YOUR decking has worked hard all summer. Now is the time to give it a little TLC before winter sets in. RTN have the tips you need to prepare your decking for winter, ensuring its beauty and function for years to come.
Tip #1: Loose nails that are exposed above the decking’s surface create hazards, especially for children and pets. If you have wooden decking, drag the back of a rake across the boards to find any protruding nail heads. Hammer them down, or replace them with galvanized screws that are approximately ½-inch longer than the original nails. Decking made of other materials should not experience a loosening of nails. However, if you desire a smooth surface that is completely free of any type of fasteners, consider a wood-alternative material for the ultimate clean and worry-free appearance.
Tip #2: Scuffs and abrasions accumulated during the summer from furniture or foot traffic are easily acquired and can mar the beauty of your decking’s surface. To keep wood decking looking good as new, it’s important to wash, stain and seal it in advance of the arrival of warm weather, as the process can take several weeks and may require the use of heavy equipment such as a power washer.
Tip #3: BBQ sauce is delicious, but not when the leftovers from a summer cookout are coating your decking. In fact, oil and grease stains can be downright unappetising, especially if they’re set-in. For wooden decking, try to scrub the stain with a household de-greasing agent as soon as it occurs. Use an automotive degreaser or a carburetor cleaner, and rinse immediately with hot water. For composite decking, food and drink spills wash off easily with just soap and water.
Tip #4: Mould and mildew can grow on any exterior surface – especially on decking where water is allowed to stand or to puddle under potted plants. Sweeping away pools of water and periodically cleaning the decking surface creates a first line of defence against mould and mildew. These actions prevent the creation of an environment that promotes the growth of fungus. In addition, wooden decking need to be sealed twice a year to protect against other types of moisture damage, such as rotting planks, which can make it unsafe for kids and pets.