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Maintain a timber deck

When the rainy season is over, this is the perfect time to tackle maintenance and any repairs that need to be done, and while it is true that maintenance can be labour intensive, with the right equipment and the proper products on hand you can easily tackle this project over a free weekend.

 

Regular maintenance is a must for a timber deck; constant use and abuse from weather mean that a timber deck becomes faded and scratched, or even suffers from wood rot during the summer and winter months. Moisture from rain and dew are quickly absorbed by wood that has insufficient protection, while heat from the sun dries and shrinks the wood, and it is these cycles of wet and dry swelling causes the wood to warp, crack and become dull or discoloured. If left untreated, the timber will become a haven for mould growth.

1. Start off by cleaning the deck with a high-pressure washer or a hose pipe and soft sweeping brush. If you don’t own a high-pressure washer, consider hiring one for the day. These power washers are ideal for removing built up dirt and grime that accumulates. For any stubborn dirt, use a soft scrubbing brush to loosen before washing down again.

Start the pressure spray with the tip angled away from the surface of the deck and slowly lower onto the surface, starting at one end of the deck and working to the opposite end. This will prevent any damage to the surface of the wood.

2. Allow the timber to dry and use ultra-fine steel wool and mineral turpentine to remove last years sealer and any remaining ingrained dirt.

3. Any rough areas can be lightly sanded with 180-grit sandpaper. This is also the time to check for any loose nails that may protrude above the surface of the deck. Hammer these down with a nail punch and lightly sand. Wipe with a clean cloth to remove all traces of dust.

4. Use Woodoc Wood Reviver on areas where there is wood rot, mildew or mould. Easy to apply; use the supplied scrubbing brush to rub wood reviver into the grain and then rinse with clean water. Allow the timber to dry.

Safety First

Wood Reviver is an Oxalic Acid based bleaching agent that is used specifically for the treatment of mould and it is essential to use gloves when using the product and avoid contact with skin.

5. For a hardwood deck it is recommended that you use a deck dressing product. A dressing is formulated to protect and treat hard wood decking that does not readily accept a conventional sealer. Examples include: Balau, Rhodesian Teak, Garapa and Iroko. For softer and more porous wood decks a deck sealer should be used. Examples include: SA Pine and porous Meranti.

Application of both deck dressing and deck sealer is best done with a paint brush, brushing with the grain.

For both deck dressing and deck sealer three coats are required. A liberal first coat is required and this is followed up with subsequent second and final coat. Sufficient drying time needs to be allowed between coats.

Deck sealer can be applied every 6 months, or when wood looks dry, to keep your deck looking beautiful and well-cared for.

Now you can relax and enjoy summer knowing that your deck is ready for the months ahead.