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Spring is just around the corner and with it the excitement of getting back out into the garden and enjoying the outdoors. If you are anything like me then any fair weather day is an opportunity for a barbecue. If you have non slip decking then a quick break in the rain gives you chance to fire up the coals.

Whether it’s standard or anti slip, here are some simple steps to get your decking safe and ready for spring.

Cleaning your garden decking

There are a couple of options when it comes to cleaning. Pressure washing is a popular choice for cleaning a deck as it is very quick and easy. However care must be taken to not damage the timber. Timber is made of fibres which can open up if it is exposed to a high pressure water jet. Once the fibres are opened it can leave the deck more susceptible to issues such as rot. Always keep the head of the pressure washer at a minimum distance of 200mm with a wide jet spread and, if possible, reduce the pressure of the output to prevent damage to the timber.

An alternative is a good old fashioned scrub with a bucket of water and a stiff brush. While this may be slower and harder work than pressure washing it reduces the risk of damaging the timber. It also has the added benefit of giving you a good cardio workout! Timber decking cleaner is available from most DIY stores and garden centres and can help with those stubborn, hard-to-clean areas.

Oiling and staining 

Oils and stains are a great way to bring life back to older timber, improve the longevity and performance of your decking, and to make next year’s clean down that bit easier. There is a huge range of products on the market, all offering slightly different benefits and value for money. Oils and stains not only enhance the look of the deck, but stop water penetrating into the timber. This helps prevent algae build up, which can make traditional timber decking very slippery.

For hardwood decks, applying a UV protecting oil soon after the deck has been installed will prevent the sun bleaching the timber to a silver-grey colour. Restoration oils can help to reverse the bleaching effect of the sun to bring back the original colour of timber.

With a bit of effort you can keep your decking looking tip-top and ready to enjoy this spring and summer.