck
It’s normal to have leaves, dirt and other debris continually showing up on your deck. But if you leave organic matter to accumulate, it will eventually decompose and start causing the timber boards to rot. Avoid this by sweeping off your deck weekly.
This is also a good opportunity to check for things like cracked wood or loose nails. Staying on top of deck repair as small issues arise will keep the need for major reconstructions to a minimum.
Annual deep cleaning
In addition to day-to-day upkeep, you should be giving your deck an annual deep clean. This is essential for washing off foreign matter from the wood and removing any mould and mildew. You’ll need a suitable timber deck cleaning solution suited to the decking material.
Wash this solution over the boards with a wet mop, leave for 20 minutes, then scrub with the grain using a hard bristle brush. Alternatively, skip the elbow grease by using a power washer. Finish with a thorough hose-down.
After the deck has dried off, it’s a good idea to sand the timber. This creates a regular, smooth surface, which is important for ensuring that any sealers you apply absorb properly and can do their job.
Sanding a deck is best done with a belt sander, with the edges touched up using a finishing sander.
Finish with a sealer
Applying a sealer helps prevent cracking, splitting and rotting by protecting the timber from the elements. Depending which one you use, sealers increase the timber’s resistance to heat and UV rays, and have a waterproofing effect.
Deck oiling can be done with either water based or non-water based oils. These give similar results in terms of protection, with the main difference being that non-water based oils tend to leave the wood a slightly darker shade.
If you desire to protect the timber while updating its colour, this can be done with deck staining. If you are staining your deck, you can skip the oiling because it works as a sealer. Don’t use a stain if you want to keep the colour of the wood.
- Painting a deck is another option for sealing, and can be a good choice if you’re keen to significantly change the colour. Properly applied and maintained, it gives long-lasting and colourfast results.
- If your deck is already painted, skip the sanding and sealing, but keep an eye out for chipped or worn paint that may need to be fixed.
- Decks made of composite materials (a mix of wood and plastic) are more weather resistant, and generally don’t require sealing. This makes them lower maintenance.
Get the right advice
Park Road Timber & Hardware has everything you need to maintain your deck, from cleaners and oils to expert advice on which products are right for your needs.