Transform your outdoor space and escape to your own oasis by investing in some decking, where minimal maintenance is required. Decking can give your garden a new lease of life and turn any space into an area for social gatherings with friends, a haven for much needed you-time, or even an Apres-ski inspired resort complete with cozy fire pit.
Thinking about decking? Making that initial investment in quality decking materials will be costly but will enable you to reap the benefits for many years to come. When putting the plans together for your decking, it can be an intricate process. This guide below outlines the decking options available as well as guidance on cleaning and maintenance.
There are most likely more decking options available than you think! There’s a variety of different materials, shapes and sizes to suit your space and your taste. It’s therefore crucial to assess your lifestyle and think about the particular aesthetic you’re hoping to achieve, as well as the required maintenance.
Read on below to find out the differences between wood decking, composite decking and aluminum decking.
The most traditional option of decking is wood decking, however this type of decking can often be the most difficult to maintain. If given the proper care and attention though, traditional wood decking can work wonders for your garden.
When opting for wood decking, the decking needs to be power washed annually and reconditioned with a coat of paint. The below wood decking options are available:
Pressure Treated Lumber – Pressure treated lumber requires the most maintenance since the wood can split quite easily, crack or even warp when not properly maintained. Although the hardest to maintain, pressure treated lumber decking is one of the cheapest options available.
Cedar and Redwood – Both of these wood options are more expensive than the treated lumber option, however cedar and redwood both require less maintenance and are also chemical-free.
Here is a short video from Craig Heffernan on how to build a wooden decking.
Becoming increasingly popular due to its recycled content, composite decking requires very minimal maintenance and is also very durable. Providing all the benefits of a wood deck but designed with antifungal solution in the tiles, composite decking is hassle-free to maintain and simply requires some water to wash the surface.
The rarest type of decking found in homes is aluminum, as it can be one of the most costly. Aluminum decking has the longest product life and is one of the easiest options to maintain. With this decking, you won’t need to worry about wood deck repair, finding the right sealant or deck cleaner.
Taking the right steps for maintaining your deck will help to keep it looking spick and span all year round and help to avoid any restoration projects or having to completely replace the decking. What’s involved in cleaning, protecting and restoring decking? Have a read below for more information.
Frequency: Two times every year
Keeping your decking clean is crucial for regular maintenance, especially prior to wood staining or wood sealing. The best quality deck cleaner on the market is recommended when it comes to the cleaning, and ensuring that the cleaner is suitable for your material.
Then simply follow the below steps:
If you carry out regular maintenance, then a full restoration shouldn’t be necessary. Restoring decking is usually needed when decking has been neglected and gradually the condition of the decking has become worse over time. Restoring might not mean replacing the deck completely either, it might just need a bit of work.
The restoring process is perhaps the main downside to decking, however if regular maintenance is carried out then this shouldn’t be necessary. When it comes to restoring your decking, you’ll need to consider a quality deck restorer product, such as decking oil. The oil should bring some life back to your decking.
Take a look at the steps below for restoring your deck:
Frequency: Once every year
Prevent damages caused by harsh weather conditions with the right deck protection and carrying out regular maintenance. Two of the main causes of damage are from heavy rain or from prolonged heat exposure.
Heavy rain can contribute to long-term damage due to decking tiles slowly absorbing the water, whereas intense heat exposure can cause decking to crack as well as lose its color. This is why water sealing and staining your deck is important for regular maintenance.
Follow the below steps for staining your decking:
Decking protector is also another great option if you don’t want to change the color of your decking with a stain. Decking protector will help to prevent water absorption and decking oil will help to bring out the original color of your decking.
If you’re after a contemporary feel for your outdoor space with minimal upkeep, then decking is a fantastic investment. Whether you want to get creative with the space you have or you want to keep things traditional, you can design your decking to fit in with the rest of your garden or to stand out on its own.
Lighting, furniture and lounge seating all play an important role in adding character to your decking and transforming your space into an outdoor oasis. Budget-depending, you might also want to ramp it up and opt for a cozy fire pit, outdoor bar area, or even a Jacuzzi.
Creating an outdoor space which both you and your family can enjoy and reap the benefits from is definitely worth making the investment for!
Guest post article written by 4Everdeck, a composite decking company with 13 years experience working with wood plastic composites.
Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.