Timber decking is still very popular in Melbourne Victoria, despite composite products steadily rising in popularity. With the love for natural timber continuing to endure, we its important to know how to keep timber looking good over the years. Viccon Painting is one of Melbourne's leading decking maintenance expert, so we know how to maintain timber. Here’s our ‘7 Truths About Timber Deck Maintenance’.
Identify what you are expecting from your deck and the look you are going for
One of the most important things to consider before you oil your deck is the look you are after. If you are looking to keep the new timber look a water based oil is best as it seals the timber and maintains its natural colour for longer. Lately, we have seen a big trend toward the greyed, aged, weathered timber look, and this requires careful handling. Unfortunately, there is the perception out there that you do not have to oil the deck to achieve this look however this is not a great idea for longevity of your timber. It is always important to keep your deck oiled and we use a clear, oil based product which will penetrate into the timber to help preserve it, whilst allowing it to silver off. This will give you a much longer lifespan from your deck.
How often should you oil your deck?
Water based oils often recommend application every year, however in direct sunlight you will be lucky to achieve 9-10 months before needing to re-coat. If you let the timber go for 2-3 years, you may face sanding again before applying the re-coat. If you oil regularly (before the oil starts to break down) you will achieve a consistent finish without sanding.
How long should you leave your new deck before oiling?
There seems to be a belief that timbers should be left for 1-2 months prior to oiling to allow the tannins to bleed from the timber. The truth is that tannis do need to bleed before oiling, however there are products and processes that we use to release the tannins immediately, allowing oiling straight away. This avoids the risk of the deck staining prior to oiling or the wood grain raising or becoming rough – which would then require sanding.
Is sanding required for decking?
New Decks For new decks, sanding is not required if proper cleaning techniques are followed that allow you to oil immediately following installation. A new deck should never need a floor sander to cut it back, however, polyvac machines are a great way of buffing the deck to achieve a higher level of finish.Old Decks It really depends on the condition of the deck, and how long it’s been since it was last oiled. If it is rough, uneven or cupping, then it would require sanding back to achieve a polished look.
Things to Be Mindful of When Sanding Back Your Deck
You will need to know whether the deck is screwed down or nailed down. If it is nailed down, ensure all nailheads are driven a few mm below the surface of the boards, so the nail heads will not be sanded off. With boards that are screwed down, they are generally screwed beneath the surface level of the wood, however it is is still important to check or you will damage your floor sander.
Washing and Preparing
When selecting an oil to use, there are generally manufacturer recommendations for compatible cleaning products. It is important to follow the manufacturer guidelines to ensure compatibility. For new decks, the deck cleaner used should have oxalic acid-based cleaner to release the tannins prior to oiling. It is important to do this in small stages so that it can be hosed off prior to drying. +++
Your Options for Fuss Free Maintenance of Your Deck
Viccon Painting offers maintenance packages for clients to maintain the look and condition of their deck. Every deck is different. Some have more exposure to sun or water than others, some are close to pools, and others have heavy foot traffic. So we customise the maintenance program to suit your needs and your lifestyle.
Contact our team to discuss the best timber deck maintenance program for your deck, or request a callback today. We will discuss the best options for creating the ideal outdoor deck to suit your lifestyle and budget.