Schedule cleaning on consecutive days and ensure thorough annual cleaning.
A deck crafted out of timber is an elegant and functional addition to any home. While sturdy, wood is damaged more easily compared to modern materials. This doesn’t mean, however, that damage is unpreventable. There are things you can watch out for and steps you can do to keep your timber deck pristine.
What can damage your timber deck?
Many factors can cause damage to your timber deck. Some of these include the following:
Abrasion isn’t as serious as the others on this list since the damage it causes is mostly shallow. However, too much abrasion can cause the protective coats to the wood to slowly be stripped off. The wood is then exposed to the elements and other factors that cause further damage.
Water isn’t usually a problem unless it’s in large amounts or if the wood is unprotected. The damage that it can cause can be quite serious, however. Water can cause the wood to warp, rot, and grow of mould.
Excessively high amounts of heat can cause wood to warp and can distort the shape of your deck planks or cause gaps between them to expand.
Insects are not usually a problem when the wood has coating, but exposed wood can be quite vulnerable. Termites and wood-boring beetles, in particular, can cause severe damage.
Certain chemicals can strip the layers of the protective coat off your timber deck. Some are even corrosive enough to damage the wood itself underneath.
Make sure to watch out for any of these mentioned to keep your deck in perfect condition. If these can’t entirely be kept away, make sure you do proper maintenance to mitigate the damage.
Spotting early signs of damage
Knowing about the things that are bad for the deck is useless if you can’t spot the early signs of damage. Nipping the problem in the bud is an excellent strategy, after all. Some of the early stages of damage to your timber deck are the following:
- Scratches and cracks
Minor scratches aren’t usually a problem. If you believe that the wood has been exposed, then make sure to take action.
- Popped nails and screws
The nails and screws that hold down the planks are bound to come loose eventually. Make sure to replace these to keep the wood firmly in place.
Holes in the wood can indicate the presence of insects. If there are droppings, trails, or powdered wood close to the holes, you have an insect problem.
Discolouration can indicate chemical or water damage. Check if the protective coats are still intact and watch out for any leaks.
- Soft areas, gaps, and swelling
These signs can also indicate water damage or damage caused by heat. Be sure to check for these factors to help prevent any further damage.
Once you spot any of these signs on your timber deck, take steps to address them immediately. The longer it stays unaddressed, the higher the chance that the problem becomes more serious.
Care tips for timber
Timber is sturdy, but like any other type of material, it also needs proper care. It can require a bit more maintenance compared to other materials. As such, you’ll need to take the appropriate steps to keep your deck in great condition. Some of the best ways of doing so are the following:
1. Choose the right maintenance days.
When you choose when to do maintenance on your deck, make sure to do it on consecutively fine days. This is because rain can dilute the cleaning materials that you use. Water can also strip off the protective coats that you apply to the wood.
2. Clean the deck regularly, with a thorough annual cleaning.
No matter what material your deck is made of, regular cleaning is necessary. Timber decks need this even more since wood can be prone to damage if not maintained properly. Make sure to clean the deck regularly and schedule a thorough cleaning session at least once a year.
3. Be mindful of your cleaning materials.
As we have already mentioned, some cleaning materials are not compatible with wood. Use the less-corrosive materials and make sure you don’t use excessively acidic solutions.
Also, be mindful of how your cleaning agents may react with the coating materials of the wood. These coats keep the wood protected, so stripping them off is not a wise move.
4. Remove any debris.
Some types of debris can be harmful to your timber deck. Small stones, branches, and other abrasive items can damage the wood coats and layers underneath. Be sure to regularly remove all these and use cleaning materials that minimise the debris scraping on wood.
5. Use furniture pads.
Patio furniture on your deck can both be functional and aesthetically pleasing. However, these are among the most damaging items that you can place on the deck.
An excellent solution to prevent damage is to place furniture pads on the undersides of these items. Furniture pads can help minimise the contact between the abrasive underside of your furniture and the wooden floor.
6. Sand the wood when necessary.
Retouching the finish or doing a thorough cleaning of the deck may sometimes require sanding. Doing this can help improve the texture of the wood, remove any flaws, and make applying a finish easier. Sanding can be tough to do if you have no experience in it, so be sure to consult with a professional for your sanding needs.
Consult with an expert to keep your timber deck in excellent condition
A lot of things can go wrong if you attempt to sand a wooden floor without any prior experience. Fortunately, we are here to help you with your sanding needs.
Modern Floor Sanding and Polishing is a family-owned company that has been operating for over 15 years. We have plenty of experience and will make sure that your floors are the best they can be. If you want to learn more, contact us or call us on 0467 029 131 at your earliest convenience.