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HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR DECKING DURING THE WINTER SEASON

Category: Decking
Published:


 

After enjoying your decking throughout the summer, catching some sun, cooking up some nice food on the BBQ and entertaining friends, some maintenance is likely required before the worst of the weather sets in. Biting winds, heavy rainfall and freezing temperatures are just around the corner. It’s time to get prepared and find out how you can take care of your decking over the coming months to ensure it’s in tip-top condition and ready for another season of use.

Clear Debris

Autumn and winter can both bring debris. High winds collect fallen leaves, twigs, moss and rubbish, and these can end up forming piles on top of your decking. If left, the organic material can begin to rot down, eventually creating a mulch. This can then penetrate the wood and cause it to rot. Once or twice a month, grab an outdoor broom and sweep up any debris from the decking area and pop it in your composter or garden bin.



Remove Any Planters or Seating

If you have heavy-weight planters or seating, it is advised that you remove them from the decking and put them in storage. If they are left out, it can create damp spots on the decking, underneath where they are placed. This can increase the build-up of moisture in a particular area of the decking, which, in turn, can cause rot. 



Thoroughly Clean

We recommend thoroughly cleaning your decking throughout the winter. You can either do this using a chemical formula that quickly gets to work and doesn’t require too much work from you. But these cleaning solutions can be damaging to your plants so be sure to cover them up with some sort of plastic protection. Alternatively, if you don’t want to use chemicals, a pressure washer, stiff wire brush and some elbow grease may be enough for accumulated dirt. 

Keeping the decking surface dirt-free is important, and a good preventative of deterioration.



Paint with Timber Treatment

Wood preservatives are one of the best ways of ensuring the longevity of your decking. Before applying, check whether the surface is clean and dry, you should also remove any existing wood stain or paint. If there are any parts of the decking that have begun deteriorating, then always sand back to a better-quality surface. When you have prepared the area sufficiently, apply the decking oil or stain using a brush, ensuring it covers all of the gaps and cracks.

Oils often come in natural colours or clear and enhance the natural appearance of your wood. Decking oils soak deeply into the wood and penetrate the grain to provide protection from the inside out. This prevents the wood from cracking, splitting or warping and should keep your wood nourished and healthier for longer.

Oil is also really durable and is easy to maintain, you just need to keep it clean and touch it up every now and then. It’s very resistant to dirt and water so doesn’t require much upkeep at all.

Decking stains are similar to varnish and are available in a variety of colours.

Unlike oils, decking stains essentially seal the timber from weather instead of penetrating deeply into the wood. It provides the same level of protection against the weather and helps to prevent rot.

Stains are also really durable against footfall. They create a tough layer over the top of the wood so they can cope with a lot of footfall. However, this layer can become slippery when wet.



Apply Water Repellent

Around three days to a week after applying timber treatment, we recommend applying a water repellent which will help improve the life expectancy of your decking. Following application, the wood is protected from moisture, which in turn, prevents the wood from decay. If left untreated, water will collect in gaps or cracks, eventually penetrating the wood. Once it has entered, it’s likely to get trapped there and begin to cause rot. 





Caring for a Composite Deck

One of the main benefits of composite decking is that it requires less maintenance than the timber alternative. That’s very clear around this time of year, when timber needs a little more care than composite decking. To keep your composite deck looking its best, you just need to keep it free from leaves and branches and clean the deck. You do not need to strip or sand it (this will damage the surface of your decking) – just use a suitable decking cleaner and consider it done!



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