Maintenance of Timber Decking
Many people don’t realise it, but timber decking (like most exterior building products) requires regular on-going maintenance to achieve optimal long term performance and appearance.
Just like a car, if you maintain your deck regularly, it will last longer.
Cleaning Your Deck
First and foremost you should clean your decking regularly. Once a year is the minimum, though every 6 months or more is even better. Regular cleaning dislodges dirt and mould from the timber surface, thereby keeping your timber looking clean and minimising discolouration.
To clean just use warm soapy water (any mild household detergent will do), apply with a stiff bristled broom, then spray off with the hose.
Sometimes wood can be subject to more heavy mould growth or discolouration especially in damp or low sun light locations. In this case we recommend to use Abodo’s Rejuvenator or other similar timber cleaner. This is a biodegradable product that’s safe to use and is very effective at dislodging unwanted matter such as mould from the surface of the timber.
If there is a chance of continued moss and mould issues, then you can apply a long-acting active mouldicide such as Resene Deep Clean.
Once the timber is clean, you can leave it to continue weather naturally, which means over time it will, like any timber product, go grey. It may also experience some movement and may start to form small splits in the surface (also known as surface checks).
Coating Your Deck
To alleviate the above issues, we recommend application of penetrating wood oil such as Abodo Protector Oil. This product is made predominantly from natural oils and waxes that penetrate and nourish the timber surface, reducing the effects of moisture.
Addition of a coloured pigment also provides UV protection from the sun. Coatings should only be applied to dry clean timber (around 16% moisture content). We do not recommend application of film forming coatings as these can flake, crack and blister leading to much higher maintenance requirements.
If you want to maintain a brown ‘wood’ colour use pigmented oil such as Protector Teak. This will require regular recoating to eliminate wear marks in high traffic areas. If you want a grey or weathered look use grey pigmented oil such as Protector Pearl - this will give a weathered look, while still offering UV protection to the timber.
Alternatively use clear oil, though UV protection will be limited and so degradation of the timber surface will be more rapid.
If possible, always apply the coating all sides and on the ends to reduce water ingress up the end grain. Abodo’s Sand Decking and cladding range generally come Protector factory pre-finished, which reduces on site labour cost and ensures an optimal finish.
So, in conclusion, if you do some small but regular maintenance it will go a long way to ensuring you get maximum enjoyment from your exterior timber products. Clean, coat and enjoy!
Ben Campbell, Abodo Wood Ltd.