Keep your timber looking like new with simple maintenance and repairs.
Providing it receives regular attention, a deck is one build that keeps on giving, adding lifestyle benefits and value to the home. Decks are constantly exposed to the weather and foot traffic year round, and can deteriorate quickly, if not properly maintained. Quality outdoor timber lasts for up to 15 years if cared for so it pays to look after your investment.
Giving the deck a good once-over twice a year resolves any potential problems. Here are 3 DIY deck fixes you may find yourself in need of undertaking.
1. How To Oil A Deck
Decks finished with oil should be cleaned and re-oiled twice a year to keep the timber protected.
If decks aren’t refinished regularly, the surface will become rough and appear discoloured and dirty.
Check if a deck needs refinishing by splashing water on the boards. If the water soaks in instead of beading off, then resealing is required.
Wash the deck prior, then apply two coats of quality oil, selecting a formula that resists abrasion and doesn’t fade when exposed to UV light.
TIP Stained decks need to be lightly sanded and re-stained every two years.
Sealing a deck stops water penetrating and extends its life. Image: Thinkstock
2. How To Replace Old Decking Boards
Broken or split timber boards pose a safety hazard and should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
If hardwood or treated pine suffers from rot and decay, or the nails have rusted, then individual boards or whole sections of a deck may need to be replaced to keep it safe.
Leave new decking boards for two months before oiling or staining to allow the tannins to be released. Timber that is cleaned and sealed regularly is more resistant to rot.
TIP If a screwdriver penetrates soft, spongy timber, this indicates rot.
3. How To Repair Split Deck Posts
Outdoor structures are exposed to heat, cold and rain, which causes the expansion and contraction of the timber, creating cracks and splits.
Cracks continue to move with the weather, so these areas of damage and any timber joints in the deck that have opened up should be filled to avoid additional moisture problems and insect infestation.
If old posts are cracked, check for rot before filling or replace posts if they are not structurally sound.
Sand and oil the area once the filler has cured to prevent further damage from occurring.
Learn How To Check A Deck Frame to ensure the structural elements of the deck are in good shape.