Outdoor decking is an added beauty to the home — it provides an exclusive alfresco resting area for both you and your family. Hence, it is important to maintain your decking regularly so it can last longer on your balcony. In general, wood plastic composite decking and natural wood decking are the types of decking commonly found in Singapore homes.
Here are the steps to maintain these deckings:
Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) Decking
Composite decking is often marketed as an outdoor decking material that requires little or zero maintenance; however, this is not the case. Composite decking does require basic maintenance. Here’s how:
Cleaning off the Dirt Regularly
Use a strong hose to clean off the dirt on the decking such as sand particles, soil, and leaves particles. Do not leave any debris, litter or leaves on the deck as it may cause mould or mildew to occur and result in slippery decks.
Remove the Stains
Stains may not be easily removed due to the composite mixture of wood and plastic contents in a WPC decking. Hence, it is advisable to remove the stain quickly with a clean cloth and warm water whenever there is a spill or soil stain on the decking. If the stain were to remain stubbornly on the decking, try to remove it by using recommended composite decking cleaning solutions which you could find in most DIY stores. Try not to use bleach to clean off the stain as it might lighten the tonality of your WPC deck, thereby causing discolouration on the overall.
Bending & Warping
Under extreme and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and rapid temperature changes, WPC decking may tend to bend or bulge as a result. Hence for such cases, prevention is always better than cure. Homeowners should opt for good quality WPC decking materials in the first place, get a quality decking installation from a reliable contractor and if need be, put shelter above the decking to shield it from intense sunlight.
Natural Wood Decking
Good quality wood decking, coupled with regular maintenance, can last for an extended period of time. Below are some maintenance tips.
It is the homeowner’s responsibility to clean off the dirt, sand, soil or algae away from the wood deck regularly with water and recommended deck cleaning products that can be widely found in major DIY stores. In this way, the growth of mould and mildew will be kept to a minimum.
Apply Decking Oil
Apply recommended decking oil once every 6 to 12 months so as to keep the wood decking in pristine condition and extend its lifespan. This is because strong UV rays may tend to break down the wood cells on the surface, causing it to become overdry. Hence, it is always better to apply decking oil on your wood decking.
One of the great benefits of natural wood decking is that homeowners can give the decking a fresh new look or a new coat of paint even after many years or so. This is the reason why investing in wood decking is worthwhile — homeowners get to enjoy the luxury of wood-like textures for a lifetime.
The Use of Good Quality Decking Materials
This applies to both WPC and wood decks. It is always best to use good quality decking material for your outdoor balcony. Most importantly, make sure that you obtain a reasonable warranty period for the product from the manufacturer. The credibility of the flooring contractor is equally important as it determines the reliability of the after-sales service for your decking.