The majority of decking is made with treated pine because good quality treated pine will last thirty years or so before there is any substantial decay. However, as with all timber, discoloration and splintering can begin after only a few months in harsh weather conditions. For this reason, most people take on a regular cycle of maintenance. Failure to do so won't cause your deck to rot, but your deck will most certainly become discolored and the surface will become rough and prone to splinters.

Timber decking is a great way to enhance the aesthetic attraction of any home, garden and building. However if your deck has been exposed to harsh weather conditions and is looking faded, splintered and warped, then it is time to restore its appearance by cleaning and sealing.
Fig 1. Deckings are a great outdoor entertaining area, but they do need periodic maintenence.

Over time, rain reduces your deck’s protective seal turning the timber a dark colour due to water absorption. An easy way to tell if you need to reseal your deck is to pour water on it and if the water beads up, the deck is waterproof, if not it's time to reseal (Fig 2).

Start by clearing the deck of all furniture, plants etc. Using a broom to sweep the deck keeping an eye out for damaged or loose boards and nails. Make any repairs if needed.

On previously stained decks, you will need to completely remove the old stain by sanding back the surface using a drum sander (Fig 3). Remember to always sand in the direction of the grain. Start with medium to coarse sandpaper (50-80 grit) and finishing with a fine grade (150 grit).

Now that your deck is clean, it is time to choose a sealer. There are many sealers available to achieve a natural transparent finish, a semitransparent or opaque finish with stains or paint. It is important to work out how much product you need and also take into account weather conditions and timing. The type of timber and its absorbency will vary the amount of product required so be sure to ask Bunnings.

TOOLS • Broom • Drum sander • Sanding block • Paint brushes, 50mm brush for corners & trims and a 75mm brush for larger areas • Paint tray for product application • Container to wash brushes MATERIALS • Deck Cleaner (5-10 square metres per litre) • Natural Decking oil, decking stain or Timbercolour • Sandpaper (course - fine grade) • Mineral turpentine for easy clean up • Clean rages WOOD TYPES AND CLEANING REQUIREMENTS Although the majority of decking is made from Treated Pine, Cypress Pine, Merbau and Jarrah are also used. Make sure you consider your decking material when cleaning and sealing your deck as the products used may differ. SAFETY •Wear rubber gloves, close-toed shoes, a long-sleeved shirt and pants when applying finish or cleaner to minimize the chance of skin irritation. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from back spray.
Although every care has been taken to ensure that the information and advice given in this guide is authoritative no legal liability is accepted for such information and advice.

Applying the finish can be done with a paint brush or a pad applicator or roller. Here are some tips, but make sure to follow instructions on the finish container. 1. Make sure you stir thoroughly before application 2. Do a section at a time - brush between boards and along the edges - coat evenly along the grain of 2 -3 boards at a time 3. Keep a wet edge to avoid lap marks and double build 4. Work towards natural breaks such as joins 5. Don't stop midway along a board
• Stirrer, flat 25mm wide to mix the stain • Drop sheet • Gloves and safety glasses • Nail punch to knock in raised nail heads • Angle grinder with masonry drill blade (optional)

Fig 2. To tell if you need to reseal your deck is to pour water on it and if the water beads up, the deck is waterproof, if not it's time to reseal.

Fig 3. Remove the old stain by sanding back the surface

For further expert advice consult the qualified Team Members at your local Bunnings Warehouse.

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