New wooden decking is a popular feature in many back yards, particularly in the summer months when they can be used as an outdoor entertaining space. Positioned above ground level, however, they are also more susceptible than other parts of the house to fungal growth and mould spores. However hard you try to prevent it, there will come a time when your decking will be at risk of developing mould. To mitigate the risks and prevent it from spreading further, it’s important to take precautions to safeguard your decking from mould. Read on for five tips from Deckorum on how you can protect your decking from mould this summer…
Install mould-resistant paint
When dealing with mould it’s important to address the source, which in the case of decking, is the wood. Choosing a paint with mould-resistant properties will help prevent the growth of mould spores and protect your decking. If the decking is infested with mould, however, it’s important to treat the wood before painting to minimise the risk of the mould transferring to the new paint surface.
Clean, clean and then clean again
Once you’ve chosen the right paint for your composite decking, it’s important to clean it thoroughly before you apply it. This will remove any surface debris, dirt, dust and grime that could harbour mould spores and promote the growth of mould once it’s on the surface of your deck. If you have a concrete deck, you can clean it using a pressure washer. Alternatively, a scrub brush, some warm water and a solution made with a half-and-half mixture of bleach and water will be sufficient. When cleaning a wooden deck, you can either use a pressure washer or a scrub brush and the same bleach solution. Be sure to wear protective gear, such as gloves, goggles and a mask when cleaning your deck to prevent splinters and staining.
Use UV protection paint
As well as protecting your decking from the growth of mould spores, choosing a UV protection paint for your decking will help prevent it from becoming faded and discoloured. Your deck will be exposed to the elements and a lot of sunlight, which can damage it over time and cause it to look older than it actually is. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to use a paint that offers UV protection, preferably one with a high-endurance rating.
Create a drainage channel
If you’re creating a new deck, or are extending an existing deck, it’s important to consider how water will be channelled away from it. Wooden decking, particularly if it’s positioned above ground level, will collect water and can become slippery when wet. To prevent water from pooling and damaging your decking, it’s advisable to create a drainage channel that will channel the water away from it. You can do this by adding a slight incline to the deck, which will direct the water towards the edges, or by installing a drainage channel on one or both sides.
Maintain your deck – regularly and constantly
Regular maintenance and upkeep of your deck can go a long way towards preserving it for longer and protecting it from the ravages of time. This includes things like cleaning and washing your deck, removing any debris that has collected on it, treating any marks and scratches to prevent them from becoming ingrained and repainting it every couple of years. If you notice that your deck is becoming excessively dirty or has marks and scratches that aren’t coming off, you should clean and treat it as soon as possible. If you leave it too long, mould spores can start to grow on it, which can make the stains harder to remove and harder to completely eradicate.
Wooden decking is a great way to extend your outdoor entertaining space, but it’s important to protect it from the elements and prevent mould spores from taking hold. Choosing the right paint, cleaning your deck thoroughly and creating a drainage channel will go a long way towards safeguarding your decking from mould. While it’s impossible to prevent mould spores from settling on your deck, there are a few things you can do to prevent significant damage, including using a mould-resistant paint and cleaning your deck regularly.