How to Care for and Maintain Decking in Winter?
After enjoying your decking throughout the summer, catching the rays, cooking up a storm on the BBQ and entertaining friends, some maintenance is likely required before the worst of the weather sets in. If it hasn’t already arrived in your corner of the UK yet, biting winds, heavy rainfall and freezing temperatures are just around the corner. It’s time to get prepared and find out how you can take care of your decking over the coming months to ensure it’s in tip-top condition and ready for another season of use.
Autumn and winter months can both bring debris. High winds collect fallen leaves, twigs, moss and rubbish, and these can end up forming piles on top of your decking. If left, the organic material can begin to rot down, eventually creating a mulch. This can then penetrate the wood and cause it to rot. Once or twice a month, grab an outdoor broom and sweep up any debris from the decking area and pop it in your composter or garden bin.
Remove Any Planters or Seating
If you have heavy-weight planters or seating, it is advised that you remove them from the decking and put them in storage. If they are left out, it can create damp spots on the decking, underneath where they are placed. This can increase the build-up of moisture in a particular area of the decking, which, in turn, can cause rot.
Keep on Top of Any Build Up of Mould
Decking can provide the perfect environment for mould and mildew to grow and build-up. Situated close to the ground, water and moisture can quickly seep into the wood, as well as this, it is a large surface area where rain will hammer down and, in some cases, settle. Other problematic areas include the cracks and spaces between the two boards; these enclosed areas can be a breeding ground, and because they are difficult to reach, it can be more difficult to prevent the build-up. Ensure you tackle any mould build-up, giving the area a thorough clean.
We recommend thoroughly cleaning your decking throughout the winter. If any fallen debris is too stubborn to remove with a hard-outdoor broom, then it may require some hot, soapy water and elbow grease to get rid of it. Following this, pressure wash the surface to remove any of the suds used and further clean the area. Scrub the areas where dirt or moss have built up, as well as areas where you can’t see it. Keeping the decking surface dirt-free is important, and a good preventative of deterioration.
Remove Any Pet Fouling
If you have dogs or cats in the house that do their business on the decking, it’s important to regularly remove any fouling to prevent it from damaging or staining the wood or spreading to other areas following heavy rainfall. Alternatively, you may wish to put up a temporary barrier or decorative fencing, to prevent them from accessing the area entirely.
Paint with Timber Treatment
Wood preservatives are one of the best ways of ensuring the longevity of your decking. Before applying, check whether the surface is clean and dry, you should also remove any existing wood stain or paint. If there are any parts of the decking that have begun deteriorating, then always sand back to a better-quality surface. When you have prepared the area sufficiently, apply the treatment using a brush, ensuring it covers all of the gaps and cracks.
Apply Water Repellent
Around three days to a week after applying timber treatment, we recommend applying a water repellent which will help improve the life expectancy of your decking. Following application, the wood is protected from moisture, which in turn, prevents the wood from decay. If left untreated, water will collect in gaps or cracks, eventually penetrating the wood. Once it has entered, it’s likely to get trapped there and begin to cause rot.
To ensure your decking is in the best condition over the winter, in preparation for the spring and summer months ahead, when it will get used more regularly, it’s important to take these preventative steps and take care of the area. Have we missed any top decking care tips from our list? We’d love to know what measures you take to keep your decking looking like new! Get in touch with us via our social media channels.