How to protect your deck during winter
Winter is one of the most critical times of the year to ensure your deck is adequately protected, as exposure to harsh weather can contribute to timber damage.
Without proper protection, cold temperatures and pouring rain can cause timber to degrade quickly, meaning expensive repairs further down the track.
The best way to keep your deck in good condition throughout winter is with regular cleaning, inspection and repairs, and by recoating the timber to protect it from water damage.
Follow this handy guide from timber coating specialists Sikkens to ensure your deck stays healthy and lasts as long as possible.
1. Inspect and repair damage
Regular inspection is recommended each season to ensure any cracks or uncoated areas are attended to.
Dry rot can cause damage to timber, so ensure any splits, holes or cracks are filled with a wood filler such as Sikken Cetol Gupa which is a fast-drying filler and stopper for nail holes and wood cracks.
Ensure repairs are done before recoating to help strengthen the wood and prevent damage from spreading during the winter months.
2. Clean before recoating
Before coating any timber surface, ensure it is properly cleaned to allow the new coating to penetrate and adhere to the timber for long lasting protection.
For hardwood decks that are weathered or grey, a cleaning product such as Sikkens Cetol BL Deck & Wood Cleaner works quickly to rejuvenate timber by drawing out dirt and grime.
To clean the deck, thoroughly wet the timber, then apply the cleaner using a bucket and mop across the whole deck.
Work it into the timber using a stiff-bristled brush and allow it soak in for about 15 minutes, but don’t let the timber dry out. If it does, lightly spray it with water to keep the surface wet.
Finally, wash the residue from the deck with a high pressure hose and allow to completely dry for at least three days before applying recoating the deck.
Deck cleaners remove dirt and grime, brightening and revitalising weathered timber.
3. Apply the new finish
Applying a coat to the timber deck will protect surfaces against damage from moisture, mould and rot over winter.
Sikkens Cetol BLX-Pro water-based finish is microporous, allowing the timber to breathe while repelling unwanted moisture.
Providing superior durability and flexibility, Sikkens Cetol BLX-Pro is a high quality, transparent finish that accentuates the natural characteristics and colour of the timber.
It’s also fast-drying allowing homeowners and DIYers to refinish a deck in a weekend.
To refinish a deck, liberally apply Sikkens Cetol BLX-Pro using a good quality brush in the direction of the grain. Apply three coats, allowing two hours between coats.
4. Keep it neat and tidy
During autumn and winter, leaves and dirt can accumulate on the deck, and it’s easy to overlook regular sweeping as most of us spend more time inside and less time entertaining outside during the colder months.
Piles of rain-soaked leaves, and dirt and debris accumulating in the gaps between decking boards can cause lingering damp, which leads to mould and further damage to the timber.
Be sure to regularly clear away any leaves or dirt that accumulate to provide adequate ventilation and prevent further damage from moisture and mould.