Get your deck summer ready

Written by

27 November 2018


3 min read

If your deck doesn’t look its best, chances are it isn’t protected from warping, cracking and rot...

If your deck doesn’t look its best, chances are it isn’t protected from warping, cracking and rot. Stained decks look lovely in the short term but when that film of colour cracks, peels away, wears off or gets scratched, then there’s no real protection for the timber beneath, because it easily absorbs water and is degraded by UV rays.

That’s why WoodOil ‘clear’ is your best bet for protecting the longevity of your outdoor timber surfaces, says Dryden’s Jon Pearson.

“Dryden’s clear WoodOil is a penetrating oil that soaks into the timber - whether it’s pine or hard woods like kwila - it becomes part of the wood, waterproofing the timber, thereby reducing cupping, warping and splitting of the timbers through moisture ingress.”

New Zealand has a very unique climate with a combination of large variable seasonal weather conditions and very high UV values.

That’s why we have to wear very highly rated sun-blocks, compared to a lot of other countries around the world, says Jon.

“It is also why we have to look after our timber and if the products aren’t good quality they break down very quickly.”

In addition to the weather, decks have people walking on them, they have environmental grime, salts, diesel fumes, pollens, pet contaminants, bird droppings, and people barbequeing  - all detrimental to the lifespan of any product used on the deck.

Decks coated with colour film products need high maintenance so Dryden recommends the ‘clear’ base WoodOil which allows the deck to silver off naturally. This is lower maintenance and leaves all the contaminants on the surface of the timber, meaning easy cleaning. Dryden WoodOil doesn’t crack or peel and remains in the timber to protect.

Over the first two years you’ll need to coat the deck with wood oil each year, but following that it will extend out to two, three or even in some conditions five years - “you’re only maintaining for water repellency, not for cosmetics,” says Jon.

In comparison, a stain will need to be topped up every year, for both looks and for any water ingress into scratched, worn or flaked areas.

Jon recommends using the deck through the summer and doing maintenance at the end of summer, going into winter. This is for two reasons: firstly, the deck can be used and enjoyed throughout the summer months, while freshly oiled surfaces won’t be walked on; and secondly, “you’ve got a really good coat on the deck for that extremely wet period of time during winter.” 

If you want to reduce the time you spend doing deck maintenance, then clear deck oil is the way to go – because as soon as you add colour, you add more maintenance, says Jon.

“But if you put the clear oil on it means the deck has a better chance of being straight and stable, reducing risk of your mitred corners curling up -even on pine decks you’ll extend the surface life of it hugely.”

Want to know more about maintaining your deck? Be sure to visit Dryden on ArchiPro today or call their Auckland office to learn more.