- Installing a deck
- Maintaining your deck
- Decking material
- Sealing a sundeck
Installing a deck
Sundecks have become the preferred addition to many homes in
South Africa. It is easy to see why an attractive wooden deck
creates a unique space. A well-planned deck, is not quite an
indoor, nor an outdoor entertainment area, it links your
entertainment area and garden, enhancing the quality of both all
A sundeck costs less to build than any other indoor room. Few
home improvements can match a deck for the enjoyment it will add
to your lifestyle, the utilization you will get from your deck
and the value you will add to your home!
Here are a few tips on maintaining a wooden deck Annual
maintenance is vital to keep a wooden deck looking good.
1. Use a screwdriver to remove debris. Reset or replace
screws that protrude.
2. Apply specially formulated deck
cleaners to remove gray wood fibres or
sand with sanding paper
3. While deck is still wet, scrub
with a stiff-bristled brush. Always work with the grain of the
4. Wash deck using a garden hose with a spray nozzle or a
with a wide spray head.
5. If nails leave
rust marks, countersink them below deck surface and remove rust
with a dilute mixture of oxalic acid.
6. Let deck dry for two
days before applying a clear wood preservative with
ultraviolet-light inhibitors. Use a sprayer and roller to apply
the product, then brush it in.
Traditionally, pressure treated wood often has
been used in the supporting framework for decking. For years
this wood has been treated with a chemical containing chromated
copper arsenate (CCA), which is now being phased out. New
compounds make treated timber more user-friendly.
decking materials truly have improved over the last decade. Most
old problems like mold and rot have improved. It is important to
find a product that has a good warranty in case of a problem.
Sealing a sundeck
The myth that a timber sundeck is expensive to maintain is unfounded, provided it is
installed using good quality timber and construction methods are sound. If finished with
the correct sealer, maintenance can be reduced to a minimum and maintenance intervals can
A common mistake that is often made is to coat the deck with a coating that does not penetrate
the deck surface but rather dries on the surface. With the hot African sun beating down on the
deck the horizontal surfaces often start to crack and flake. Using a penetrating timber
preservative avoids this occurring and reduces labour costs at scheduled maintenance intervals.
Screw holes should always be filled with an epoxy to avoid them “popping” and to avoid water
penetrating the timber through the screw hole. One must remember that water penetrates wood
largely from the end grain and therefore any screw holes left unfilled will allow water to
easily penetrate the timber. End grains should also be well sealed to avoid this.
After taking into account your unique requirements and environment it is difficult to argue
that a well constructed timber sundeck, using quality timber from reputable suppliers will
not add value to your property while providing many years of enjoyment.
The warmth of wood cannot be replicated by other building materials.