Pre-treated decking advice
What to Expect
Small surface splits can occur in all components during the warmer months. This happens as the timber dries and shrinks and is most prominent on larger section timbers such as Q-Deck Plus 117 x 117mm grand newels. In the winter months the splits will tend to close as the timber swells. During the first year the colour of the deck will fade slightly and this will continue due to the ‘greying’ affects of U.V. light. For best results apply Seasonite® by Owatrol® immediately before or after fitting Q-Deck treated softwood decking.
Poorly designed, constructed, situated and maintained decks will increase the risk of colonisation by surface moulds (rather like internal plaster mould). Surface moulds do not affect the structural performance of a deck but if left to develop can cause a speckled black staining within the surface of the timber. If caught early this can normally be removed with a bathroom/kitchen scourer and proprietary deck cleaner or diluted household bleach.
Even treated softwood will not look its best after a long winter and a wet spring, so a little time spent cleaning will pay dividends for the summer months.
We would recommend that you sweep your deck regularly and hose it down when dirt accumulates. Allowing dirt and other organic matter such as leaf litter or soil to accumulate on your deck, increases the risk of both mould (as described above) and fungal infection. The organic matter may not only carry the source of fungal infection but may hinder drainage and provide the damp conditions that they need to survive. There are many effective cleaning agents available. Many are useful to remove algae growth which can occur and without cleaning, this type of contamination can create a slip hazard. Cleaning your deck with a suitable deck cleaning agent and pressure washing at the beginning and end of the season is a recommended course of action. A highly effective cleaning agent is Net-Trol® by Owatrol®, a wood cleaner and colour restorer.
For the removal of previously applied oil finishes that have failed use Aquanett® by Owatrol®, then neutralise with Net-Trol®. For the rejuvenation of very dirty, stained hardwood decks use Prepdeck® stripper/cleaner by Owatrol® instead of Aquanett®. Have you considered the new Q-Grip range of slip resistant decking products for the potentially slip sensitive areas of your deck?
Re-seal and Protection
A treated softwood deck should be kept clean and for good looks, resealed with a brushon water repellent every year - Seasonite® Wood Protection finish for exterior woods by Owatrol® is a good option. For best results re-apply a water repellent when the deck is dry after cleaning.
If you want to add colour to Q-Deck treated softwood products then pigmented Textrol® by Owatrol® is a protective coating to use after 12 months use. Water based stains are to be considered cautiously as the in-built water repellent within Q-Deck treated softwood products can affect the adhesion of the stain to the timber. This affect diminishes over time due to wear and tear. Please bear in mind that once you apply a stain/protective coating to decking it will need regular re-staining and heavy foot traffic areas will have to be restained more frequently than other areas. If applying to Q-Grip slip resistant deckboards, care must be taken not to apply stain to the aggregate strip areas as it may not adhere or dry properly on these areas and affect its slip resistance properties. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when working with deck maintenance products.
It is advisable to regularly check for any proud shards or splinters of timber and remove them should they occur for safety reasons.