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Read our guide on maintaining your decking!

Here is our official guide on cleaning, restoring, refinishing and maintaining your wooden deck. This guide includes expert advice on protecting your decking against wood rot, how to acid wash your deck, and how to apply a finish to the decking.

After following these tips your decking will restore that new warming finish; providing your garden with maximal beauty.

Inspecting rot on a wood deck

If your decking was built of untreated redwood, cedar, or other wood, there is a higher risk of rot, especially if the wood is light-coloured sapwood than a dark-brown heartwood.

Examine the wood carefully to see if the boards are rotten. This may be difficult as most wood rot occurs in places that aren’t visible, such as under the decking boards, at the ledger, underside of stair treads, and so on.

If the rot is more than ½ inch deep, you will have to look at replacing the effected boards. Use a flat pry bar and carefully remove the rotten boards Replace them with rot-resistant wood. For any lose nails, remove them and replace them with longer nails, special decking nails, or decking screws.

If a rainfall has passed more than a day and your decking is still wet, take steps to see that you can dry is out. You may need to improvise with a leaf blower, or a broom in order to sweep away leaves and dirt from the boards. If you have a bush or tree covering parts of your decking, just simply trim them back.

Debris between the deck looks bad and soaks up lots of water. Avoid this and you’ll have a greater chance of avoiding rot. Use a putty knife or, perhaps a laminate scoring tool. Follow this by sweeping away all the dirt and debris.

How to wash a deck

First clean your deck, using a leaf blower and broom in order to remove all the debris of your deck, then wash away with water.

To clean a deck, you can purchase a commercial deck cleaner that removes milder, oxidation (greying), and dirt. The best ones will contain sodium percarbonate. Be sure to wear gloves and safety glasses when mixing the solutions.

Now, use a stiff fibre bristle brush on a broom-type handle, and thoroughly scrub the surface in line with the wood grain. Work in small sections and frequently rinse with clear water, then let the surface dry. This may be all that is needed to restore the woods natural tone.

If you own a larger deck, rent a power washer and adjust it to 600 to 800 psi pf pressure and rinse the decking. It should have a nozzle that fans an arc of about 25 to 40 degrees. Wearing safety googles, you should now hold the nozzle about 6 inches from the surface and spray slowly and steadily in line with the wood grain. However, remember not to get too close of stay in one place for too long. The powerful spray is possible to erode soft wood grain. Now you should leave the deck for several days to dry before applying any type of finish.

Restore the wood

Use a commercial deck restoration product to remove aged, grey wood from the surface and revive the wood original state. Oxalic-acid based products, often found in “deck brighteners,” remove greyed surface fibres from wood and the dark tannin stains that can occur in redwood and cedar decks.

An acid based deck restoration product is most appropriate. You can purchase a pre-mixed oxalic acid deck cleaner or buy oxalic acid crystals and follow their directions of use.

How to finish a wood desk

After your decking is finally clean and completely dry, check to see if it needs to be sealed. This can be examined by spraying a few droplets of water on to the deck. If the wood doesn’t bead up and instead soaks straight in, the deck needs to be sealed.

You can consult us in order to choose the finish best suited to the lumber used to build your deck. It should contain either oil of paraffin to keep moisture from soaking in. It should also have UV blockers or pigment, in order to keep the rays from turning your deck grey.

You can select a semi-transparent stain, opaque stain, clear sealer, or paint. In most cases, the best finished soak into the wood.

An oil/alkyd finish protects your wood the best, however water-based finished are easer to apply and clean up. Again follow the directions of application and apply the finish in line with the wood grain, using a pad or brush. After following these steps, you’ll have a durable decking that’ll provide years of beauty.

Here at Thompson and Parkes, we have all the resources and equipment needed to maintain your decking. Pop into our store today or alternatively call 01562 745881 for any help.

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