With warmer, sunnier days hopefully on the horizon, preparing the garden as a place to relax or entertain ultimately begins closest to the house, and that means giving the patio or decking a spot of routine maintenance.
If your decking is looking a bit jaded after the winter it’s probably in need of little more than a good clean. This will be particularly apparent if the hardwood boards are slippery underfoot. The cause is a build-up of dirt and algae becoming entrapped in the microscopic 'pores' of the timber.
Begin by clearing the decking and use a stiff broom to dislodge as much of the surface dirt as you can, particularly from the grooves in the boards. For a basic low-cost clean, try spraying warm water over the decking surface and sprinkling with soda crystals. Leave for a couple of hours while the crystals dissolve before brushing off with a stiff brush or deck scrub.
For a deeper clean that will also tackle stains from spillages such as grease and red wine, rust marks from garden furniture, bird droppings and ingrained dirt from plant pots, you’ll need a dedicated cleaner. Here at Mallett’s in Truro you will find a range of products for decking and patio maintenance that are easy to use and will afford long-lasting protection.
Over time timber loses its natural colour, becoming bleached by ultra-violet sunlight. Simply cleaning the decking will not restore or protect the wood, but there is a huge range of deck oils as well as coloured and natural shade wood stains that can enhance and protect both deck boards and balustrades.
Patios suffer many similar issues as decking, with the added problem of weed control. Nothing spoils the appearance of a patio more than weeds and moss sprouting between flagstones or paving blocks. This can be tackled with a spray-on weed killer. On block-paved patios use a dedicated stainless steel bristled patio brush to rout out stubborn moss and roots.
Though patios may not become as slippery as decking they can discolour with algae and trodden-in dirt from the garden. As well as several proprietary cleaning products, one of the best (and easiest) solutions is a pressure washer. These are available to suit all budgets and requirements, but all will make short work of removing seasons of grime from all kinds of natural surfaces.
A few hours spent this Spring on reviving your outdoor living space will make for a better and safer experience this Summer. So pop in to Mallett’s and see our range of decking and patio maintenance products, and pick up some more useful tips from our helpful staff.