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Caring for your decking throughout the year

Decking is now a popular feature in most gardens with the garden product industry now being worth more than £4 billion, more and more of us are spending as much of our hard earned cash on the outside of our homes as well as the inside. Decking, if cared for and maintained, can offer a real splash of colour to your garden and makes for a great feature in any style of garden, from modern to a more traditional garden. However, for most of us, nobody ever really explains how or why we need to maintain our decking and with many of us making our decking a DIY project, we were not fortunate enough to receive professional advice on aftercare. Well, for those of you who need some advice, we have just the right set of tips for you!

Tips on how to care for your decking

Throughout the year, you decking will need various maintenance done to ensure longevity and durability, but also to ensure that it stays looking as great as it did originally. If you follow these handy tips, you won't find yourself with a mammoth job each year to restore your decking back to life.

  • Treatments - If a specialist installed your decking then check with them, but all new wood decking should be treated as soon as possible after install. You need to use a high quality treatment that permeates into the wood, preventing the wood from being damaged by excess moisture or water. A simple colour stain is not going to be sufficient enough to make your decking weatherproof.
  • Cleaning - Decking will change colour through the year with changes in light, temperature and moisture. It may grow some moss or even become dirty. To clean your decking safely, use a professional decking cleaner and follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to apply. Normally, the cleaner is applied, left to work, then broomed thoroughly before being hosed off and re-treated if necessary. Do NOT use a pressure hose on your decking as this may cause significant damage to the wood.
  • Check structure - Check your decking all round on a regular basis for any loose panels or missing screws. Often these kinds of issues are not noticed until it is too late.
  • Re-varnish or stain - Once you have completed all of the above, you can then consider re-staining or varnishing your decking in a wood shade of your choice.

What will happen if you don't maintain your decking

If you choose not to maintain your decking with protection and regular cleaning, then it is not likely to last very long at all. Over time, the colour of the wood will fade and it will even become discoloured, leaving it looking very tired and unattractive. You could also have an accident, if you don't check that each of the wooden panels is in a safe and sturdy condition. When moss grows on decking, it does force the decking to become slippy when wet, making it a health and safety nightmare. Regular maintenance is well worth the hassle and costs very little compared to what a new deck may cost you in the end.