You might be wrapped up warm now, but fast forward a few months and imagine yourself basking in the first warm days of summer. Picture your friends and family enjoying those long evenings as the sun slowly sets.
If the lighter mornings, dawn chorus and early flowering plants are already enticing you outside, it is time to give serious thought to preparing your garden. In addition to sprucing up the borders, now is the perfect time to reinvigorate your hardwood decking.
Why Hardwood Decking is a Popular Garden Feature
Decking is a relatively new garden design feature. It is unlikely that it was a feature of your childhood garden when paving slabs or concrete were used to break up the lawn.
Since it first became a feature on popular TV gardening shows, many of us were drawn to the desired aesthetic of hardwood decking. Creating an area of hardstanding transforms a separate outdoor area into another room. It encourages outside for relaxing, socialising and relishing in the joys of nature.
In some cases, hardwood decking is used to create an almost seamless link from the interior to exterior, through bi-folding doors. In other settings, the hardwood decking is placed at the far end of the garden to draw everyone outside. It might be positioned to create a sun trap or to extend out from a garden studio.
Of course, being exposed to year-round British weather and everyday wear and tear means that hardwood decking can take quite a battering. Fortunately, keeping it in top condition is straightforward and with annual maintenance, hardwood decking can last for 25 years or more. Let’s consider what is involved bringing your decking back to life.
Spring Maintenance of Hardwood Decking
Clear the Decks
Spring is the ideal time to take action. At this time of year, it is likely that your hardwood decking has been completely neglected for several months. It may be covered in dead leaves and other organic matter, so the first step is a good sweep with a strong brush. This will remove all surface materials, allowing you to better review the overall condition.
Cleaning Timber Decking
If the condition is generally good, you may simply need to hose the timber and then apply a general decking cleaner to get it looking as good as new. As suppliers of hardwood decking, Exterior Solutions Ltd stocks a selection of Owatrol decking cleaners. We are happy to recommend the right product for your requirements and how to apply.
Recoat the Timber
The next step is to drop a little water on the timber. Does it bead up or sink in? If the drops are instantly absorbed into the timber, it suggests that it is time to re-coat the wood.
If your hardwood decking has been oiled, applying a fresh coat of oil after cleaning will enhance the timber. Specialist decking oils are absorbed into the grain, protecting the wood from the elements. They prevent it from drying out and increase its longevity. One coat can keep it in top condition throughout the summer.
Some timber decking is coated with varnish, paint or sealant. If you wish to recoat the timbers, it is advised to remove the existing coat. Left on, this layer is prone to flaking and peeling off, which affects the look and performance of the decking. Some hardwood decking cleaners are specifically designed to remove the top layer, so a fresh coat of oil, varnish or Decking Paint.
Once you have ordered the right protective coating for your timber decking, look at the weather forecast for a few consecutive days of dry weather. Apply when the timber is dry and then leave it to fully dry. Your hardwood decking should now look ‘summer-ready’.
If you have any questions about hardwood decking supplies or maintenance products, please contact Exterior Solutions Ltd on 01494 711800