It is a no brainer – timber is the go-to material for residential decking in Australia. But unlike a verandah or a porch, a deck does not have a roof installed over it, meaning the timber will need to be protected from harsh weather elements. Even though treated wood eventually gets weather-beaten, unregulated exposure to humidity, rain and the sun can run down the wood prematurely, resulting in costly repairs and early replacements. This explains why homeowners should give their decks tender, loving care from the moment the installation work is completed. If it is going to be your first time building a deck in your home, here are some important maintenance tips you should follow to ensure your deck continues looking good over its entire lifespan.
Clean your deck regularly
One of the things that your timber deck requires to keep looking nice is frequent cleaning. There is no general rule on how frequently you should do the cleaning. As long as your deck looks dirty, you should have it cleaned! The dirt that builds up on your deck can be anything ranging from dust, to animal droppings, to accidental spillages, to bacterial elements such as mould and mildew. When dirt accumulates on the surface of your deck, it is not just the look of the wood that will be waned, but the wood can suffer from premature wear if the dirt gets entrenched into the wood fibres.
Though you can use mild household detergent to clean up any dirt from your deck, it is best to use deck cleaners specially manufactured for cleaning your timber. Act proactively when dealing with spillages. If not cleaned up immediately, spillages can leave behind stains that are hard to remove later on. Do not use a broom or brush that will scratch the wood finish when you are cleaning your deck. And, if the exposed ends of cut wood boards are not covered with end caps, be sure to have them cleaned too.
Occasionally refinish your deck
Decks are typically finished using sealers or stains, which are specially designed to protect the wood from the elements. Over time, the finishing gets worn out, exposing the underlying wood to the inclement elements. Therefore, it is important for you to periodically reseal or restain your deck so as to provide it with the protection it always needs against harsh weather. To reduce the need to perform the refinishing too often, apply high-quality finishes on your wood.