Care & Maintenance of your Timber Deck
20 December, 2023
How do I clean my timber deck?
After you’ve cleared your deck of dirt and debris, it’s time to choose a cleaning agent.
You can pick up appropriate cleaning products from any local hardware store, or you can mix your own using any old laundry detergent and water. The water will probably run off your deck and into your garden, so it might be a good idea to use a cleaner that is both non-toxic and eco-friendly. When it comes to actually cleaning your timber deck, you have two main options. You can either do it the old-fashioned way with a bristle brush and some elbow grease, or you can opt for a power washer. The bristle brush is obviously slightly more labour-intensive and time-consuming, but this method will usually result in a nicer finish. The power washer will mean you spend far less time cleaning, however if the setting is too high it can damage your deck. Be careful with both methods, as either of them can result in the scratching and splintering of the wood when the proper care is not taken. You’ll also want to scrub any railings, as well as any other areas that might need extra attention. The final step to cleaning your deck is to rinse it off. Any old garden hose will work for this part, but make sure you thoroughly rinse the suds away.
Detergents may fade or discolour your deck when left for long periods of time, so it’s important to properly rinse your deck after cleaning.
Make sure your deck is completely dry before you move your belongings back to their original positions.
Moving heavy objects over a wet deck can result in damage.
Staining vs oiling: what’s best for my timber deck?
When it comes to caring for your deck, there’s a lot of information around regarding whether you should stain or oil your deck. Both options offer benefits – essentially, your choice will depend on whether you’d like to change the colour of your deck or simply enhance the current colour.
Should I put oil on my timber deck?
Oiling your deck will protect it from damaging UV rays that can cause it to crack and shrink. Depending on which type of oil you use, it may also enhance the current colour of your deck.
There are two types of decking oil on the market: water based and non-water based. Both types will sufficiently protect your timber deck, but they do have some minor differences. Water based oils tend to last longer than their counterpart, as they sit on top of the wood. They also usually have less of an impact on the natural colour of the wood.
It’s important that you thoroughly clear your deck of dust and debris before applying water based oil, as it will affect the end result. Non-water based oils penetrate the wood, protecting it from water damage.
They provide a similar level of protection as their counterpart, the only real difference being they take longer to dry between coats.
The main difference in the end result is that non-water based oils will give your deck a slightly darker shade.
Should I stain my timber deck?
Staining your deck can be beneficial for two reasons: it changes the colour of the wood and it increases its resistance to UV rays. One of the great things about staining your timber deck is that you can completely change the way it looks!
If you have a pine deck but are after a darker finish, you can stain it to make it resemble a darker wood.
If you already like the way your deck looks, you definitely don’t want to stain it – stick with decking oil!
The method of deck preservation you use will depend on the type of deck you have. Make sure you seek the advice of someone who knows what they’re talking about.
Lunawood Thermowood decking is a beautiful and ecological wood material that retains its shape throughout all seasons. With proper surface treatment, the terrace retains its beautiful appearance and remains in good condition for many years. Follow these instructions to protect your terrace against weather and wear.
Lunawood and AIM British Building Supplies recommend regular surface treatment for Thermowood decking when used in applications subject to varying weather conditions. Surface treatment will help to retain the original colour and reduce cracking and splintering that are typical to wood materials over time.
If left untreated, Thermowood will turn a silver-grey colour due to UV rays. The beautiful grey colour lends an elegant appearance and does not affect the wood’s resistance to decay.
Horizontal surfaces, such as terraces subject to wear and direct weather effects, need suitable protective agents to ensure the mechanical durability of the wood material. In other words, the only way to prevent cracking and splintering over time is to perform regular surface treatment by applying a decking oil once every two years or so, for instance.
To preserve the brown tint of the wood, you should treat the terrace immediately after installation using pigmented decking oil intended for thermal modified wood, such as Ronseal Decking Oil, Aceite de Mora Madera or Cedría. AIM British Building Supplies stock a range of pigmented oils from these brands. To retain the correct shade, we recommend repeating the treatment every two years or depending on weather conditions and use of the terrace.
Make sure you also apply wood oil to all sawn surfaces and extensions.
If you want your decking to grey naturally, you should choose clear terrace oil. Note that clear oil slows down the natural greying of wood, so the gradual change can take a few years and even longer in shadow.
A self-selected shade is also possible. In this case, it should be noted that the color patterns tinted to bright wood do not correspond to the final color tone due to the specific characteristic brown tone of the Thermowood. We recommend test painting.
All that is needed to perform basic maintenance of a terrace with Lunawood Thermowood decking during the terrace season is to brush away loose materials and wash with water and a soft brush. Pressure washing is not recommended in order to avoid splintering.
Maintenance With Oil
Before oiling, brush away loose materials from the terrace surface. Carefully wash the surface using a detergent intended for decking. Rinse and let the terrace dry thoroughly. If the surface has a clear film after washing, remove it before continuing. Smooth the surface using fine sandpaper, if needed. Apply 1–2 layers of pigmented terrace oil, such as Ronseal Decking Oil, Aceite de Mora Madera or Cedria. Follow the instructions for the surface treatment agent.
Greying and Restoring the Brown Colour
If left untreated, Thermowood will turn grey over time. Sun, shadow and surrounding conditions determine how quickly the wood will grey.
If your decking has already turned grey and you want to restore its original colour, you can use a strong washing liquid and/or sanding. After that the surface can be treated normally, for instance with brown-pigmented oil that helps to maintain the colour. See above instructions “Maintenance With Oil”.
Impurities in the air such as soot or pollen, or metallic dust can cause small black spots on the surface of the decking. In some cases, a decking base containing sulphate combined with water can colour the wood. Black spots can be prevented by using pigmented decking oil right after installing the terrace. Black spots often disappear by themselves over time from untreated decking as the boards turn grey.
Black spots can be removed by following these instructions:
Carefully wash the surface using a detergent intended for decking. Rinse and allow the terrace dry thoroughly. If the surface has a clear film after washing, remove it before continuing. Smooth the surface using a fine sandpaper if needed. Apply 1–2 layers of pigmented terrace oil, such as Ronseal Decking Oil, Aceite de Mora Madera or Cedria. Follow the instructions for the surface treatment agent.
Download these handy guides about the care and installation of your Thermowood Thermodeck.