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Now is the time to check the deck

As we write this blog we are enjoying a fine spell of early summer sunshine – and of course we all want to drop everything and lounge about in the sun but it’s also a good time to tackle some of those outdoor jobs you’ve put off until the sun started shining.

One such job is checking over your decking. As a leading online hardware store we sell a range of stains and finishes for decks and we’ve put together a few tips to help extend the life of your decking. You’ve probably already cleared down the deck. You may decide it is time to reseal the deck. As a guide carry out the water test:  splash some water onto the deck and if it beads up, all’s well. If it soaks in, it’s time to wash and reseal the deck.  There are lots of options available – from clear sealers to solid stains. The choice is down to personal taste and the overall look and feel of your garden but lighter stains are likely to require annual re-applications.

With a prolonged spell of good weather there is ample time to check the structure of the deck itself.  Particular attention should be to any areas close to the ground or close to sources of water, such as downspouts and planters. Check firstly for any signs of rot. Use a flat-blade screwdriver to probe these areas. Don’t forget to check any steps or stairs to as these can be vulnerable to damage and rot. If you can push your screwdriver a quarter-inch or so into any suspect area you may have rot.

Smaller areas of rot can be repaired using a wood preservative (check out our online hardware store for the great value preservatives) but larger rotted areas may need replacing – you’ll have to decide if that’s a DIY project or time to call in the professionals.

On the topside, look for cracked or rotten decking boards. Not all cracks are a structural threat, but they’ll get worse with time. If you find damage, replace the piece. Areas of cupping can be sanded down.

A few hours spent checking over all areas of your decking – topside and the underside – will help keep your decking a safe place and ensure it lasts for many long - and enjoyable – summers.

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