How to revive your tired decking
With the weather improving (but not enough to justify spending all weekend in a deckchair) our thoughts turn to getting our outside areas ready for months of lounging next to a pitcher of Pimm's in the sun.
The winter weather can be particularly harsh on timber and if you had your decking installed a few years ago, it could be looking pretty sorry for itself by now. It may even be so bad that you’re considering ripping it up. Not so fast! You’ll be surprised how quick and easy it can be to restore decking to its former glory. Here’s how to do it…
Step 1: Clear
The very first step you need to take is to clear your decking, as having to move garden furniture every five minutes will become a massive chore and prolong the entire project. Remove that old bbq, the kids' garden toys and that bistro set from the decking before sweeping away any detritus that has gathered on it over the winter.
Step 2. Assess and repair
You will now need to check your decking chairs for damage. Look for any loose screws or nails — remember the best way to fix them is to remove them and replace them with new ones! Also, check decking boards and the railings for signs of rot - if you can push a screwdriver into the timber, or if it feels particularly weak it will need to be replaced. Unless you are a dab hand at DIY you may want to enlist some help from an expert to replace parts of your decking.
Step 3. Cleanse
Now it’s time for the real work to begin. If you have previously painted, varnished or oiled the decking and want to return it to a more natural state, you will need to strip and sand it before applying deck cleaner.
Once you’ve sanded and stripped your decking, it’s time to apply deck cleaner directly to the timber. There are numerous products, designed specifically for this task, available from reputable brands such as Ronseal or Swarfega starting from as little as £6.
Step 4. Scrub
Apply the deck cleaner to small areas at a time and scrub it across the grooves of the wood thoroughly. Once you’ve scrubbed the deck, use a pressure washer or hose with a jet sprayer to remove any residue left over from the cleaning product.
Step 5. Reseal
With your deck now squeaky clean, you need to leave it to dry for 24 hours. Once dry, take a paint brush or paint sprayer and reapply your choice of finish to the wood. Remember, start in the farthest corner so that you have an escape route! No one wants to find themselves trapped in a corner and have to walk back over their hard work before it drys. Leave the sealer to dry, and apply further coats if necessary.
Step 6. Enjoy
Depending on the size and current condition of your decking, the entire process can take between a couple of hours and a couple of days. However, restoring your decking is truly worth the effort. When summer arrives you’ll not only be thankful that you can enjoy your beautifully restored deck, but it’s also one less garden chore you need to carry out under the blaze of the summer sun.
Summer is on the way
It’s not long until summer now, and the spring season is one of the best times of the year to carry out home improvements on your home. Whether you want a new kitchen, bathroom or perhaps a sun room extension, now could be the time to take the plunge.