4 reasons why your decking may not be absorbing any oil

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Oiling your decking can be a tricky enough job as it is, which means it can be irritating to find that the decking boards aren’t actually absorbing the oil properly, leaving it sitting on the surface and not doing much. For decking oil to actually work, it needs to be absorbed properly into the wood. The good news, on the other hand, is that it’s usually not too tricky to work out why this is happening. Here are the four most likely reasons why your decking might not be absorbing any oil.

1. Over application

We’ll start with the simplest one. If you’ve been oiling your decking for a little while and then see that the oil isn’t being absorbed anymore, the decking might have just reached capacity. There’s a limit to how much oil that decking can absorb, which is something that new deck owners can be quick to overlook!

2. You’re using it over a non-compatible product

Decking oil tends to be quite fussy; it only works on bare wood, or on decking that has been previously oiled. That means that if your decking has been stained very recently, or you’ve applied some other treatment, there’s a good chance that this could be affecting the penetration of the oil. Particularly, if your garden decking has been treated with a product that forms a protective film on the surface (especially if it’s peeling or flaking), you’ll have to make sure that’s fully removed before you start oiling your decking.

3. It’s being blocked by mould or algae

Mould and algae are two of the most common annoyances that can develop with your decking in winter, and you have to make sure they’re fully removed before you start to apply any oil to your decking. New owners can sometimes be tempted to simply paint the oil over the top of them, but you’re not onto a winner there. Mould and algae are similar to decking oil in that they penetrate the surface of the wood, which means that if they get there first, the oil has no chance of successfully working. You’ll need to remove one or both of them with dedicated fungicide or mould killer before you can apply your decking oil.

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4. You’re using it on hardwood decking (which is naturally oily)

We mentioned above that decking has a limit in how much oil it can absorb, and because many types of hardwood decking are naturally oily (or have been oiled in advance), that can mean they’re less receptive to being oiled again. This is especially true of the more exotic hardwoods.

What do I do if my decking isn’t absorbing any oil?

An excess of oil isn’t going to damage your decking, so it’s nothing to worry too much about. The thing with oils is that because of their ability to soak into the surface, it can be tricky to get them out of grooved decking. Some advice you may see online can suggest white spirit as a solution (if you’ll pardon the pun), but this is risky, labour-intensive, and at the end of it all isn’t even guaranteed to work. Similarly, jet-washers are sometimes suggested, but these can all too easily gouge the wood, permanently damaging your decking. It’s far better (not to mention easier) to simply leave the oil to dry, and if necessary you can re-treat it with another coat of oil later on. Just make sure to clean the surface using a good quality deck cleaner first!

And if you need anything else to get your decking shipshape for the sunny weather, you can find it right here at Savoy Timber. We have a massive range of decking products right here on our site, including easy to assemble decking kits, and products you can use to put the finishing touches on it, like handrails, spindles and panels. You can browse these right here on our site, or alternatively pop into any of our stores in Blackpool, Preston or Wigan, where one of our friendly members of staff will be only too happy to help!