How to protect your timber deck from the British winter

Just before things get a little too cold, October/early November is the perfect time to be thinking about applying a new coat of wood stain to your timber deck in order to give it a little added protection against the oncoming British winter.

Wooden decking

Contrary to what many people think, experts say the late summer or early autumn is the best time to apply a fresh coat of protective stain to your deck.

Many people incorrectly assume that spring is the best time to apply stain to wood surfaces such as your deck, but you need to give the deck sufficient time to fully dry and recover from the excess moisture that is created during the winter months. 

So to refresh and protect your decking for the fast approaching winter season, take advantage of a beautiful bright autumn weekend and try these following helpful Lazy Susan tips to give your deck a makeover and a little extra protection.

In order to achieve the perfect finish and ensure durability, before you apply the stain you need make sure the surface is prepared properly, and for your deck that basically means some routine maintenance. 

The first step is to clean the deck with an exterior wood restorer such as Ronseal High Performance Decking Cleaner as this will not only kill moss, mould and algae and prevent regrowth for up to 6 months, but it will prepare the surface prior to coating.

It comes in an easy-to-use capsule form and requires no measuring. You simply dissolve in warm water and apply to your deck. Let the solution work for about 15 minutes. Carefully rinse off the surface of your deck and then let the deck surface dry for at least 2-3 dry sunny days. Sand the surface to remove any residue/build up.

For a timber deck that has previously been stained, painted or varnished, strip the stained surface with something like Owatrol's Prepdeck Woodstain Remover that is especially formulated for exterior wood surfaces.

It's a very powerful stripper/cleaner that's specifically designed to remove coatings such as deck oil, stains etc. It is also ideal for removing factory stamps, and other old finishes you might not want anymore.

Please be advised that Prepdeck is a very strong remover and it can darken some woods. To remove the darkened look & restore a natural colour, after Prepdeck, rinse off and neutralise with a Net-Trol wood cleaner and brightener. 

PrepDeck is also primarily intended for professional application, but it can be used by 'DIY-handy' persons with a little care and attention. After use simply rinse, let dry and then sand the surface. It is important to use an 80 grade sandpaper as any grade lower will lead to a poor finish.

Lazy Susan is a big fan of B&Q's own range of exterior wood stain products as these will take care of almost any and all of your exterior wood care needs. Their water based quick drying woodstain is the perfect choice if convenience is the top priority (and trust me, as the year creeps into November, speed is key!).

The great thing about the B&Q wood stain range over its brand rivals for me is that it offers excellent protection against scratches, heat and water, it is touch dry in 30 mins, you can recoat after 2 hours if needed, its low odour and it can be simply washed out of brushes etc with warm water.

Staining your deck will keep it looking good - it will restore its natural oils and protect it from ultraviolet rays and water damage and regular staining of your deck will help to ensure that the deck looks its best for longer.

Here are a few steps to help protect your deck from the elements and improve its overall appearance...

Once you've selected a woodstain in your desired colour, prepared the deck as above and left the deck to dry completely, you are ready to stain. Start by filling a small bucket or rolling tray with the stain. 

Dip the brush or roller into the stain, but make sure it absorbs only enough stain for a few strokes, you don't want it saturated. Roll or brush the stain onto your decking, making sure you apply the stain evenly. Wipe excess stain or dark spots with rags and let stain dry for at least 24 hours before you walk on it.

Regular maintenance and upkeep, and proper product selection and application can help avoid deck problems in the future. Applying stain, whilst not the most fun job, will protect your deck and keep it looking good. In addition, staining prior to the winter months will minimize water damage and prevent moisture from damaging the timbers!

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