The first day of summer arrives and you want to use your beautiful decking to have a barbeque with family and friends. Then you realise it is greasy with slimy mould and looks dreadful.
First, the easy way to give it a quick lift in appearance is clean it, but clean it properly.
The best way to do this is by killing the mould and algae with a good decking cleaner or a fungicidal wash. Many people will use bleach, but please don’t do it, it does not work properly. Simply apply the decking cleaner or fungicide with a brush, allow to dry for the recommended time and wash off with clean water. Do not clean then apply the cleaner, you will just spread the mould spores further and they will return over a larger area! Remember, kill the mould then clean.
Once you have cleaned, you might find the decking looks as good as new in which case, great, get the barbeque going!
If the decking looks like it needs a coat of something to give it a lift you then have several options and it can become confusing to know what to use.
If your deck has gone grey and you want a natural look a decking restorer is best for you.
If the decking needs a coating however, as a rule of thumb, if the deck is softwood a decking stain is probably your best option and there are lots of colours available, if it is hardwood and natural looking a decking oil can be a better option but the colour options become limited.
Beware though if you are choosing decking oil. It is not necessarily how it sounds anymore as most of them are now actually water based so check the detail! If it has to be cleaned with white spirit it is oil based if not it is probably water based.
A great tip for getting a good finish is to apply the treatment you choose to the whole length of a complete board at a time avoiding overlapping on to the next board. Do not go across several boards at once. This is because the treatments being water based dry quickly and you will end up with patches over your deck.
Apply the correct number of coats.
It is often tempting to apply just one coat because it looks good enough, but really for the sake of applying that second coat you will get a better and longer lasting finish. Remember to allow the first coat to dry properly before applying the second coat.
Lastly, make sure it is a dry day when you do it and enjoy your new look decking!