In time wood that is left untreated becomes that familiar silvery-grey colour with a rough, bark-like surface, as the grain gradually opens and lets in moisture. But be warned, wait this long and it may be almost impossible to reverse!

Instead, when timber is around one-year-old, sand off any old, flaking stain or dirt from the dry surface and apply an annual coat of good quality wood preservative. This will enrich and revitalise the surface of the wood just like a skin moisturiser. They also contain anti-fungicides that will help prevent rot, mould and lichens.

There is a wide choice of timber care products, some combining treatment with a coloured wood stain for extra impact.

Deck maintenance

To keep your timber decking ship-shape, you will ideally need to treat it regularly using a specialist deck treatment. We recommend that you carry this out once a year for the first two to three years after you first install the deck, and then just once every other year. Follow these four simple steps:

  • Remove all surface dirt, algae and grit. Before you start, use either a pressure washer or a stiff brush to clean off the debris – something like an old-fashioned scrubbing brush is ideal!
  • Deep clean. Specialist ‘decking cleaners’ are now available to help you remove all grease and dirt, and prevent the re-growth of algae and fungus. Remove any soapy residues by washing thoroughly with clean water – again, with a pressure washer if you have one.
  • Apply stain or preservative. When the decking is dry, a deck stain or preservative can be applied. If you have a hardwood deck you should also consider an annual treatment of revitalising decking oil.
  • Seal and protect. Finally, you need to seal the wood with a decking protector. This is a clear, water-repellent coat that contains waxes to help prevent moisture damage, a preservative to keep the surface free from decay, and an algaecide to prevent mould growth.