Posted on: 29 November 2017Share
After having timber decking installed outside your home, you want to ensure you're doing everything you can to keep it in good repair and looking its best. High-quality timber and a quality sealant will help to protect that timber and ensure it always looks new, but you will still need to regularly maintain the deck and make needed repairs if you want it to last and always be ready for entertaining. Note a few tips for maintaining a timber deck and for keeping it looking its best over the years.
It's never good to allow leaves, twigs, and other debris to sit on the deck, and especially after a rainfall. These items are usually damp and will hold moisture against the wood, which can lead to early rot and other such damage.
To keep the deck dry and clean it easily, invest in a good leaf blower. A leaf blower will make quick work of removing all that debris, including anything that may be sitting in cracks and crevices between slots, while also drying out the deck. Use the leaf blower on the deck as soon as the rain stops, and be sure to reach areas you might overlook, such as under the stairs, around the columns and posts, and where the deck connects to the house.
Check the deck for loose or rusted connectors; don't simply tap or screw them back into place, but remove and replace them with new connectors that will be stronger and which will hold the timber slats together more readily. Invest in deck screws or special decking nails rather than standard screws or bolts, as these will resist rust and won't splinter or chip the wood when they're installed.
Removing rotted areas
Inspect your timber deck often for rot, and especially at the beginning of the summer season, after the deck has been exposed to winter snow and ice. If the rotted area is very small, you can usually dig it out with a knife and then fill in that area with wood putty or another material meant for decking. If the rot has gone through the deck slat, it's time to replace it, or the slat may easily crack and break.
Be sure you understand the difference between rot and mould or mildew, as you can scrub away mould or mildew that has collected on the deck. If you scrub the exposed area and still notice damaged wood, this means that the timber is rotted and needs repair or replacement.