How to Maintain Your Decking in Five Easy Steps

  • 24/06/2022

Decking is a fantastic way to make the best use out of your garden. Transform your sunny corner into an attractive place to dine alfresco, enjoy a book, or sip on a drink after a long day.

Made from wood, decking is prone to discolouring – particularly through the damp autumn and winter months – and without maintenance, a build-up of algae and grime can eventually lead to the degrading of the wood.

Thankfully, with a little bit of TLC, you can bring your decking back from its winter hibernation – removing algae, moss, and stains, and returning it to its ‘just built’ former glory.

In this guide, we’ll tell you how to maintain your decking with a simple 5-step process. The majority of materials in this guide can be found at our builders’ merchants in Poole and New Milton.

5-step guide to maintaining your decking

  1. Choose a day where you know the weather will be dry
  2. Use a broom to sweep away loose leaves and detritus
  3. Use a decking cleaner and a wired brush to remove algae and persistent dirt
  4. Use decking oil or stain to reseal your decking
  5. Sweep your decking once a week to maintain its condition

Discover tips and advice for each stage of the process below.

1. Choose a dry day to carry out your decking maintenance

It’s best to choose a dry day to carry out your decking maintenance. This is so your decking cleaner can work properly and it’s easier to scrub the algae, moss, and dirt away from the wood.

2. Sweeping your decking

Use a wired-haired broom to sweep away leaves, moss, loose dirt and other detritus. Clear all of this away to ensure your decking cleaner has a good surface on which to get to work.

3. Give your decking a scrub with a decent decking cleaner

Decking cleaner is the best way to get rid of all the grime. While some decking cleaners take a few days for you to see results, others get to work in just 10 minutes or so, so make sure you look at the instructions and choose one that will get to work in your desired timescale.

NB Some people may choose to use a jet washer. Jet washers are so powerful, they can actually damage the wood, so make sure you use it at its lowest setting.

Once your decking cleaner or your low pressured pressure washer has got to work, use a wired scrubbing brush to remove all the algae and dirt that has been loosened up by the cleaner. It’s important that you scrub with the grain to avoid damaging the wood fibres.

When you think all of the algae and dirt has been removed from your decking, wash down your decking with fresh water from the hose and leave to dry.

4. Reseal your decking with decking oil or stain

With your decking looking smart and clean, it’s now time to reseal it. This’ll help to keep it smart and ready to impress. To reseal your decking, you’ll need to make sure it’s applied to the bare wood – this means a scrub with some decking cleaner isn’t quite enough.

An electric sander is an easy way to remove any old paint or stain. Once you’ve chosen your new oil or stain, ensure the protective coat is applied evenly and properly penetrates the wood by using a decent wood brush.

5. Maintain the condition of your decking with a weekly sweep

Brushing off any leaves, twigs, dirt, or animal mess with a weekly sweep will slow the build up of grime, dirt and algae. Do this once a week – or twice a week if the weather is particularly bad – and it shouldn’t take so long to get your decking back into tip-top shape next time.

Maintain your decking with products from NMSB

Our builders’ merchants offer everything you need to maintain or revamp your decking. From replacement wood to oil and stains, NMSB is your one-stop-shop for decking and garden products. Pop into one of our branches in either Poole or New Milton to discover the materials we have to offer and some great promotions we have on currently.


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