Prepare your deck for summer or for sale

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Spring is always a great time to work on your deck and get it ready for the punishing summer ahead. Even the best decks will be affected by a few years of exposure to New Zealand’s harsh sunshine and wet winters.
However the right care will make sure your deck looks great and lasts for decades. For example, decks built using pressure treated pine can last up to 40 years if well looked after.

Another time you should get in and give your deck a spruce up is when you are selling a house. Decks are a huge sales feature, and if they look bright and tidy they will add thousands to the price of your home.

Here is TJ’s list of deck care tips:

  • Have your deck washed with a chemical. This will keep it clean for the next 6 – 8 months, and also makes it easier to see what you are dealing with once the grey discolouration and any mould is gone.
  • Check if any boards are rotten and need replacing, or are getting towards the end of their life. Look for cracks, and nails popping up. Nails protruding above the level of the wood are hazards that can really slice a foot, and timber that is beginning to splinter can also harm feet, especially children’s soft little feet.
  • If any boards need replacing, have a good look at the deck joists/bearers are in good condition before you put new decking down. This is a bit more involved, but needs to be done to keep our decking safe for family and friends.
  • If the colour of your deck is fading or you wish to give it the best protection, you can apply a stain or deck paint. Make sure that the deck is clean, sanded, any damaged boards have been replaced, and any raised nails have been hammered down before you start. If a deck is not prepped properly the stain or paint will not stick thoroughly, and will quickly start to peel or flake. Ensure that the wood stain or paint you select is designed for use on decks as they need to be exceptionally hard-wearing.
  • Ideally, pot plants should always be left off the decking as this is an area that can cause rotting. If you are determined to have pot plants on your deck, make sure you use feet to elevate them well off the wood. Move their position regularly to rest each spot, and avoid patches of sun discolouration. Clean the deck thoroughly to remove the dirt and damp that will build up underneath them.

If your decking is professionally built, from good materials, and well looked after, you will get to enjoy it for at least 20 years.