Wooden Decking Care and Maintenance

Wooden Decking Care and Maintenance

May 31, 2024Richard Weager | Greenshop Paints

It is crucial to keep your deck well-maintained in order to prolong its lifespan and maintain its attractiveness, ensuring you have a welcoming outdoor space for leisure and socialising. This article will focus on the necessary steps to care for and upkeep your deck. We will discuss how to tackle common problems such as mold and mildew, as well as seasonal maintenance tasks, to guarantee that your deck stays in top shape all year round.

Whether you're a seasoned deck enthusiast or a newcomer to outdoor living, this article offers valuable insights to help you navigate deck care and maintenace with ease.

How to Look After Decking

Decking is a great addition to any outdoor space, providing a place to relax and enjoy the fresh air. To keep your deck looking its best, it's important to clean and maintain it regularly. Start by removing dirt and debris from the deck surface using a pressure washer or a stiff bristle brush. If your decking is made of timber, you may want to use a decking cleaner to help penetrate the wood and remove any algae or slippery substances. For hardwood decking, consider using a decking stain or oil to protect the deck timbers and enhance the natural look of the grain of the wood.

If you have composite decking, make sure to clean it regularly with a mild detergent and water and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that could damage the surface. Decking treatment can also help to protect your deck from rot and other damage, ensuring that your deck lasts longer and look as good as new.

Cleaning Your Decking

  • Sweep the deck regularly to remove debris and dirt buildup.
  • Use a mild detergent or specially formulated deck cleaner and water to scrub the surface with a stiff brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly with a garden hose or pressure washer on a low setting.
  • For tougher stains, consider using a deck brightener or oxalic acid solution, following manufacturer instructions.
  • Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the wood.
  • For mould or mildew, use a solution of water and white vinegar or a commercial mildew remover.
  • Allow the deck to dry completely before applying any sealants or finishes.
  • Inspect the deck for any loose boards, nails or screws and make repairs as needed to prevent accidents.

What is Best: Decking Oil or Stain?

Choosing between decking stain and oil depends on factors such as desired colour, level of protection and ease of maintenance; so understanding the unique benefits of each product is crucial in determining which is better suited for your decking needs.

Decking stains are typically pigmented and offer a wide range of colours to suit your aesthetic preferences. They provide excellent UV protection and durability, as well as resistance to moisture and mould. 

On the other hand, decking oils penetrate deep into the wood, nourishing and protecting it from within. Oils enhance the natural grain of the wood and provide a more subtle, matte finish.

While stains offer more colour options and longer-lasting protection, oils are easier to maintain and are straight forward to reapply. Ultimately, the choice between decking stain and oil depends on your personal preferences, desired aesthetic and maintenance preferences. Whichever option you choose, proper application and regular maintenance are essential for maximizing the longevity and beauty of your deck.

How to Stain Your Decking

Cleaning Your Decking

Before staining your wooden deck, it's important to clean it first. Use a stiff deck cleaning brush to scrub the deck boards and remove any dirt, mould or mildew. You may also need to use a decking stripper to remove any old decking paint or stain that has worn away. Once the whole deck is clean, rinse it off with a hose and allow it to dry.

Staining Your Decking

If you're staining a new deck, it's recommended to wait a few weeks for the wood to weather and settle before applying the stain. Choose a decking stain or paint in the colour which most appeals to your aesthetic vision for your deck. Apply the stain or paint with a brush or roller, working in the direction of the wood groove. Make sure to apply an even coat and avoid letting the stain or paint dry too quickly in the sun. Once applied, allow the decking to dry completely before using it. Additionally, consider applying a clear sealant or topcoat over the stain to provide an extra layer of protection and prolong its lifespan.

Maintaining Your Decking

To keep the appearance of your decking looking good, it's important to maintain your deck regularly. Check the condition of your decking each year and reapply stain or paint as needed. Regularly clean your decking to prevent mould and mildew from growing as this can make decking look dirty and pose a hazard by making it slippery.

How to Oil Your Decking

Cleaning Your Decking

Before applying your treatment, it's important to ensure the decking area is clean and dry. This will allow the oil to be fully absorbed into the wood. Ensure your decking is clean and free from dirt, debris and any previous coatings. As with staining, you may have to use a decking stripper to remove any old decking paint or stain that has worn away. Once the whole deck is clean, rinse it off with a hose and allow it to dry.

Staining Your Decking

Remember to paint three to four boards at a time and to work in the direction of the grain to maintain the natural appearance of the wood. Use the right amount of oil for your wood decking to ensure it gets the specialist decking care it needs. Apply the decking oil evenly using a brush, roller or sprayer, working in the direction of the wood grain to ensure thorough coverage.

Allow the oil to penetrate the wood for the recommended time, typically around 15-30 minutes, before wiping away any excess with a clean cloth. This allows the oil to soak deep into the wood fibres, nourishing and protecting them from within. Depending on the type of decking oil used, you may need to apply multiple coats for optimal protection. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next. Once the oil has dried, your decking will have a rich, natural finish that enhances the grain and colour of the wood while providing protection against moisture and UV damage.

Maintaining Your Decking

Conduct frequent inspections of the decking for signs of wear or damage, such as fading or discolouration and reapply oil as needed to maintain a protective barrier. Keep the decking clean by sweeping away debris and periodically washing it with a mild detergent and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can strip away the oil and damage the wood fibres. 

How to Treat New Decking

Treating new decking is a crucial step in ensuring its longevity and preserving its appearance. Before applying any treatment, allow the wood to acclimate to its surroundings for at least a few weeks, giving it time to stabilize and settle. Once the decking has acclimated, thoroughly clean the surface to remove any dirt, debris and mill glaze. Next, consider applying a wood preservative or decking primer to protect the wood from moisture, mould and decay. Allow the preservative or primer to dry completely before applying a finish such as stain, oil or paint. 

When choosing a finish, consider the level of protection and the desired aesthetic. Stains and oils enhance the natural beauty of the wood while providing protection against UV rays and water damage, while paint offers more extensive protection and colour options. Whichever treatment you choose, ensure proper application and follow manufacturer instructions for drying times and reapplication.

How to Restore a Weathered Deck

Restoring weathered decking can rejuvenate your outdoor area, transforming it from old and tired to new and welcoming. Start by thoroughly cleaning the decking surface; this can be done using a pressure washer, scrub brush and a specialized deck cleaner or detergent. Once the decking is clean and dry, assess the extent of the damage and any areas that may need repair or replacement. 

Sanding may be necessary to smooth out rough spots or remove old coatings. After sanding, consider applying a wood brightener to revive the natural colour of the wood and open up its pores for better absorption of the finish. Finally, apply a high-quality deck stain or oil to protect the wood and enhance its appearance. Choose a finish that offers UV protection and water resistance, like our Auro 110 Decking Oil, to ensure long-lasting results. With proper restoration techniques and regular maintenance, your weathered decking will be looking brand new.

Dos and Donts of Decking Care 


  • Clean your decking regularly to remove dirt, debris and mould buildup, using a suitable cleaning solution and brush.
  • Inspect your decking annually for signs of damage, such as loose boards or nails and make repairs promptly.
  • Apply a protective finish, such as a stain, oil or sealant, to prevent moisture damage and UV exposure.


  • Use harsh chemicals or power washers, as these can damage the wood fibres and finish.
  • Neglect regular maintenance, as small issues can quickly escalate into costly repairs.
  • Overlook proper ventilation, as inadequate airflow can lead to moisture buildup and mold growth.


In conclusion, proper care and maintenance is essential for ensuring the longevity, safety and aesthetic appeal of your decking. By following a regular maintenance routine, including cleaning, inspecting and treating your decking as needed; you can protect it from damage caused by weather, wear and pests. Remember to use suitable cleaning products and techniques, avoid harsh chemicals and address any issues promptly to prevent them from worsening over time. With proper care and attention, your decking will continue to provide a beautiful and functional outdoor space for relaxation and enjoyment, for years to come.

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