As we are well and truly into the summer months, customers may be looking into garden improvements, including putting up new decking or treating their current outdoor lounging area to a seasonal facelift. Use our step-by-step guide to preparing, treating and maintaining decking.
If the decking isn’t in the greatest shape and requires cleaning, it is worth making it clear that this stage must be undertaken at least 24 hours prior before applying for the chosen protection as the wood needs time to dry out completely. The level of cleaning and preparation will depend on a number of factors such as the age of the decking, its general condition, previous treatments and also the time of year when the work is to be undertaken. You may find that some boards may need to be replaced which could lead to some colour variation and is worth considering.
In the case of using a pressure washer, it should be placed on the lowest setting to prevent the deck boards being damaged and the need for unnecessary replacements. An application of deck-stripper chemical may be required if any traces of previous finishes remain.
Treating New Decking
In the case of the decking being a new installation, the customer should be advised to wait for a period of around six months before applying any protective or decorative layers to the wood. This ensures the wood has completely dried out.
Where the decking has been installed for some time and the customer wishes to change the type of finish, then any previously applied paint or stain needs to be completely removed to reveal the base wood surface.
When deciding how to apply the chosen finish it will be up you to decide the best course of action. Most will opt for a brush combination, such as the Performance Timbercare Brush, and rollers, such as the Perfection Long Pile Roller and the ergonomic extension pole. While a pad can be useful where the decking surface has grooves, or when applying stain or oil. Each application should be allowed to dry completely before adding a further layer.
In all cases, caution should be exercised and surrounding areas, including any plants, should be covered to avoid paint splashes.
Maintenance, of course, depends on what the customer is happy to take on themselves - the customer should be advised that paint will provide long-term protection to the decking while staining or oiling would require more frequent maintenance intervals.
In all cases, the customer should be advised that in order to maintain the decking in pristine condition it should receive attention twice per year. The decking should be prepared for summer and then again for winter so as to provide maximum protection.
Upon completion of the process, awareness of how to maintain a top-class decking in a health condition can improve the lifespan of their decking. Regular sweeping of fallen leaves and debris will prevent staining or damage. Any dirt should be washed off with a mild cleaning solution and brush.
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