If you live here in Britain, your decking probably isn’t going to see the most activity during the winter. In fact, that’s likely going to be true wherever you are in the world! Over the last few months we’ve shared with you the full details on how to deal with common winter problems with your decking, but if you missed them, don’t worry – this week, we’ve summed them up in an easily digestible post to give you a few immediate quick tips if you find your decking’s in trouble. So, what does winter give your decking to worry about?
Winter is the prime time for mould to form on your garden decking, as mould spores thrive under these conditions. Damp on your decking boards is the easiest way for mould to form, which means that increased rainfall, greater humidity or even just increased shade and darkness present the ideal opportunity for mould spores to take hold of your decking.
It’s important to remember they’re not just resting on your boards – they’re eating them. That means that they can seriously damage your boards, making them look awful as well as undermining their integrity, and making your decking far slipper (and more dangerous) for family and friends in the meantime. The best way to deal with them in this case is by preventing – keeping your decking as clean as possible throughout the winter. It’s a chore, yes, but worth it in the long run!
Snow and ice is an equally big problem for decking – if not more so. As you can imagine, again there’s the risk of slipping and falling, but even after the snow has melted, it can leave black ice on your deck. You can use certain chemical solutions to melt this ice, but be careful they don’t damage your decking! If you decide to shovel snow off your decking boards, it’s also a good idea to make sure that you’re shovelling parallel to your boards, not across them, or you risk chipping the wood. What’s more, you’ll need to be careful not to use a shovel to crack any ice – again, you can damage your decking – and it’s a good idea to steer clear of using salt, as it can dry out the natural moisture in the wood.
Winter is the hibernation time for lots of animals, and once they’ve made their home under your decking they’ll often stay there right through to spring and beyond. You can stop them from holing up by strategically blocking openings with netting or wire mesh. If you’re planning on setting traps, be very careful – if one is sprung make sure that you can reach it. If you can’t retrieve it, all you’re left with is a dead animal in an inaccessible part of your deck, which is arguably worse than having a live one crawling about under there.
As a general rule, you can head off lots of these problems by keeping your decking as clean and clear as you can, even in miserable weather. Liberon oil can protect it against the worst effects of the rain and mould, and at Savoy Timber we’ve got numerous varieties of decking boards you can use to replace one of yours if it all goes a bit belly-up.
Don’t hesitate to pop into any one of our three stores across the North West in Preston, Blackpool or Wigan if you want to buy your replacements in person, or take advantage of some friendly advice from one of our helpful professionals. At Savoy Timber, we’re all about DIY Made Easy!