Take this time to Give your Deck a Makeover
With all this extra time on your hands, you will be looking for projects to fill up the day, and getting stuck into maintaining your deck is a great place to start.
We all have a lot of extra time on our hands during the lockdown, but now's as good a time as any to get a head start of projects that need to be done over winter. One project that comes to mind is giving a deck a makeover and providing essential annual maintenance so that it looks good all year round.
Adequate protection is required to protect timber from damage by moisture and to keep it nourished to ensure it does not dry out and crack.
Once the rainy season is over, for the time being, the dry weather is the ideal time to do maintenance and any repairs that need to be done to a deck, wooden staircase or timber structure. Yes, this project can be labour intensive, but with 3 weeks of time on your hands and with the right equipment and the proper products, you can easily tackle this project during the remainder of the lockdown.
1. The first step in deck care is to start off by cleaning the deck with a high-pressure washer. If you don't have a high-pressure washer, use a hosepipe and garden broom to loosen dirt and grime. If any stubborn stains remain after washing down, use a scrubbing brush and mild detergent to clean.
2. Let the timber dry on a warm day or overnight before using steel wool and mineral turpentine to remove any existing sealer. If you applied a varnish to the surface of your deck, you won't be able to remove this easily with steel wool and will find it easier to sand the deck with an orbital sander and 120-grit sandpaper.
While sanding down, check for any protruding nails or screws.
3. Visit your local Builders for advice on the best product to use for protecting deck timbers. There are different types of sealers that are used for the various types of timber. If you are uncertain about the timber used on your deck, always opt for the best protection.
GOOD TO KNOW: For soft or medium timbers, a deck sealer is required. This product is quite viscous but still able to be absorbed into the cells of the wood to provide protection from the elements. A deck dressing can be used for a deck finished with hardwood species. Whatever product you use, always follow the manufacturer's recommended guidelines for application.
Regular care and annual maintenance are a must for a timber deck or timber structure; these undergo constant use and abuse from our climate and can quickly become dull or scratched. If left for too long unattended timber is susceptible to wood rot or can become brittle. Find more information on deck care and maintenance in our Garden section.