One of the most enjoyable things about the summer months is being able to relax in your backyard. Of course one of the major problems is the fact that the garden will be looking a little worse for wear at the start as the harsh winter conditions will have taken their toll. In particular, the decking can look particularly old and tatty which can bring down the overall tone of the space.
You may even find that your decking has started to rot and decay. It is important to understand why this happens so that you can prevent this going forwards. Moisture and pools of water can cause rot and decay even on pressure treated wood – this is because the microorganisms eat through the cellulose and leave the wood brittle. This can also occur when debris between the boards begins to rot.
Out with the Old
If your decking is looking old and tatty or it is rotting, it is time to replace it. This will give you a fresh start, improve the look of your backyard and also provide you with a fantastic space for relaxing or entertaining. First, you will need to rip up your current decking without damaging the joists (if the joist framing is damaged you will need to completely replace the foundation). If you struggle to get the nails out, make cuts parallel to the joists with a circular saw and pry the boards out.
In with the New
Next, you will need to invest in high-quality pressure treated lumber. Carefully measure the width of the deck and start to cut your boards and drill holes at the ends. Lay your first board parallel with the outside fascia board and screw it to each joist that it overlaps. Lay the next board but leave a gap of around a quarter of an inch (this prevents water from collecting). Continue in this fashion until you are finished.
You will now have a bright, attractive and welcoming decking that is perfect for enjoying the sunshine from the comfort of your own home. You will not want to have to replace the decking again, so regular maintenance is essential even though you have used pressure-treated lumber. To extend your deck’s lifespan, it will need regular cleaning and be sure to use a hard-bristle brush to clean between the boards. During the winter months, you may want to consider a protective layering to stop the elements from taking their toll.