Decks are comfortable, relaxing places to spend time outside, and are an extension of your home. Natural timber decks look great with any style of home, while composite decks (a combination of plastic and timber) are long-lasting and simple to maintain.
However, your deck’s durability might be compromised by prolonged exposure to the outdoors. The sun’s rays may fade the finish and cause the timber to dry out, while wet weather can cause warping, “cupping”, and decay over time. Decks need regular maintenance in order to last and continue looking great.
Follow these easy and affordable maintenance guidelines for your deck this summer and you’ll have a gorgeous outside place to show off all season long.
Maintain a Schedule of Regular Deck Cleaning
Maintaining your deck’s original look may be accomplished with regular, simple cleaning tasks like sweeping or blowing away dirt once a week. Natural elements like leaves and dirt should not be allowed to accumulate on timber decks, as doing so might cause premature deterioration.
Clean your deck at least once a year with plain water and your pressure washer (or a stiff broom and your hose!).
We do not recommend using bleach products to clean your deck as these will cause the timber to “whiten” and compromise the fibre of the timber.
Oxalic acid-based products are recommended, but only if your deck needs major rejuvenation. These products strip the deck of the top grade fibres, exposing the natural timber colour beneath.
When is the best time to clean a brand-new timber deck? It is recommended that you thoroughly deep clean your deck once every 12 months. General cleaning is always necessary, but it’s especially important after any spills that might leave stains or attract pests.
Maintain fixings and repair damage
Once the deck has been thoroughly cleaned, you should inspect it for damage. Look for sagging, rotting, or fractured boards. These should be replaced as soon as possible.
Nails and screws may loosen as timber expands and contracts over time. If this happens, replace or re-attach them as necessary.
Check to see that any joists are structurally safe.
Seal it To Keep it Safe
The deck must be thoroughly cleaned and dried before any sealer is applied.
Decks that have been sealed are less likely to suffer damage from drying out, rotting, and warping. As an added bonus, it prevents water from penetrating the underlying surfaces.
There are several deck-sealing solutions available, but if your property gets a lot of direct sunshine, you should choose a high-build sealer or apply 3 coats of deck sealant. If your deck is not constantly exposed to the elements, you should not need to apply a sealant more than every 3 years. For decks that are exposed to the elements, this will need to be done more frequently.
Staining or sealing a composite deck is advised where you may be using a barbecue or if the deck is in an area prone to spills, as composite decking is a porous product and therefore may still absorb fats and oils.
The addition of a deck to your house may increase its resale value and the amount of time you spend enjoying your backyard. It is important to remember that, like any area of your house, decks also require regular maintenance to look their best.
Throughout the year, decks are subjected to the elements. It’s especially important to keep an eye out for wear and UV damage/fading on decks.
Since the base of most composite deck boards is a combination of timber and synthetics, composite decking requires less rigorous upkeep than timber.