If you haven’t done so already, then it’s now crucial that you get around to protecting your decking for the winter.
Many of us have still been enjoying warm October and even November nights outside, but a cold snap over the past fortnight or so has reminded us that a chilly winter – complete with snow – is due to make its appearance any day now.
Don’t think you’ll just skip staining the deck this year. Come spring, when you see the state of those unprepared boards, you’ll definitely be regretting making that decision. It’s all about protecting them from the dampness and cold, and putting on a new coat of stain or oil is the very best way to do this.
How to prepare decking for chilly days
Like painting anywhere else in your home, it always makes sense to give your decking a thorough clean first. Do this by using a cleaner which has been specifically designed for the purpose, for instance a decking restorer. That way you’ll be sure to kill of any mould and other unwanted stains or patches of dirt which have accumulated over the summer and late autumn. Really scrub at those stains with a stiff brush or even a pressure hose if they’re proving too stubborn. The point is, you need to get rid of them before moving on to the next step.
Once you’ve rinsed off the decking cleaner using a hose or even a watering can, leave it to dry for a couple of days before sanding it down for a nice smooth surface.
Next, bring out the wood stain or decking oil. This is where you get to choose how dark (or light) your decking will be next summer. The latter can be obtained by using a wood brightener.
Applying your wood stain
Wood stain is commonly applied using either a brush or a roller. It’ll happen quicker with a roller but sometimes a brush just feels more comfortable. It’s all done to personal preference really with no one way being better than another.
The main thing is to make sure you get an even covering. You can do this by dipping in your brush and only picking up enough oil for several strokes at a time.
Once it has been oiled or stained the decking should then be left to dry for at least 24 hours and given a second coat (in case you happen to have missed any parts or would prefer a darker stain).
Shifting snow and other elements
How do you get rid of snow when it inevitably falls? The best way to do this and not cause any surface or lasting damage to your decking is to use a plastic shovel to scrape it off. Meanwhile, with hard set ice simply chuck on a few handfuls of rock salt and let it do its stuff before scraping off, again with the plastic shovel.
You can find out more hardware and household maintenance tips at our blog Heiton Buckley. Alternatively ask any of our team for advice. They’re always happy to help.