Effective Timber Deck Cleaning & Oiling by John from All Exterior Cleaning
Enjoy Your Timber Deck
Your timber deck is a great place to sit and relax all year round, but the timber does suffer under the sun & rain. The timber fades & dries, then it starts to turn grey, warp, split & splinter. Eventually moisture will get in and rot the timber. A well oiled timber deck looks great as it highlights the natural colour & grain, plus the oil keeps the moisture out which stops the timber warping, splitting, splintering & rotting.
You spent a lot of money to build your beautiful timber deck and deserve to enjoy it all year round. It looks magnificent when newly cleaned and oiled, but cleaning & oiling your deck can be time consuming hard work, plus the wrong chemicals and technique can damage the timber. That's why you need someone with knowledge & experience.
Timber Deck Cleaning
Timber cleaning requires specialist products and techniques which John from All Exterior Cleaning has experience with.
While sanding you deck gives a fantastic result, it does remove 1 to 2mm of timber. This is not something you can do regularly when the boards are only 19mm thick. Also, sanding is only possible when the nails or screws are countersunk. Many decks have "dome-headed" nails which sit above the timber and these need to be either removed and replaced with screws, or driven into the timber - causing more damage to the timber fibres, and damage allows water in, and water ruins timber.
If your deck has an acrylic coating that is worn, scratched, split or flaking it will, unfortunately, need either sanding or stripping with paint stripper.
Careful cleaning only removes dirt, mould and old oil, plus a very thin layer of grey timber fibres.
Cleaning is usually a two step process -
- Clean of dirt etc & kill any mould with a gentle cleaner, a scrubbing brush/deck broom and low pressure water,
- Brighten the timber by removing some of the dry & grey timber fibres with a mild acid solution, a scrubbing brush/deck broom and low pressure water.
Once the timber has dried it is ready for the oil.
Timber Deck Oiling
Traditional solvent based timber oils soak into the timber to replace the lost natural oils and tannins. Moisture is what will ruin your timber and the natural oils keep moisture out to reduce warping, splitting, splintering & cupping. The timber will require two or three coats of oil, depending on how old & dry it is.
The oil allows your timber last longer than if un-treated or coated with a film forming acrylic paint which will eventually either scratch, wear off or split and allow water in.
While oiled timber needs to be recoated more often than painted timber, it is much easier to do as no sanding is required and isn't damaged by scratching.