A timber deck outside your home can provide a great place for entertaining or just relaxing with the family, and many homeowners prefer the look of real timber versus PVC or any other manmade material. However, it does take some work to keep that timber deck looking like new and protecting it so that it lasts for years. Note a few simple tips for how to do this with your own deck.
1. Avoiding mold and mildew
Often, homeowners inspect their decks for signs of mold or mildew growth and then clean the deck and make repairs as needed. However, once mold or mildew gets into the wood, it can soften it and spread very easily. A better choice is to protect against mold and mildew growth in the first place by ensuring that your deck is properly sealed and recoating it every year or as needed. There are paints and other coatings you can buy that are easily applied with a roller or paint sprayer, and these can protect the wood from mold, mildew, insects, and many other damaging elements. Consider using these even if you don't see signs of this damage, to keep it from occurring in the first place.
2. Inspecting connectors
Over the years, the connectors that keep deck slats together and connect the deck to your home can rust or get pulled away and out of place. While this is unsafe, it can also cause unsightly cracks and chips in the wood itself. The rust on metal connectors can also spread to the wood and cause it to discolor. It's always good to inspect connectors every year and replace any that are rusted or that seem loose. You may also need to use screws with anchors in place of nails for the strength your deck needs and to avoid splinters as well.
3. Cutting away brush
When you notice that brush or long grass begins to wrap itself around your deck columns or grow up near the underside of the deck, you want to cut this down immediately. That brush can cling to the slats of your deck and actually cause indentations in the wood, and the moisture of the plants can also seep into the wood and allow for mildew growth. You may also notice that you get stains on your deck from brush and plants. When you cut your lawn, use your edger to trim around the deck or otherwise keep these plants from growing near it, and your deck will be protected.
For more tips, you may want to consult with a decking supplier like Sweetmans Timber Pty Ltd.