hardwood decking

With the winter months approaching, it’s time to start thinking about your hardwood decking. It won’t be used as much in the colder months and the unpredictable weather can have an adverse effect if it is not looked after or treated properly. Timber 2 U Direct have put together some helpful tips to ensure your decking is just as beautiful when the summer finally rolls around again.

How Can the Winter Damage Your Hardwood Decking?

Any outdoor wooden surface is going to be at risk from damage due to the winter weather, but we are going to focus particularly on hardwood decking. Damage to your decking can seem minor at first, but if not treated or dealt with it can get worse. The best step is to prevent this damage from occurring in the first place. Let’s take a quick look into the different types of damage that can occur so that you know what to look out for.

Mildew

Mildew occurs when wooden surfaces have insufficient ventilation. It can appear as black patches on the surface which people often mistake for regular dirt. To get rid of this, apply a small amount of bleach. If it begins to lighten, it’s mildew, if not, it is likely to be something else. 

Dry Rot

Dry rot is a type of wood decay that is caused by fungi. The fungi attaches to the wood and digests the parts of the wood that usually make it strong and stiff. This then causes the wood to rot. If your wood has suffered this, it will likely look dry, cracked, and may have shrunk due to losing its moisture. To prevent this, ensure you are doing annual checks for any leaks or gaps. Identify areas in which water could get in and seal them with a preserver or wood paint. 

Protecting Your Hardwood Decking

The UK doesn’t always get snow, however, it’s better to be prepared. Even if it doesn’t snow, protecting your decking from rain and frost is still just as important, especially in the winter.

Cleaning

Ensure you are cleaning your decking regularly. Despite it not being in use all year round, letting any debris settle will eventually cause damage. Leaves that are left to build up over the autumn will cause discolouration and damp if not cleared. Check the gaps in between your decking too as leaves can clog them up. Routine cleaning will also prevent any mildew or mould building and getting worse over time. 

If it snows, be sure to clear your hardwood decking as soon as you can. This will prevent any moisture getting trapped. Keep a shovel handy to shift it easily.

Wood Treatments

It is worth investing in some high-quality wood treatments to eliminate any risk of water damage. There are a range of treatments available that will give your wooden decking a waterproof coating to repel any rain. Alongside waterproofing, sealing wood is essential. A sealant will not only help to keep water and moisture out of your wood, but will also repel UV rays once the summer comes around again. There are many different types of sealants, and some come in different colours, so keep this in mind when choosing which one to use. Ensure that you are reapplying your sealant once a year to give your decking the maximum protection that it needs. When applying any treatment, make sure that you are getting it into every crack and crevice to guarantee maximum coverage.

Repairing Hardwood Decking

If you are unable to prevent the damage before it occurs, it can be beneficial to repair it before it gets any worse. Any holes should be filled leaving no potential breeding grounds for mould or damp. The longer you leave any potential issues, the harder it will be to repair, and you run the risk of ruining your hardwood decking entirely.

Covering Your Hardwood Decking

Something that might not be as practical if your decking is attached to your house, but is still worth considering – covering your decking. One of the best ways to prevent the damage is to cover it to shield it from elements. The only downside to this is the possible accumulation of damage between the wood and the covering. The cover would need to be removed on dryer days to allow the wood to breathe.

Summarising the Tips

  • Check your hardwood decking regularly for any tell-tale signs of damage and fix them before they get any worse. This can include decay, warping, dirt build up and insect damage.
  • Know what to look out for when carrying out your routine checks, such as mildew or dry rot.
  • Ensure leaves do not build up on the surface of your decking.
  • Apply a waterproof sealant to your decking during the early autumn to minimise any water damage.
  • Clear snow from the surface as soon as it is practical for you to do so to avoid any build-up of moisture.

Ready to build your own decking? 

Now that you know how to properly prepare your decking for the winter, there is still time to start building your own before the cold weather sets in. Hardwood decking is a stunning visual addition feature to your garden, as well as a practical one that can give your outdoor space a new lease of life. If you’re looking to build your own decking, Timber 2 U Direct, the online trading arm of Brooks Bros LTD, have you covered. We have a wide range of made-to-measure softwood and hardwood options that can be delivered directly to your door.

Want to know more about protecting your hardwood decking from winter elements or finding the right timber for your outdoor projectsGet in touch with our friendly team today or call us on 01155 993 1111.