The summer months are the idyllic time of the year for relaxing with friends and family in the comfort of our own gardens. There is nothing better than sitting back with an ice cold drink under the comfort of a summer’s sky. Not everyone will be lucky enough to have their own garden but for those that do, now is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of it. Gardens come in many different styles and layouts; one popular area for many people is a decking patio. Decking is the perfect area in the garden to make your focal point. With decking getting so much use, it is imperative to keep it well maintained in order to use it for many more years to come. Below is some tips & advice to keep your decking in tip top condition.
Cleaning may seem like the most obvious thing but you would be surprised how many people neglect to do it. Cleaning your decking is the most cost effective way of maintaining its longevity. The first thing you need to do is remove any debris, moss or mould that may have formed on top of the decking. Simply get a stiff brush and sweep away all the debris, repeat until the deck is clear. It is then a good idea to wash down your decking using a hose pipe or pressure washer. You then need some bleach, water and a bucket. It is always best to use oxygen bleach as this is environmentally friendly and will not harm any of the nearby plants or wildlife. Simply mix the bleach with water according to the ratio on the back of the bottle. Scrub the mixture into the wood with the brush until you can see a noticeable change. Leave the bleach on for around 15 – 20 minutes and wash off with the hose pipe or pressure washer.
If the decking is older and not in the best of conditions this may require a more complex solution to remove the debris before you start cleaning. One way of doing this is by using the Ronseal decking stripper. It basically works by removing the old coatings and provides reviving properties leaving the deck looking new and ready to be refinished. Try and clean the decking every couple of months, it doesn’t take long and could save you a small fortune in replacing your decking.
You will have heard the saying preparation is better than the cure, this is very important for decking. Protecting your decking from the get go, is the best way to protect it form the unpredictable British weather. Even if your decking isn’t new it would be recommended to coat the decking with some good quality stain such as the Ronseal decking stain. Always follow the instructions on the back of the tin and coat the paint as recommended. It is very important to do one to two coats on a yearly basis. Using decking stain is a very critical factor. Not only does it make the decking look fantastic, it also provides important UV filters, water resistance and protects against knocks and scuffs.
The wrath of winter:
It goes without saying that the worst time of a year for potential damage to any garden is winter. This is when the decking will be at its most vulnerable and therefore actions need to be taken. You may not want to venture into your garden in winter, but you still need to keep on top of your cleaning. Most decking will be combined with furniture, it is always a good idea to move furniture into a garage or shed. If this is not possible cover the furniture with a protective sheet. Also if you do not plan on using your decking in the winter it’s a great idea to cover it will a thick protective sheet. Simply place on top of the decking and secure down to prevent movement in strong winds.
So there you have it, some simple steps you can follow to help maintain decking. Decking is an investment that needs to be taken care of, for all your friends and family to enjoy for many years.