4 Decking Care Tips and Tricks for First-Time Homeowners

Timber decking is a worthwhile investment for many first-time homeowners because it not only increases the functionality of the outdoor space, but also it improves the aesthetics of a home. With such an investment, you have to dedicate time for inspecting the decking for issues such as wear and tear, loose screws, and rot. Also, over time, weather elements can cause the wooden planks to shrink or swell. If you want your decking to last longer, follow the following handy tips. 

Nail Pop

Aging decks often suffer from the problem of loose nails, which causes the nails/screws to pop out. As the timber decks expand and contract throughout the years due to many factors including climatic conditions, the bolts are squeezed out of the wood. Therefore, ensure that such nails are either replaced or nailed down using hand or power tools. 

Replace Decayed and Warped Boards

Even the most sophisticated timber treatment cannot prevent the wood from warping, albeit marginally. Note that the longer the deck, the higher the chances of warping. Furthermore, moisture can lead to rotting of some sections of the decking. The loss of aesthetic appeal as a result of these defects cannot be overstated. Most importantly, you also risk damaging the entire decking or causing an accident if you do not replace the warped or decayed wood planks. Depending on the magnitude of the damage, you might be forced to either swap a section of the decking or the entire platform. 

Sealing the Decks

Applying sealants on a deck prevents the harmful effects of sunlight, which causes shrinking. Further, moisture content leads to swelling of the timber. The cycle of swelling and shrinking causes the decking to crack, warp, gray, and cup. Even if the timber decking was pre-treated before installation, you still need to apply sealants to protect it from elements. Professional sealing is recommended, but if you want a simple DIY project, ensure that you do the sealing as regularly as once every year. Clean the decking before applying a single or double coat of the sealant on the surface of the boards.

Rid Decks of Fungi and Dirt

Excessive moisture content can lead to the growth of mildew and algae on timber. Notably, using chlorine-based bleach to clean timber decking is not recommended because it destroys a compound known as lignin, which is essential for holding the wood together. As such, remove fungal growth with a combo of garden insecticide and pesticide. You can then clean the decking with a mild solution of citric acid or hydrogen peroxide, which can be sourced from local stores. 

For more information, contact a business such as Barrenjoey Timber.