How to Look After Your Decking
It is often in the springtime when we realise that the winter months have not been kind to our decking but don’t worry – it’s very easy to get the decking looking as good as new again – so that you can once again enjoy an outdoor lifestyle in the summer.
In this blog, we will go through some simple steps on how to keep your decking at its best and talk about how you can use the different Furniture Clinic products to help you along.
Looking after your Decking in seven steps
This photo shows the before and after image of a deck that has been cleaned
Here are seven quick steps on how to maintain your decking with further tips and questions that you should be thinking about below. Clear the deck of all plants and garden furniture.
- Clear the deck of all plants and garden furniture.
- Check the condition of your decking. Look out for mould etc and if there is a need to replace or tighten any boards.
- Brush the decking to clean off all debris with a stiff broom.
- Apply Furniture Clinic Decking Cleaner on a warm day and ideally leave it for a few days to dry thoroughly. Make sure you always scrub in the direction of the wood.
- Replace any damaged boards.
- Treat your decking with our Clear Decking Oil or Decking Stain and leave to dry for a few days. Use the oil if you want to preserve the woods natural look but use the stain if you want to introduce a colour.
- Once dry, re-position all garden furniture and plants.
Why should Decking be cleaned and treated?
If installed and maintained properly decking can last for a good 10-15 years. Decking should be cleaned and treated regularly, which will save you money in the long run.
When should you treat Decking?
Decking should be treated in spring, summer or early autumn when day and night temperatures are consistently above 8 degrees centigrade. Avoid very hot days when the treatment can dry too quickly and not be fully absorbed into the wood.
With new decking, treat untreated decking immediately but, with decking that has been pre-treated, you should wait up to six months before you apply any treatment. Or clean it first with the Decking Cleaner to remove any treatment.
With existing decking that has previously been treated, you can clean off any finishes with a pressure washer before applying our Clear Decking Oil or Decking Stain – but do check on a small area first that the pressure washer does not damage the wood. In some instances, you may need to apply a specialist wood finish remover.
How often should Decking be treated?
If your decking is in a heavy use area or a damp, shady spot then it may need treating more regularly as the boards will be more prone to rot.
Typical decking problems include:
- Decking can turn grey due to UV damage and water infiltrating the timbers
- Mould, moss or algae can make the decking slippery and dangerous
- Previous treatments have started to wear off, crack or flake
We recommend that you should treat your decking with an oil or stain every year.
How do you clean Decking?
These photos show how the Decking Cleaner prepares decking prior to treatment
Before applying decking oils and stains, the decking needs to be cleaned. We do not recommend using any household detergents or bleaches as they may affect the absorption of the oils and stains that are later applied. Just use our Decking Cleaner and a stiff brush to remove dirt, grease and green staining from the decking and restore the wood to its original colour. The Decking Cleaner will penetrate the wood and kill any spores to ensure that any mould does not grow back again.
Once cleaned, the decking should ideally be allowed to dry for a few days in dry, warm conditions before applying any treatments.
How do you treat Decking?
We sell two types of treatment for your decking depending on the look you wish to achieve.
Our Clear Decking Oil will enhance the natural colour and grain of the timber. It nourishes the wood and contains UV filters so will help protect against sun damage. Make sure you apply two coats and leave at least four hours between coats to enable the oil to dry. Apply each time your decking starts to look weathered; at least once a year but we recommend it is applied before and after winter if your decking is subject to a lot of rain and wet leaves.
These photos show how our Decking Oil can be used on all types of timber decking
As it is oil-based, our Decking Stain will both nourish and colour the wood to a desired shade. The stain is transparent in colour allowing the natural grain to show through, but it will also protect against UV rays and repel rain. Apply every year to ensure your decking maintains its chosen look; just one coat is needed as it is a highly concentrated formula.
Our Decking Stain comes in a range of 3 colours, including this Red Cedar shown in the photo
On-going maintenance of your Decking
Thanks to our British weather, decking can get slippery and fade over time. Each year, you should check the condition of your decking and if any replacement boards are needed. All bolts, screws and any other connections should be checked regularly and tightened if needed.
Throughout the summer, you should also give it a quick brush with a stiff broom and a regular clean with warm water. If the dirt and grime does not shift, then this is when we recommend using our Decking Cleaner. Then once a year, you should treat your decking with a Decking Oil or Decking Stain.
Find out more about Decking maintenance
If you would like to find out more about how to care for your decking, check out these previous blog posts: