Installing and Maintaining your Timber Decking

Our joinery grade Scandinavian Redwood decking are a great addition to any garden spaces. We have both premium decking and budget decking available to purchase. Both types are of great quality making them sturdy, reliable and look superb. Decking areas are so versatile and can be used for a number of different ideas and projects. Within this blog, we want to provide you with some installation guidelines and steps you can take to creating your decking area. As well as this, we will provide you with several maintenance pointers to help preserve your decking and keep it in tip top condition for years to come.

 

Installing your decking kit.

 

  1. Mark Area Out

 

To begin making your decking kit, you need to make a base for the decking to lie and fix onto. Therefore, you need to mark out where your decking is going. This will allow you to purchase the correct amount of decking needed. Use our decking calculator now to see how much you will need!

 

  1. Prepare area

 

Once marked out using either some string or spray paint, it’s important to lay weed control fabric over the surface which will stop any weeds growing and poking through the decking and ruining your final design once complete.

 

  1. Building Decking Frame

 

Depending on your design and logistics of the build, will alter the way in which you create your frame. There are two main ways of doing this which include, laying the frame on the ground, or having a raised decking frame.

 

Frame on the ground

Starting with the outer frame, the joists used will need to be fixed together using screws and in line with the perimeter set out beforehand. We would recommend using a screw on the top edge of the joists and then another two screws on the sides to ensure high quality strength and durability. To keep the joists and outer frame from rotting and absorbing water, we recommend using Osmo UV protection oil. It’s a water and rot resistant oil preservative that does not flake, blister or peel.

 

Raised Frame

To begin this process, you will first want to make your outer frame from the joists and attaching them together using one screw at the top edge and two from the sides. Now place your outer frame where you wish your decking to be. On the corners of the outer frame, and along the width and lengths, you will want to mark out where the posts need to go. Posts should be spaced out about 1.5m to ensure strength and durability.

 

Fix the posts to the outer frame on the inside of it using three or more screws per post. Now you want to start digging out the holes making sure they are about 35cm in depth and width. Move the outer frame back into position with the posts in place and check the level of the structure using a spirit level. The posts can then be concreted in place and left for 48 hours or more if required.

 

  1. Fitting the middle joists

 

The joists are the long bits of timber that will sit between the outer structure running perpendicular to the decking, providing the strength for the complete structure. These will need to be spaced out at about 400mm between each one. Using joist hangers and screws, fit them in place making sure they are level. If the decking area is quite large, we would recommend using noggins which add extra strength and are positioned perpendicular to the inner joists.

 

  1. Fitting Decking Boards

 

Before screwing your boards in place, lay each one down making sure you are happy with the positioning of each one. Between each board, there should be a 5mm gap to allow for any expansion and swelling in the wood. Each board should be fixed at all four corners and where it meets a joist or noggin in the middle to ensure extra strength. It may be required that you have to cut the last board because of an overhang. However, we would suggest fitting the whole board and then cutting the edges once placed.

 

Maintaining your Timber Decking

 

To begin with, when wanting to maintain your decking, its crucial to brush it regularly ensuring that no debris is left on the surface such as leaf’s, moss and dirt. By doing this regularly, you are not allowing any build-up of debris that could affect moisture levels, increasing the chances of rot, whilst keeping that natural colour and grain of the decking. If you have any plant pots or outside furniture, do make sure to remove them from their normal place so that you can brush all areas of the decking. The gaps in between the decking boards need to be kept clear at all times to aid on going drainage and stops sitting water on the decking, whilst also increasing the design and overall look.

 

Cleaning your decking is required when it becomes discoloured and is looking a little grubby. To do this, hot soapy water and a sponge is needed to scrub away the dirt that is left on the decking making sure to go with the grain which will help with the efficiency and easiness of the process. If those marks and dirt stains are a little more stubborn, a decking cleaning product may be required to help with this and will really improve the overall look and condition of the wood. Mentioned previously, when using the cleaning product, make sure to go with the grain and edges so that you don’t scuff or scratch the decking boards.

 

Protecting your timber decking against the elements is crucial to ensuring a long life and keeping them immaculate. To help with this, we highly recommend using Osmo UV Decking Oil which is a water and dirt resistant preservative that does not crack, peel or blister and allows the wood the breath due to the microporous finish. It regulates moisture levels within the wood whilst blocking UV rays and keeping the natural colours and grains of the wood. To apply effectively, we would recommend using the Osmo Decking Brush which ensures good cover and spread of the oil. Two coats every 12 weeks is recommended with a drying time of 10-12 hours. If there are any end grains exposed at the edge of the decking area, then end grain sealing wax should be applied which will protect the exposed areas and stop the absorbing of water by the wood to help regulate moisture levels whilst also preventing cracks occurring. Finally, if your weathered boards need some major TLC and updating due to the weathers, Osmo Wood Reviver Power Gel has been specially developed to restore the wood back to its original colour and grains. If possible, use on untreated boards is better and results can be seen in just 30 minutes.

 

Our joinery grade Scandinavian redwood is a softwood and can therefore develop cracks over time also called ‘shakes’. These ‘shakes’ can be prevalent with regular temperature changes and constant weather conditions but is a natural process and will not effect the performance. In order to rectify those small cracks in your boards, use a proprietary wood glue whilst following the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines at all times. Once dry, this can then be sanded down to a smooth level and any application of a high-quality protective water repellent to reduce further cracking would be suitable.

 

For fire safety reasons, zero flame treatment can be applied to timber decking to minimise and stop fires from occurring and spreading. The treatment is a water based clear solution that soaks into the timber whilst leaving the appearance completely unchanged or affected. The total coverage rate to aim for with decking is 3.7m2 /L which will achieve Euro B and class 0 spread of flame and fire propagation. When using this fire safety treatment, it’s important that the decking boards are unsealed to enable the liquids to be absorbed by the wood and coat all sides of the boards to ensure a higher level of safety.

 

So hopefully this has helped you and can be used when installing and thinking about maintaining your cladding. It’s a really important job to ensuring that your boards last for as long as possible and also creating an outside space that you can be proud of. If you have any more questions or queries, don’t hesitate to contact our sales team on 01409231763 and they will be happy to help.

 

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