Essential Checklist To Prepare Your Decking For Summer

decking in summer

Can you believe it, April is almost over! Spring is really zipping by us, and while it’s proving to be a bit unpredictable in terms of weather so far, summer’s not far behind. Hopefully, you may have even had the chance to enjoy your decking on the occasional sunny day already. If so, you’ll already have got a great idea of how lovely it’ll be come summer. At Savoy Timber, we think it’s always best to prepare early – so here’s how!

Our essential checklist includes:

  • Clear your decking
  • Inspect its structure
  • Check the railings
  • Finally – finish off your decking!

Clear Your Decking Area

Fairly obvious place to start, but still worth saying! You can’t clean your carpet if your sofa’s still in the way – and by the same token, you can’t repair or clean your decking properly if you’ve still got furniture or storage in the way. Relocate it all for now. While you’re at it, it’s always worth thinking about whether you actually want to keep all of it, too. Once your decking boards are cleared, you should have a completely unobstructed view of all the boards and structure. Then use a stiff brush to clear all those piles of leaves, moss and dirt.

dead leaves on decking

Inspect Its Structure For Safety

It’s no secret that being made of wood means decking is vulnerable to the harsher weather elements we get here in good old Blighty. Rotting wood is a particular menace – in the best case scenario it becomes a trip hazard, and at worst someone might even put their foot through it and send their plate flying at a barbecue. Dangerous, and potentially a waste of good beef. Check each board and make sure that it’s solid – there may be a little bit of give when you press down, but not too much. Really, common sense will tell you whether or not a board is safe enough to walk on. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable putting your own weight on it, it’s definitely time to think about getting some replacement decking boards.

Handy tip – if you do notice a board that’s especially soft, you might want to consider digging into it with a screwdriver or key. If the whole board turns out to be rotted, you’ll want to get it replaced tout suite.

Check The Handrails

This really comes under inspecting the structure of your decking, but it’s such a crucial step we thought it was worth flagging up on its own. Remember, your handrails are where people – whether guests or your own family – will put their weight when they’re relaxing, so they need to be able to take the strain. In fact, they shouldn’t be moving at all. Keep an eye out for loose screws, too. Tighten any that are loose, and replace any that are starting to rust.

decking railing

Finish Your Decking

Finally, it’s a case of making sure your decking looks tip-top in the sunny weather. It’ll need a proper clean first; we’ve illustrated the best way to do that in a previous blog. Once it’s spick and span, you might want to consider oiling or staining your decking. Make sure you know the difference – oiling your decking is basically concerned with enhancing its existing colour, while staining your decking is focused on changing it to a different (usually richer) shade. Keep an eye out for rain, as it can really take the edge off your hard work at this stage!

That’s all there is to it! All that’s left to do is put back your garden furniture (or your brand-new equivalents), kick back, and wait for the clouds to clear. Shouldn’t be long now! Plus, if you need anything to put the finishing touches on your decking area, we’ll have exactly what you need in our fixing and accessories section. If you feel like popping by any of our superstores in Preston, Wigan or Blackpool, one of our friendly members of staff will be only too happy to help you with any questions you might have!