Wooden decks provide the perfect outdoor living spaces to spend lazy summer afternoons with family and friends.
Because of its durability, hardwoods such as air dried oak are among the most popular materials used for outdoor decks in the UK. However, these materials still need proper care and routine maintenance in order to fully maximize its lifespan.
Here are some tips and tricks every British homeowner should know about taking good care of hardwood decking:
Have the Decking Professionally Installed
The first step to ensuring that your deck will last for a long time is to make sure that it is correctly installed in the first place. One of the most important factors to consider when using hardwood is to make sure that it is properly acclimated before installation. This prevents the wood from cracking, shrinking, and expanding.
Depending on the type of the wood, it usually takes around 7 to 14 days before the material adapts to its new environment. Talk to a professional contractor to confirm whether your wood is ready for installation. They can also offer you with made-to-measure decking so you no longer have to pay for the wood trimmings and wastage.
Only Install Treated Lumber
Untreated lumber, exposed to the elements and moisture, is at risk of rotting over time. This is the reason why it is important to treat your hardwood lumber before using it outdoors. You can also apply several coatings of sealant over the surface of the wood to prevent moisture from penetrating the wood grains.
Clean the Decking on a Regular Basis
The simplest way to keep your hardwood decking in tip-top condition is have it cleaned regularly. As a component of your home’s exterior, decking is constantly exposed to the great outdoors and organic matter can accumulate on it very quickly. You must remove leaves, branches, and other debris on the surface of your deck to prevent it from rotting.
If your hardwood decking is fully exposed to the elements, we highly recommend you to give it a deep clean every now and then. You can make a deep cleaning solution by combining a gallon of water and one quart of powdered oxygenated bleach. This solution will not cause any damage to the wood grains but can kill harmful mold and mildew.
Exercise Caution When Using a Power Washer
We highly recommend washing your hardwood decking manually using a wood brush. Wood is made up of grains that are porous and too much pressure can affect its integrity. However, if you really need to use a power washer to remove tough stains, opt to use a lower setting. Hardwood cannot handle a pressure of more than 1200 PSI. The distance of the spray tip must also be at least one foot from the surface of the wood to prevent the grains from chipping off.
Perform Proactive Repairs and Maintenance
The overall integrity of your hardwood decking depends on how strong its components are held together. Therefore, if you see any loose screws or fasteners, fix them right away. Replace nails that have popped with coated screws because they can better attach into the wood grains. Furthermore, if you notice some dark spots on the wood deck, paint them over with a coat of wood preservative to slow down the rotting process.
Hardwood decking is low-maintenance, but that doesn’t mean that it is completely maintenance-free. Maintaining your hardwood decking does not also have to be troublesome. Applying the tips above will help to extend your deck’s lifespan so you can enjoy it for many years to come.
Timber2UDirect (T2UD) is the online trading arm of leading UK timber importer and trader Brooks Bros (UK) Ltd. We source and trade around 50 species of source-verified timber from the U.S. and Europe including air dried oak. Talk to us now and we will expertly pick the right type of timber that can precisely match your outdoor decking requirements.