Timber deck maintenance is important all year to prevent splintering and splitting. Your decks are exposed to wind, rain and intense sunlight that can damage all wood decks and rails.
Here are our tips for routine deck maintenance.
Your deck does need to be cleaned and scrubbed once a year to remove excess dirt and debris. Use a light power wash or a garden hose with a firm nozzle. A heavy power wash can gouge the wood. A wood deck cleaning solution is recommended. Never clean the deck with chlorine bleach or other harsh chemicals.
Use a roller or sprayer to apply the solution to remove any mould and bacteria. A utility brush can be applied to any area of the deck or railings where you find a build-up of dirt and mould.
Keep a strong stream of water from your hose moving around the deck area to wash away the grime. Allow the deck to dry completely before restoring furniture. This may take up to 48 hours.
Stain the Deck
You can stain and seal the deck after a year or so of use. This is your decision based on how the deck and rails appear to you. You should only apply timber stain and sealer in dry weather after the deck has been washed.
You can sand the deck carefully with fine grit sandpaper to remove any bumps or spots before the sealer is applied. Synthetic sealers may give the deck the best sun protection while adding depth to the natural colour of the timbers.
Routine maintenance includes sweeping the deck to remove dirt, leaves and other debris. Sweep away puddles of water after a rainstorm. Water can penetrate even sealed timbers and attract the fungi that cause wood rot.
Keep synthetic pads or runners under furniture and your barbecue to prevent scratching the deck. Natural fibre throws and pads will absorb and hold in moisture that can penetrate the wood.
Check for Damage
Soft or “squishy” wood is an indication of wood rot. This section of a deck or rail must be replaced. Splintered or split wood can be repaired with certain products. The decision to replace or repair is based on the location of the splintered timbers and the extent of the damage. Replacement is a safer option for deck floors and railing.
Check railings frequently to make sure they are secure. Nails and other hardware may need replacing. Galvanized stainless steel hardware is always recommended.
Careful routine maintenance should keep your outside wood decks in good condition all year.