Landscaping, Fencing & Decking in Milton Keynes

Landscaping, Fencing and Decking in Milton Keynes

Phone Number: 01908 668966

Mobile Number: 07808 467152

How To Maintain Garden Decking

  • Posted by:
  • Admin
  • Tags:
  • Posted date:
  • 15-11-2021
How To Maintain Garden Decking

A common question for home-owners is: how do I maintain garden decking? This article offers the top tips for maintaining garden decking to keep it looking great for longer. Most homeowners have a garden decking and don't know how to properly care for it, despite it being a relatively easy process. If you want to save money on repairs and replacements, then read this article as we explain the best practices for maintaining your garden decking. Read this article to see how to maintain your decking. 

How To Maintain Garden Decking? - Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

How often do you need to treat decking?

Treating your decking if you haven't done it before can be challenging, but the process will become second nature in no time. You should be cleaning and clearing the decking regularly anyway, but also before any treatment can begin. 

We recommend having a deep and thorough inspection of the decking and the coating every six months. This is to check for cracks and the water absorption rate, as discussed above. If significant damage has occurred over that six months, then you can apply a thin coating to that area, but you should be treating your entire decking  every year. 

How do you maintain outdoor decking?

Understanding how to best care for and maintain your outdoor decking can extend the lifespan and make it look as good as new.  Needless to say, it will save you money on having a professional service done, and you'll be replacing boards and repairing cracks much less often.  Here are some simple steps that you can follow to bring about the best results in your decking. 


You should be inspecting your decking as often as you can to check for problem areas. This can be anywhere that has become warped, cracked, damaged or needs replacing entirely.

Although you can be checking at any time of year, it's best to conduct inspections when the decking is dry and warmer in the summer months, but you'll notice areas that are becoming damp and damaged during periods of rainfall and snow. Some areas you should be inspecting in greater detail are areas of connection. By this, we mean where the ledger board meets the house, or if you have any stairs. 

During these inspections, you should be replacing any damaged boards. The same goes for areas with raised or exposed nails, as they can act as trip hazards and cause more problems if not dealt with. It's easier and cheaper to replace damaged boards or boards that are being to warp and change shape than replacing larger areas because you haven't inspected regularly. 

You should be wearing protective gear during this process and only removing what you feel comfortable with. A hammer can remove nails and then raise the damaged board. Saws and other blades may be needed when cutting or trimming a board to remove it, and then the wood will need to be measured and cut to match the hole. 

PAlthough you should be cleaning and sweeping your decking much more regularly, ideally when you're conducting an inspection or before a gathering of people, an annual clean is also advised. This will be a much deeper clean than what is done throughout the year and can involve chemicals and a pressure washer. Be sure to use more delicate chemicals that agree with your type of wood, as using bleach-based chemicals can lead to erosion and decolourisation.

Get in touch if you have any queries on what product to use. You'll find better results by getting down on your hands and knees and pulling out any weeds, also. Getting in between the cracks on your decking can prove beneficial, as these areas will be prone to moss and mould, or even fungus growth. A stiff brush is also going to be needed before any power washing can take place. Putting in some elbow grease every year can help your decking last much longer. 

Getting a protective coating on your decking will also provide more durability and resilience against elements, contaminants, and the weather.  If you've never had one done before, then you can also stain or seal the decking. Sometimes this becomes an annual or bi-annual thing, but it's wise to talk to a professional for advice. Here are some quick-fire tips for sealing and staining, if you're interested:

Waterdrop tests should be conducted to see if the decking requires new sealing. Pour some water onto the decking, and see if it's absorbed or not. If it's absorbed, you will benefit from a protective sealing immediately. If not absorbed, then the wood is sealed and will continue to provide protection.

Cover all nearby plants and bushes, as the stainer or sealer can damage and kill any shrubs. Painters tape should be applied to the connection between the deck and the house to stop any potential stains. Paint scrapers or stiff brushes can remove old paint, dirt, and other contaminants. If you want to oil decking, then you need to remove any oil beforehand. Stripping this can be easy after you've learned what to do. Using the right oil for your decking can be assisted by a professional.

Sanding your wooden decking is also a viable option and can be done to provide a much smoother surface. If you're going to be stealing or staining, then sanding the deck down beforehand can bring about a better result overall.

Be sure to use the correct type of sandpaper for the mainboards compared to any handrails. Orbital sanders can be used to level out rougher areas, and you should always vacuum at the end to avoid dust from setting. 

The process of applying a wood stain or sealant is a precise one, and you'd be better off following the guidelines. Apply any product to the handrails first, and this can be easier through a paintbrush. Work your way down to the surface of the wooden boards. You'll find it much more efficient to spread sealant or stainer across the boards with a natural-bristle brush, as this can cover wider areas than a smaller one.

You should then let this soak into the boards and remove any excess that hasn't been absorbed with a sponge or rag. Some deckings will require a second coating, especially more porous ones. Most won't, however, so leave the decking for 24 hours or until it has completely dried. 

Maintenance Tips

You may have heard that if you're regularly maintaining your decking, it'll last longer. But what should you be doing? Here are some maintenance tips that you can start implementing into your life today:

Moving furniture around on the decking can prevent sunlight from staining and causing uneven colours. If your table, chairs, and plant pots are always in the same position, the sunlight will never touch the decking underneath. Water can also gather underneath objects and lead to staining, odours, moss and mould, and wood warping.

When talking about trapping moisture, the same applies to using mats or rugs, as they can house water underneath them. These should be moved and used sparingly, especially when made from natural materials.

Cover all nearby plants and bushes, as the stainer or sealer can damage and kill any shrubs.

If rainfall is common in your area and becomes a problem, consider using a waterproof sealant. This can be applied to the boards and cracks and can aid in your decking from not holding water and even becoming more slip-resistant.

Any surrounding bushes should be trimmed and maintained to ensure that no moss, algae, or mould can spread to the wood. It can also just help improve the aesthetic of your garden!

Be sure to sweep and scrub the decking as often as you can. Be gentle as you don't want to cause scratches, but sweeping away debris and garden waste can help significantly.

How Long Will Garden Decking Last? - Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

How long will decking last?

Depending on the type of decking you have (be it composite decking or wooden), then you can expect different lifespans. That's not to say that one will live longer than the other guaranteed because you still need to clean and care for both types. Not maintaining a decking is a surefire way to shorten its lifespan. Traditional timber decking will last anywhere between ten to fifteen years, with proper care. 

This involves the removal of water, mould, algae, and rot, along with a general sweep and clean every week. Composite decking, which is a composite of wood timber and plastic, can last much longer. They are generally lower maintenance and are less likely to stain, along with being more environmentally friendly. For this type of decking, you're looking at twenty to thirty years. 

If you need further advice on cleaning and maintaining your decking, or you're interested in getting a decking replacement, then get in touch today. Our decking professionals can assist you during this decision.