Decks can be victims of neglect over the colder months, but any time is a good time to renew them to their former glory – even when it’s cold.
If you don’t fancy calling in the professionals, but you’re pretty handy, here are some tips on what to do before you pick up your sander and paint brush.
- First things first – inspect the deck for rot, mould, cracks, and broken or loose timber. If rot is more than 1cm deep it may indicate extensive damage and may need to be replaced. Remove and replace any loose or rusty nails and screws
- Commit to repairs – just like any health problem, the longer you leave it the worse it gets; don’t leave anything left untreated. Catch the signs early and rectify them as soon as possible to avoid costly repairs later on
- Ensure your deck can dry out completely to reduce mould growth. Faster drying can be promoted by placing boards at an angle
- Clean away dirt, debris and leaves from visible areas including between boards, the space where the deck meets the house and underneath the deck, if possible
- Remove mildew and algae using a decking cleaner suitable to the type of decking material you have, rinse, brush, or water blast, away
- If your deck has been subjected to heavy foot traffic and strong sunlight it might be a good idea to re-stain or re-oil
- After cleaning, ensure the area is thoroughly dry before sealing, staining or painting
- Stained decks require an additional coat every 12 – 18 months followed by regular, light-cleaning maintenance each season.