“Swab the decks ye’ scurvy dogs!” Yes, even 17th Century pirates understood the importance of deck maintenance. But somehow, us landlubbers have lost the art of caring for lumber, even though Australian adults, on average, spend nearly ¼ of our leisure time enjoying outdoor activities. What does Kleenit’s essential deck maintenance involve, and how can it improve the longevity of your investment?
Is deck maintenance necessary?
General upkeep of your deck doesn’t just keep your outdoor areas looking their best; it can prevent cracks, raised boards, fire hazards and injury.
Loose and cracked timber boards are easily remedied if caught early. But unresolved, they can become dangerous, either to your little ones’ feet with splinters and nails, or perhaps indicating a structural issue that needs urgent attention. More often than not, loose boards are a result of weather; the beating hot sun or constant dampness wearing away deck sealant and allowing water to seep in and swell the timber.
Galvanised, long, self-tapping screws are usually required where deck boards have become raised, warped or loose. Nails should be a last resort, as they won’t have the purchase required to remain in place for long periods. In some cases, boards will need to be replaced if the warping or cracks are too severe.
Deck cleaning by the professionals
Something as simple as leaves building up on a deck, or soil from pot plants can not only stain your wood, it could result in further pooling and water damage. It’s clear that regular deck maintenance will help you preserve your investment.
The easiest way to clean a deck is to remove any furniture or plants that will get in the way of sweeping. We recommend sweeping up any dry materials before moving on to pressure washing. Pressure washing a deck usually uses warm water, as superheated steam can damage some coatings. Once stains have been removed from the deck, it should be allowed to dry thoroughly before oiling or varnishing.
Depending on the type of wood you have chosen, you might opt for a stain or oil coating for deck protection. Deck sealer is typically a transparent coat that seeps into the wood and forms a clear film on the surface. Deck sealer is very good at preventing water damage and staining but doesn’t hold up well to intense UV rays – which can lead it to crack and peel.
Decking oil, also known as decking stain, offers protection against the weather and adds a pigment to the wood. It’s applied much like paint, but will still allow you to see the timber’s beautiful grain.
How often should deck sealing be done?
Recoating your deck with protective oil or sealer should be part of your annual upkeep. Pressure washing can happen more frequently, especially in high traffic areas or decking in public spaces. Another benefit of pressure washing is that it can be used for graffiti removal on some wood types, where a ‘tagger’ has used whiteout or some types of paint. It can also reduce stains and potential slip hazards from treefall, such as flame tree flowers or the fruit from Moreton Bay figs.
Can Kleenit restore my decking?
Yes! Kleenit can not only provide high-pressure washing for your deck, poolside, garden walls and other outdoor areas; we can seal wooden surfaces with the appropriate oil or staining. We can even quote to look after minor repairs that will get your home looking its best. Take the hassle out of your home maintenance chore list and get a Kleenit professional on the case. Please speak to us about a free quote for your next deck maintenance and deck sealing project.