Outdoor Decking Finishing Guide

Feb 25 2020
A picture of outdoor decking in the summer.

The outdoor balustrade and decking we stock - manufactured by Cheshire Mouldings - is of superior quality. Once you have fitted and fixed your decking, you’ll need to give the product the best possible treatment and then maintain it in order to make sure that it remains splendidly attractive for as long as possible.

With the installation complete, you may want to apply a deck cleaner to remove any dirt or grease. This will brighten the timber as well.

Hardwood Balustrades

External hardwood balustrades we stock are manufactured from a striking dark hardwood similar in colour to mahogany.

Although quite tough, any untreated timber exposed to the weather needs to be protected.

To protect and enhance your balustrade, apply a proprietary clear water repellent, semi-transparent seal or a decking oil. First make sure that the balustrade is dry - test by sprinkling drops of water over the surface and if the wood does not absorb the moisture let it dry out and retest before starting the application.

Apply an end-seal preservative to any surface that has been exposed by drilling or cutting.

Balustrade Maintenance

For all balustrade components (hardwood or softwood), follow carefully the seal, stain or oil recommendations of the manufacturer and test on an off-cut or hidden surface.

We recommend that all components should be re-coated at least annually. Use a cloth, slightly heated water and a mild detergent for items such as glass and alloy posts or rails. Do not polish or employ abrasive cleaners and scourers.

Softwood Decking

Most of timber decking materials we stock are made from softwood Scots pine.

There is a natural tendency as the timber weathers for there to be minor surface checking and splitting, caused by the variation in moisture content and the effects of wetting and drying out. These surface defects do not harm the decking structure.

As with balustrades, decking should have a proprietary clear water repellent, semi-transparent seal or decking oil applied, for the sake of protection and enhancement. Make sure that the decking is dry before you start. Test by sprinkling drops of water over the surface and if the wood does not absorb the moisture let it dry out and retest before carrying out the work.

Note that newly-laid decking should not have any finish applied until it has weathered properly. Add an end-seal preservative to any surface that has been exposed by drilling or cutting.

Decking Maintenance

The need for cleaning will depend on how much the deck is used and the proximity of trees and foliage. At least once per season, take a stiff broom to the wood, dislodging algae and reducing the risk of the area becoming slippery.

It is recommended that you hose down the deck thoroughly twice per year, if necessary employing a deck cleaner and brightener.

Surface resin is best removed with a chisel, then you will need to re-coat the area. Use a blade to remove any debris build-up in the grooves between the boards, as these gaps are needed for drainage and air circulation. Check all fixings, re-punch nail heads and tighten screws as and where necessary.

Pressure Treated

All the softwood outdoor balustrade components that we stock are treated to make them last for 15 years. They are pressure treated with Tanalith E. Initially, this has a green appearance, but it weathers to a honey brown before eventually fading to grey. It can be painted or stained to match any outdoor colour scheme.

Other Wood Treatments

To keep softwood in prime condition, clean it twice per year. Brush off debris, use a pressure washer or formulated deck cleaner and then apply a clear, water-repellent treatment or coloured stain.

Please note, it is important that you read the manufacturers instructions and do a test on a small section before carrying out any painting or finishing. We are not responsible for any misuse when it comes to finishing a product.

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