Any timber decking, regardless of the material which is used, must be well kept and maintained in order to avoid potential threats to its quality and longevity. One particularly damaging element which deck owners must be aware of is rain. A light drizzle is not going to do any harm to a good quality deck, but a sudden downpour can have a negative effect.
Here is how you can protect your deck from the rain.
How Rain Affects The Timber Decking
The fact is that wood is porous material, moisture can easily enter into the cracks and the grain of its surface. The porous areas of the wood provide the perfect place for moisture to stay, which can then lead to the ideal conditions for fungus and mould to settle. This, however, is not the only damage that moisture can cause. As water settles into the wood it adds more density and that in turn can cause swelling, cracking and warping of the timber.
The Timbers Which Reacts Best
There are a range of timbers which are naturally adept at dealing with tough weather, although all will need treatment and regular maintenance. Soft woods such as cedar and redwood do well in wet conditions, as do hardwoods such as teak and ipe. Many individuals will also opt for something like merbau decking, which also provides good resistance to heavy rain.
Sealing Your Decking
The most important practice for decking owners is to seal the deck when it is first built, and then again ahead of a period of adverse weather. Sealing should always be done when the temperature is above 15 degrees celsius, and that way it will stay this way for at least 2 days. If the seal has not dried then it will not offer maximum protection. Be sure that you seal all areas of the decking that are reachable, right down to the small spaces behind the decking brackets. Also keep in mind when buying the seal to check what colour it is, as some will alter the tone of your deck when applied.
As long as you have a good seal on your deck, all you will need is a large sheet of tarpaulin to give your deck the best protection from the elements. This will ensure that most of the moisture runs off and that the biggest risk will only be from below. Ensure that air can get under the sheet to avoid condensation, and that you have directed the water to run off away from the deck.
Keeping It Clean
When the rain and wind comes they very often bring a deluge of debris with them. This is why it is essential that every week or so, you remove the sheet and check for any holes in the tarp. Clean the deck with a soft brush and then replace the tarpaulin.
Finally if there is any damage caused by the rain then be sure to take action, before it gets worse. A small crack or a pushed-out nail can quickly result in worse damage to your decking if left untreated.