Treat Your Timber Decking

Treat Your Timber Decking

If you have a timber deck, you need to treat it to protect it from the ravages of weather and infestation. It's worth the effort, though, because there's nothing quite like the appearance of timber decking. If you do the job right the first time, it will make subsequent treatments much easier. 

Treating Your Deck

Before you begin, wait for a 2 or 3 day window of opportunity of good weather to complete the process of treating your deck. You will achieve better results and not run the risk of having to perform any steps twice.

If you are starting with bare timber that has a smooth finish,  you may not need to sand it first, but you will need to clean it thoroughly. Your local hardware supplier or paint store will have a deck cleaner that will remove oily residues as well as dirt. Deck cleaners are powerful solutions. Wear protective gloves and eye wear when using them and keep children and animals away from the area. After you have applied the deck cleaner, you will need to wash it off thoroughly using a high pressure cleaner. You can find one of these at a local hire shop.

If you are re-treating a previously treated deck, you will need to sand it down to bare timber before you begin. This can be made much easier if you rent a drum sander from a hire shop . It's better to use 2 grades of sandpaper (rough or medium and fine) rather than just one and you will also want to have some sheets of sandpaper on hand for hand-sanding detail areas. After you have sanded the deck, clean it thoroughly.

Now that the surface is prepared, it's time to seal your deck. There are many decking oils and other sealers to choose from today. An easy way to compare products and prices is to use our Get Quotes service and get quotes from 3 decking oil suppliers in your area at the same time.  If you want to stain and seal the deck, all-in-one stain/sealers are available or you can choose a transparent finish to bring out the natural colour of the timber. Traditional decking oils have withstood the test of time or for ease of application and clean-up, you can use a modern water-based sealer. The number of coats the deck will need will depend on the porosity of the timber. Treated pine, for example, will require more sealer than a hardwood. 

Work in one direction only, covering 2 or 3 boards at a time. Be sure to finish a full length before taking a break. If you leave a length of timber to dry, "lap lines" will appear after you resume work. A roller or pad applicator will make the job easier, but keep a brush handy for detail work and to get into those awkward spaces. Depending on the treatment you use and the porosity of the timber, you will need to apply 2 or 3 coats. Drying times vary, but usually it's best to apply one coat per day.

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