We’re now in full swing of summer and for many of us that means outdoor entertaining or just enjoying your prized outdoor space all for yourself.  So, how’s your timber deck, is it looking pretty and well protected?

Whether your timber deck is exposed directly to the elements or even if it’s undercover, the harsh summer climates we’re served up here across Australia will take their toll.  Whether it’s the crazy summer rains we’ve had or the hot sun of an Australian summer, maintaining your deck will not only protect it, making it a more attractive and enjoyable hang out space, it will also save you big bucks in the long run.

The first step in deck maintenance is pretty simple, but often neglected – keep it clean. If you are regularly brushing or blowing away dirt, leaves and debris, you will prevent build up which will eventually damage your timber deck.  If it is more stubborn you will need to use a high-pressure hose or even a pressure cleaner.  

Now with your deck clear of all the loose debris it makes sense to give it a good clean.  Talk to your hardware person to find a suitable cleaning solution for you deck, which could vary depending on the type of timber/surface and the state of any deterioration.  Mix up the solution and it’s now time to use a bit of muscle and give it a good scrub.  

Make sure you hose away the solution and grime and be careful not to wash it onto your plants, they may not like it.  It also goes without saying that you should avoid contact with the skin. Follow those safety instructions from the get-go.

With your deck spotlessly clean, there is no time like the present to re-stain the timber – unless you’ve left it too late and need to sand it first. Most stain products need to be reapplied every 12 to 15 months and if you have left it too late and the timber is grey, there’s no getting out of sanding. 

There are a few steps in the staining process that we feel will make it a better finish, look good and ensure it looks good for longer. Start by using a handheld timber brush around the edges and between each board so that the stain gets into the timber for a better finish and protection.  

When it comes to coating the top, we recommend a lambswool applicator for a better finish and if you clean the lambswool applicator properly when the job is finished it will be good to go next time you need to use it (and as proof, when we painted our house on The Block 2021 we always used lambswool rollers, and we painted the whole house with only 2-3 rollers, so invest in something good, and clean them!). Generally, it will be suggested to do two coats, but we recommend a third coat while you’re at it as it will look good for a lot longer.

And just like that, your precious deck is looking sparkling and new.  Bring back in the furniture, maybe even lash out of a few new cushions to give it a totally refreshed look.  

Now it’s time to invite the family and friends to share your beautiful, prized deck, or maybe just sit back and enjoy a celebratory beverage on your own – you’ve earnt it! 

June 15, 2022 — Mark McKie

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