A common feature of stand-alone Australian homes is the deck, designed as a functional space for all occasions. We expect the deck to look good and hold up well in all sorts of Australian weather. However, the life of your deck hinges on the materials and the maintenance performed throughout its lifetime.
Depending on the structure’s condition, restoration may be as straightforward as recoating the surface or as involved as a partial or complete rebuild. Here, we will discuss what you can do to help you manage and keep this area in the best condition for many years to come. We will also guide you through replacing decking boards and provide indications when a complete rebuild may be in order.
Decks are often high-traffic areas, and in our everyday use of these spaces, we can often neglect the wear and tear that occurs over time. A standard deck may be exposed to many different weather conditions, depending on your location, withstanding heavy rainfall, high temperatures and sun exposure. When weather damage occurs, it may cause the timber to turn grey, split and fracture.
Other areas of concern that homeowners should be aware of when looking after their deck include:
• Pests or animals causing damage to the structure
• Decking boards that may have galvanic rot
• Connected plumbing that is causing water pooling or leakage
It is important to consistently and thoroughly check your deck to see if any surface level or structural damage is occurring. If you identify any of the above issues, it may be time to evaluate which solutions are best suited to retain the integrity of your deck.
Restoring the Deck
Restoring your timber deck allows you to breathe life back into the area and extend its lifespan. The restoration process is relatively straightforward and is achievable with time and supplies from your local hardware store.
One of the first things you will need to do is inspect your deck and ensure that the surface is porous. One of the easiest ways to test this is to lightly drip some water onto the timber and see whether it is absorbed or pools on the surface. It is important to conduct this test after approximately a week of warm, dry weather to ensure the timber isn’t at maximum saturation. If it penetrates the timber, this indicates that it will absorb the oil when it is applied. However, if it pools, this may suggest that a residual coating is preventing the water from penetrating the timber and should be removed before the oiling process begins. Depending on how the surface has reacted to the water, you may need a timber stripping solution to return the timber to its bare form or, at this stage, consider sanding the timber boards.
After thoroughly inspecting the deck and ensuring the timber is clear of previous coating, you will need to clean the area. Throughout the year, a simple sweep and wash of the surface is enough to keep it clean. Restoration requires a cleaning solution that you can find at your local hardware store. Ensure that your product is compatible with the timber species of your deck.
Many product brochures will outline the materials you will need when using a cleaning solution, such as a scrubbing broom, which you will use to brush the cleaning solution across the surface. Follow the product guidelines on wait time, and then wash the solution off with water. When the surface is dry, it is ready for coating.
We recommend sourcing an oil that is compatible with the timber species of your deck, durable, and weather resistant. To avoid lap marking, apply the coating on three boards at a time and paint the edges with a hand brush. The standard for oiling a deck is two coats, with a one-hour drying time in between. However, always follow the guidelines from the product manufacturer.
Partial or Complete Rebuild
If you have identified that the timber is beyond repair, consider replacing the decking boards or determine if the entire structure requires rebuilding. If the damage is only present in certain areas throughout the deck, replacing a few affected boards may be all that is required. Areas that need replacement may be identified by discolouration, if it is soft to the touch, moves underfoot, or creaks when walked across. If you are looking to buy Merbau decking Melbourne-wide, Australian Treated Pine is your go-to source. It has treated pine and Merbau decking boards in various sizes and lengths to replace the damaged timber.
When removing decking boards, it is essential to ensure that the area is secure to prevent children, adults or animals from falling between the open spaces.
If the decking boards have been screwed down, one of the most effective ways to remove the boards is backing out the screw with a drill or impact driver. However, if the screws are stripped or corroded, they may be resistant to coming out. The other option is to use a crowbar to pry the decking board. The ideal prying location is close to the fasteners when using the crowbar method. Due to the position of the joist, prying directly underneath the screw is not recommended.
If you have identified that a significant portion of the deck’s surface requires replacement, in that case, it may be time to decide whether the price of replacing the affected areas is equal to or more than the cost of replacing the entire deck.
For a project of this complexity, we recommend hiring a professional to complete the work. Replacing a deck may require structural alterations that require the knowledge and skills of a professional to complete the job safely and competently.
As one of Melbourne’s leading suppliers of durable, sustainable, and premium timber products, at Australian Treated Pine, you can be confident that you will receive the highest quality products. We continue to exceed our client’s expectations in the domestic and commercial sectors with a team of experienced industry experts.
Get started on your decking project by browsing our online selection or contact us at (03) 9305 2000 to order your supplies today.
How to restore a weathered deck?
One of the most effective ways to repair a weathered deck is by stripping back and oiling the timber. Restoration is a fairly straightforward process that involves inspecting the deck, cleaning or sanding the surface, and coating the boards with a compatible oil.
What is the cost of deck restoration?
If all that is required to restore the deck is a simple stripping back and oiling, you are looking to pay only the cost of the products required (such as a deck cleaner, broom, and oil). However, if you are looking to replace sections of the deck, the cost will be calculated by the materials (decking boards and screws, among others), and labour if a professional is required.
What is the best treatment for Merbau decking?
When looking to buy Merbau decking oil, there are many different options in the market. We recommend looking for one that is suitable for hardwood. An oil-based timber finish will give your decking a protective barrier against weather damage and extend the life of your deck.
How do you extend the life of Merbau decking?
The most effective way of extending the life of your Merbau decking is to ensure you keep the area clear, clean and maintain a regular routine of oiling it every six to 12 months. Visit your local hardware store to find the right products for your deck.
Should I stain or oil Merbau?
When Merbau bleeds, you can see white painted Merbau turn pinkish, which is why we recommend it to be natural or dark brown in stain to prevent bleeding visibility. Merbau is easy to work with because this wood is complex, making it popular and one of the best choices available in the market for decking purposes, although it requires oiling every six to 12 months to maintain its looks.