If you are lucky enough to have decking in your garden, you have the perfect place to entertain family and friends. However, decking can get damaged over time, either from general wear and tear or simply due to poor maintenance. Along with this, you have wintery weather conditions to contend with. If you want to know how to avoid deck damage and possibly even collapse this winter, here is a quick guide you can follow.
Decking is designed to cope with only a certain amount of weight. If you have a lot of heavy garden furniture, made from stone or cast iron, it’s a good idea to either move some pieces to a paved or grassed area in the summer when the added weight of a barbecue, extra chairs, and umbrella stands can add to this. Also, if there is heavy snow forecast, this will add further weight, so try and move the furniture beforehand if possible. However, a properly built deck using quality materials will be able to handle more weight.
You should make it a point to regularly check your deck for rot and decay. In extreme weather conditions, such as high humidity or heavy rainfall, the risk of rot increases. As surface rot can eat into the wood, check whether any boards need replacing by probing them with something sharp like a kitchen knife. It might be a good idea to speak to an expert about the different types of treated wood that would be best suited to your garden.
To reduce the risk of damage from rot in the first place, it is a good idea to incorporate a decking cleaning routine into your gardening schedule. If you allow leaves and dirt to accumulate in the gaps and grooves of your decking, unfortunately, rot will set in a lot quicker. Also, if the rainwater gets trapped by all the debris, it will pool and cause your deck to twist and warp.
Although a power washer seems a go-to piece of equipment to clean your decking, especially if you have a large area to cover, it can actually damage the wood if you are not careful. Using a too high-pressure setting, the wrong hose end, or washing for too long can all cause damage to your deck. If you are going to use a pressure washer, make sure you use a fan tip and spray along the grain rather than across it. Also, don’t aim the nozzle too close to the wood.
Follow our short guide if you want to enjoy your decking for plenty more summers to come. However, if you are in the market for a new deck, it’s worth considering whether to go for a newer composite material, as it has a fantastic lifespan and requires little maintenance. Composite decking is a mixture of recycled plastic and recycled wood fibres, so it is less likely to rot and needs no staining or sealing.
Whether you decide to go for that or more traditional timber decking, though, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for here at Savoy Timber. We’ve got a huge range of decking products – you can shop for them online, or swing by any of our DIY stores in Preston, Blackpool or Wigan, and our friendly members of staff will be only too happy to provide any assistance or advice you might need.