Wooden decking can deteriorate if it is not well looked after, it is susceptible to heavy footfall and the surface is exposed to the elements such as sun, rain and ice. When water pools on top it can expose the decking to rot, or it can discolour the wood. But don’t lose hope, there are a few things you can do to help extend your deckings lifespan, and regular decking cleaning is one of them.
- Don’t trap dirt
If you have plant pots or furniture on your decking it should be put on top of cement blocks. This prevents the plant pots from trapping soil, dirt and moisture between the bottom of the pot and the surface of the decking.
- Sweep it up and scrub it down
Your deck should be swept on a regular basis to prevent dirt or leaves building up, which can stain the surface of your wood. You might also want to give it a scrub as part of your decking cleaning efforts.
- Remove mold and mildew
Through winter the moisture on your decking can attract mold and mildew, especially between the boards and cracks. Mold and mildew removal should be part of your winter decking cleaning. There are many branded products you can buy for mold and mildew removal, in any regular hardware or DIY store.
- Paint with a timber treatments
A wood preservative is one of the most effective means of protecting your decking through the cold and wet period. Before applying any timber treatment, ensure the surface is dry and clean, and sand any areas of wood that have deteriorated. Once you have prepped the decking thoroughly, apply the treatment, ensuring it covers all cracks and gaps.
- Apply a water repellent seal
Following on from your timber treatment you might want to also apply a high quality water repellent seal. This will coat your decking and protect the surface from moisture and ice that can lead to damp if left untreated. This step might require the removal of prior finishes but the effort is worth the extra work.
If you Have Composite Decking
If you have composite decking you’ll be glad to know it requires far less maintenance. Your decking cleaning tasks are just to sweep it clear of branches and leaves, and give it a clean every now and then. Do not strip or sand your composite decking, as this will damage it.