BInformed— The BRural Blog

Caring for a Timber Deck

Posted on March 22 2017

in Hardware and Trade, Landscape and Garden

A deck is a great way of extending your living space and spending more time outside, as well as increasing the value of you home. They do however require regular maintenance to retain their condition. Wooden decks in particular require a regular cycle of maintenance.  Failure to do so will cause your timber deck to discolour and the surface will become rough and prone to splinters. A poorly maintained timber deck is also susceptible to mould, which can make the surface slippery and therefore dangerous. This may lead to the onset of rot. Treating and sealing your timber deck will prevent all this and preserve your investment.

Signs of deterioration on a wooden deck include fading, cracking and splintering.

Why Decks Need Maintaining

The three main reasons decks degenerate are because of:

  1. Sunlight – ultra violet rays break down the bonds between wood cells, particularly on the surface
  2. Moisture – water seeps into the wood and causes it to expand and crack when it dries
  3. Insects – try choose a wood that is naturally resistant or ensure your timber is pressure treated with an appropriate sealant

Approximately once a year, your deck should be thoroughly cleaned, and resealed or restained. Cleaning involves the removal of dirt, algae, moss, and other organic matter.  Resealing is accomplished by applying a clear or semi-clear liquid sealant to all exposed surfaces.  This will ensure that the wood retains its colour and condition.

Cleaning and Resealing the Deck

Follow these simple steps to ensure your deck has maximum longevity:

Sweep the deck of all large visible debris. Check carefully for loose boards and nails that stick up. Make any necessary repairs. Also examine all areas where deck boards come into contact with any joists, or any point that comes into contact with the ground.  These areas are particularly susceptible to moisture damage. If the deck has been neglected you might need to sand the timber before resealing it.  This is especially true if a film coating has been previously used, as they require a clean surface to bond onto.

Clean the deck by hosing it down with an appropriate cleaning solution.  Many solutions contain bleach or other harmful chemicals, so ensure this does not come into contact with any children, pets and plants in the area.  The deck should then be scrubbed and rinsed.

Once the deck is dry a sealant can be applied.  Sealant can be brushed, rolled or sprayed on.  Good quality sealants such as Wattyl’s range of oils and stains contain ultra-violet sunlight protection to reduce the damaging effects of the sun.  Oils penetrate the wood, whilst film coatings form a layer on top of the wood.  Oils need to be reapplied every six to 12 months, depending on environmental conditions such as exposure to sunlight, heat and water.  Film coatings usually last longer and only need to be reapplied every 12 to 18 months.

Allow the sealant to dry.  Products vary on the amount of coats, but up to three coats of sealant may be needed to fully protect exposed timber.

If your deck needs attention come in and speak to us at Brural about the options for restoring its condition.

Deck before pressure cleaning

Deck after pressure cleaning










Decking oil applied



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