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Top Tips For Delightful Looking Decking

Our decking provides the perfect finishing touch to your outside space, but as with most materials exposed to the elements, it requires a little tlc to keep it looking lovely. Whether you have softwood, hardwood or composite decking, these top tips will keep it looking ship-shape.

Algae and Lichen

A combination of rain and sunshine can encourage the growth of a slimy layer of algae over many garden surfaces. Keep your decking free from this slippery substance or you risk entering the garden in an uncontrolled high speed skid.

A number of solutions can be used to wash away this uninvited vegetation. A weakened mixture of TSP (trisodium phosphate), with an added drop of washing up liquid works well, or for an eco-friendly cleaning solution, try water with a dash of citric acid.

Eliminate Mini Beasts

Fungi love sheltered, damp, dark crevices, and can create their own slippery texture to the surface of your decking. Keep mushrooms and mini beasts at bay by washing the decking over with a fungicide solution, after you have given it a thorough clean.

Prop Plant Pots

Potted plants and flowers provide an beautiful injection of colour to your decked area, and are a relatively low maintenance way of blending your garden structures with the surrounding landscape. To avoid marking the decking, place pots on waterproof stands. This stops rings forming on the deck at the edge of the pots and also helps the pots drain properly, improving the health of the plants they contain.

Beware The Power Washer

Avoid blasting your deck with too much power. Anything above 1300 psi can damage the wood fibres of the deck, creating a flaky surface which traps in dust, dirt, algae and fungus.

Mind The Gap

Keep the gap underneath your decking clean and well drained. An accumulation of water can attract unwanted pests and mosquitoes, and may begin seeping into the wood fibres.

Softwood and Hardwood Only

A decking oil will penetrate the open pores of the wood, then solidify creating a protective barrier against water and dirt. Stains and varnishes do not offer the same level of protection as they simply sit on the surface. When applying decking oil, use thin layers, allowing the oil to dry completely before the next application. Any puddles of oil should be cleaned up quickly, before it solidifies into an unsightly stain.

Keep on top of your decking maintenance with a regular surface wash, and you will have a beautiful outdoor space with minimum effort, available for use all year round.

Date: 25/03/2014 | Author: Roger Hedges