Gardeners' World offer advice on the 'best way' to clean decking
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Timber garden decking has proven a timeless addition to any garden with thousands of Brits favouring this wooden feature over paving. Not only will decking add a stunning seating zone or plant pot staging area to your property, but also add value to your home. Decking is relatively low maintenance too, requiring just a few treatments a year, but why is autumn such a good time to do it?
Decking is a durable and long-lasting feature that will suit almost any garden – though it will only stand the test of time if it is well maintained.
Composite decking is thought to be more resilient than timber decking as it is made up of a blend of plastic film and wood fibres to create a strong blend of materials that won’t splinter.
Both types of decking require a yearly and you can even use natural remedies like white vinegar, soap and water to target mildew and dirt.
A pressure washer will also do the job, but the key to a long-lasting deck lies in seasonal treatment.
When to treat timber decking
After enjoying decking throughout the summer it’s finally time to treat the wooden panels ready to enjoy once again in 2022.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Karl Harrison, decking expert at Trex Pro said: “Many homeowners find a tough winter wreaks havoc on traditional wooden decking, which can, in fact, be prevented through giving your outdoor space some autumn TLC.
“Before the first snow falls, it’s important to wash, stain and seal a wood deck.”
You’ll need to time it right so try to find a sunny, dry spell to treat your decking for best results as it will take a few days to get the job done.
How to treat Timber decking
Karl said: “Scuffs and abrasions accumulated during the summer from furniture or foot traffic can mar the beauty of any deck surface.
Start by cleaning the decking and removing debris, leaves and moss using a garden broom.
Give it a once over with some soapy water, adding a splash of white vinegar to the mix and leave to dry for two or three days.
Sand decking if it has been varnished, polished or stained in the past to create a clean base.
Once sanded, apply fast-drying wood stain to restore natural oils and add a protective layer ahead of the wet and windy winter weather.
- Brush your decking regularly through autumn to avoid stains or rotting which can ruin your deck
- You can use a wood restorer for a timber deck as well as soapy water at the cleaning stage
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When to treat composite decking
November is the prime time to treat composite decking too, but it involves just a fraction of the treatment given to timber decking.
While wooden decking requires a wash, stain and seal, the blend of plastic film and wood fibres in composite decking makes for a low-maintenance option.
Karl commented: “For a low-maintenance option, consider wood-alternative decking, such as Trex, which features a finish that resists stains, scratches and mould and requires no sanding, staining or sealing.”
How to care for composite decking
This low maintenance option requires just one tool and a spare five minutes.
Sweeping your composite decking to keep it clear of leaves and branches will keep it looking its best.
Karl added: “As a Trex decking pro builder, I love nothing more than relaxing on the deck, planning out next year’s garden.
“Featuring a protective shell for superior defence against severe weather and heavy footfall, Trex deck boards retain their beauty even after decades of wet British winters.
“With added lighting around the deck, it makes for a cosy set up to enjoy some fresh air even in the winter months.”
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