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How to Care for Wooden Decking – The Ultimate Guide

Wooden decking is a great addition to any garden. Giving a smart yet natural looking seating area, and often used to terrace or raise an area of a garden to create a zone for dining or relaxing, it’s easy to see why garden decking is so popular. However, in order to keep it looking its best, it requires regular maintenance. 

Why do I need to care for wooden decking?

Decking looks amazing when taken care of, but if left without maintenance it can fall into a state of disrepair, and not only look untidy but can also become rotten and unsafe. Over time, decking can lose its colour or become grey-looking. The build up of moss and algae on its surface can make it slippery. And decking left to its own devices can also become warped, cracked and peel. 

How do you take care of a wooden deck?

If your wooden decking looks like it’s seen better days, fear not: maintaining it and restoring it to its former glory is an easy process. The two main considerations for maintaining your wooden decking are: 

  • Cleaning
  • Protection

Depending on what stage your decking is at in terms of its age or disrepair will determine how you take care of your decking. Both of these methods need to be undertaken regularly in order to keep your decking looking its best. 

How do I keep my garden deck clean?

Sometimes, all that will be required to maintain your wooden decking is to give it a clean. Depending on the type of decking you have will determine how you should clean it. For example, pressure-treated softwood decking and hardwood decking can be cleaned by jet-washing or brushing; composite and plastic decking should be cleaned with soap and water. 

In terms of the process, the first step is to use a broom or electrical leaf blower to remove any excess leaves and debris from your deck’s surface. You may need to use a hard-bristle brush or scraper to remove any stubborn accumulations of moss or algae. You can then use a specific decking detergent to clean your decking. Remember to always follow the instructions on the packaging and to wear rubber gloves and goggles to protect your eyes and skin. 

Your detergent can then be applied with either a brush, sprayer or watering can, and can then be scrubbed with a hard-bristle brush before being rinsed with a garden hose and left to dry. 

For pressure-treated softwood decking and hardwood decking, you can also jet wash your deck, but remember that if used incorrectly, a jet washer can damage your decking. Check, therefore, that you’re using the correct pressure for your wood type (usually no higher than 600 PSI for softwood and no higher than 1200 PSI for hardwood) and test it on an inconspicuous area of your decking first to ensure that it leaves no damage. Once you’re satisfied that your jet washer will not damage your decking, hold the wand about 12 inches from its surface and, working with the grain, clean the deck with a sweeping motion. 

What is the Best Treatment for Wooden Decking?

Of course, staining, painting or treating your decking will help its longevity. Depending on what finish you desire can help you decide what treatment you choose: there are a fantastic range of outdoor paints available, some in natural, subtle shades and others in bright, bold hues! Specialist decking paints are also available which fill in the cracks and pin down any splinters that may be present. 

Remember that deck stains and decking oils are also available in a variety of colours, and these will also protect your wooden decking and, in the case of decking oils, replace the natural oils and resin that your deck will lose over time. Alternatively, you may wish to consider a basic decking protector, which will retain your deck’s natural colour but will protect it from sunlight, rain and footfall. 

Need more Advice on how to Care for your Garden Decking?

If you need more advice on how to care for your decking, or would like a new decked area installed, get in touch with D&G Garden World. We have many years of experience of constructing decked areas within gardens across Brentwood, Upminster and Hornchurch and can advise on the best ways to keep your wooden decking looking its best.