When newly installed, a house’s decking is a warm, evenly colored thing of beauty. Over time, the ravages of the elements mean that the color fades and deterioration kicks in rapidly, taking the source of pride and turning it into something which is simply walked over on the way to the rest of the garden or when emptying the bins outside. Generally, the time most people look to restore a deck is when they move into a new home and inherit someone else’s neglected project. The majority of people perform semi-regular maintenance in their own homes and try and keep the deck looking acceptable, but in busy modern lives there is no shame in the fact that deck maintenance often falls lower down the ‘to do’ list below more pressing tasks. This is where restoration comes into play.
A worn decking has a number of obvious symptoms which indicate that it needs attention. The first of these is the color. When newly installed, decking will have been treated with some kind of sealant or stain. Most of these replicate a natural wood tone, enhancing the color of the timber or staining it to another complementary shade. Aged wood takes a grayed color, faded by the sunlight which strips the warmer tones and leaves it looking dull and washed out. It might also have a very dry appearance, possibly showing signs of cracking or splitting. In addition to the possibility of cracks or splits, damaged timbers are also likely to show twisting, bending or bowing. A deck is naturally exposed to the elements, sitting on the exterior of a property. In some areas of the country, this can mean that there is a significant amount of rainfall. Wood and water are not typically well suited to each other. Water seeps into the structure of the wood fibers, causing them to warp and swell. This in turn causes the timber of the decking to pull on its fixings and to come loose or develop gaps. Rust around any screws is also a clear indication of water damage. Signs that you need to restore your deck can be easily spotted, and should be taken into account.