How to keep your timber deck in fantastic condition

Expert tips on keeping your timber deck in great condition

With a continued emphasis on staying at home in 2021, homeowners are looking at how they can make better use of their indoor and outdoor living spaces, extending to the deck and alfresco areas during warmer weather.

Exposure to the elements, especially moisture and extreme temperatures, means timber decking will be in need of attention to avoid surface damage and the development of hazards underfoot. Poor decking maintenance can be costly and time consuming to repair if left unchecked.

For longer lasting protection against the harsh Australian climate, Boral Timber recommends taking the following steps to enjoy naturally stunning hardwood timber decking all year round.

Inspect, maintain and repair

Regular inspection and maintenance is recommended to ensure any splits, cracks or unpainted areas are attended to early on. Any loose or damaged boards should be resecured or replaced, loose nails hammered back in or screws refixed.

If the damage is extensive and boards or the entire deck needs replacing, Australian hardwood timber is an ideal choice as it can withstand harsh weather conditions including rain, humidity, wind, salt and intense heat.

Regular inspection and maintenance is recommended to ensure any splits, cracks or unpainted areas are attended to early on.

Cleaning is key

Properly clean any timber surface before coating to make sure the new coating penetrates and adheres to the timber for long lasting protection. Use a deck cleaner that removes dirt properly and rejuvenates the natural beauty of the timber.

Use a high-quality coating

Once clean, apply a premium stain, oil, paint or varnish, depending on the preferred look, to protect the deck against mould and rot. Before the decking finish is applied, ensure the decking boards are completely dry, and cover areas around the deck that need protection such as plants and furniture.

Make sure to pick a warm and dry day as the coating will take several hours to dry. A coating will accentuate the natural characteristics and colour of the timber for a beautiful finish.

DECKED OUT: Blackbutt (above) and New England Oak (main image) timber decks.

DECKED OUT: Blackbutt (above) and New England Oak (main image) timber decks.

Don't forget the cut ends

Subject to the design of a deck, it can be easy to miss the cut ends of the timber when coating. Wood is highly absorbent, especially through the end grain which can soak up moisture. Not coating the ends will render the finish ineffective, exposing the timber to moisture and causing it to rot. Timber becomes much more durable when a finish is applied all over.

Keep it clear

During cold and wet months, be sure to clear away any leaves or dirt that may pile up on the deck or in between gaps in the timber, to prevent mould or lingering damp, which can cause damage to the surface.

If the deck is newly built or repaired, thoroughly sweep to remove metal filings from drilling, nailing or other construction materials that may cause black spots on the hardwood deck when exposed to the elements.