The Best Way to Clean and Maintain Garden Decking

clean-decking
May 08, 2018

Garden decking can be a big investment so it’s important to clean and maintain it properly to ensure it not only looks great for the nicer weather, but also so that it lasts for many years. Read our guide on the best way to clean and maintain decking, especially after the winter months when you’re ready to spruce it up for Spring and Summer again.

After the long winter months the chances are your decking may not be looking its best. Spring has been a long time coming this year but it’s finally around the corner, and it is an ideal time to spend a little time preparing your deck for the year ahead.

Depending on the style of decking you have will depend on the amount of maintenance required, composite decks for example require very little attention, whereas a softwood deck will need a few hours work to be kept in a good condition.

In this article we’ve outlined the relevant jobs for softwood, hardwood and composite
decks.

Softwood Decking

Softwood is ordinarily the most affordable style of decking, however in terms of durability, when compared to hardwood and composite decks there can be a vast difference. Despite this if cared for there’s no reason a softwood deck can’t be enjoyed for 20 years or more.

Important spring softwood tasks include:

– Thoroughly sweep your decking to remove all debris.
– Pressure wash the deck boards to remove all mould and mildew, if cleaning a grooved
deck, take extra care getting between the grooves of each board.
– If working on an old deck, rotten or loose boards will need to be replaced.
– As summer and warm weather approaches, it’s always a good idea to seal your deck,
a clear sealer will really highlight the woods natural grain and colour. Alternatively, decks can be stained to completely cover the grain.

Hardwood Decking

Hardwood decking is constructed using denser tropical timbers such as balau and ipe, this means that along with a higher price tag they should be a lot more durable. To be kept in pristine condition hardwood decks will likely need a similar amount of maintenance to softwood.

Spring projects for a hardwood deck are:

– Thoroughly sweep your decking to remove all debris
– Pressure wash decking, once again ensuring all mould and mildew is removed.
– Unlike softwood, hardwoods respond better to oils rather than a sealant; these can be rubbed into the deck with a soft cloth.
– If untreated a hardwood deck will weather and turn a silver or grey colour, many people do actually prefer this look for their decking, however, it’s important to note that if untreated the boards may not last as long.

Composite Decking

Composite decking such as Millboard is actually constructed using a complete plastic bond; this means it’s completely free from timber making it incredibly long lasting and durable.

decking-area

Despite its durability composite decking can benefit from some maintenance, such as:

– Composite materials can be rinsed with soap and water, pressure wash if necessary.
– Any mildew or moss that’s left to build up on the boards can become very slippery, so it’s important to wash these down before the deck receives heavy traffic.
– Unlike timber, there is no need to treat composite.

For further information, helpful tips or some friendly advice please contact our office on 020 8200 0882.


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