Caring For Your Deck
Care and maintenance of your deck is essential to protect it from the damaging effects of moisture and the sun. Regular cleaning and oiling will help protect the timber from the damage done by ultraviolet light, protect it from the weather, remove mold and bacteria, and it will also stop the timber prematurely cracking and aging. browse around here
Sweeping and cleaning your deck regularly will help reduce the build up of dirt and grime. Also, oiling your deck every few months will protect your deck from the elements and keep it looking vibrant. You’ll know that it’s time to oil the deck as it will be losing the lustre it had after the last oil as well as generally looking a bit tired.
Before treating your deck, it should be thoroughly cleaned of dirt and grime. You can use a stiff broom and bucket with sugar soap, which is free of chlorine or bleach (in strong concentrations, bleach can prematurely damage wood). If your deck has a lot of stains that sugar soap won’t remove, a few things can be done…
Try pressure washing the deck with a small to medium sized pressure washer. (Do a patch test first but make sure it’s gentle or it will damage the wood fibers.)
You can also try lightly sanding the affected area with a medium grade sandpaper. (A light sandpaper will prevent the oil soaking in to the timber.)
Alternatively, you can use a deck cleaning product such as Spa-N-Deck or Cabot’s Deck Cleaner. Both products use Oxalic acid to strip back the aging timber and return the wood to its former glory.
Note: Using a pressure washer or a deck cleaning product is usually a lot less time consuming than sanding the entire deck, but sanding works well for smaller areas and deep stains.
Once clean, wait for your deck to completely dry before applying any oil or stain.
The next thing to do is to decide whether you want to use stain or oil. We think that if the timber still retains its natural colour, it’s best just to oil it. We use Cabot’s Natural Deck Oil which has a little pigment in it that seems to make the timber a bit livelier.
There are a range of products out there that are equally as good as Cabot’s so don’t be afraid to try something else out.
As for staining, this is usually done when the timber is quite tired and grey or you want to change the colour of the deck. There are a huge range of colours and products to choose from, and so as long as you stick to the good brands like Cabot’s, Spa & Deck or Haymes you usually can’t go wrong.
When staining or oiling your deck, be careful not to apply too much product – you don’t want to get surface film on the wood when what you’re really going for is penetration. It’s best to apply the product along the length of each board keeping a wet edge so as to avoid overlapping.
Using an application pad with a handle makes application of the product much easier, but a paint brush or roller can also be used. Usually, 2-3 applications are required.