Forest Schools are inspiring places, designed to give children the opportunity to develop confidence and increase self-esteem in natural woodland. Nathan James Dodd suggests ten items that will useful in such an environment.
Garden Decking needs cleaning and overall maintenance in order to keep its quality. In this article Nathan James Dodd will explore easy ways in which you can keep your decking looking clean and sustainable.
Your timber decking needs to withstand more wear and tear than an ordinary wooden shed or fence.
Its horizontal surface will take longer to dry out after rainfall and it must be able to endure scruffing from regular foot traffic. Regular treatment will result in your decking looking good and will also prolong its lifespan.
Care for your decking should start at the time of original fitting. Most decking boards have already been pressure treated with a wood preservative. This will help protect the timber from rot and woodworm.
During the time of installing a new timber deck you will frequently need to cut boards down to size. These cut ends will need an additional preservative to provide all-round protection. If you are having trouble with black mould then visit our ‘Dealing With Black Mould’ article.
The ideal preservative for treating cut ends is a clear one as it can be over-coated with a wide variety of other finishes. However, if you choose boards that have not been pressure treated you will need to protect the entire deck. Wood preservatives come in different colours including clear, light brown, dark brown and ebony. If you are looking to add some colour to your deck this is an inexpensive solution that is also easy to apply.
If you are looking for a wider choice of colour another option is looking at woodstain. But remember that not all woodstains are suitable for decking. Cuprinol produce Ultra Tough Decking Stain in a variety of colours.
If you are looking for a bigger selection of colours consider Sadolin Classic. Another option is decking oil. This is simple to apply but for the best results should be used annually. Decking oil is a good choice for hardwood decks as it replaces the oils and resins lost through weathering and enhances the natural beauty of the wood.
Decking that has been down for a while will need a good clean before applying a stain or oil. A bucket of soapy water, a stiff broom and plenty of elbow grease are sufficient for the job. To speed things up considerably, a pressure washer will help and you may need a treatment which kills mould and algae.
If algae is a problem you will probably find that your deck becomes very slippery when wet. The Cuprinol Decking Stain mentioned above is a good all-round solution that contains an algaecide to kill any green algae and microbeads to prevent slipping.
But, for the ultimate solution to slippery decks choose Anti-Slip Deck Coating. This product was chosen to provide a slip-resistant finish to the decking at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth. New decking looks fantastic but without the right maintenance can soon become tired and grey. Yet it only takes a couple of hours work each year to keep your decking looking great.
GardenSite sell a range of wooden decking packs to create an instant patio.
With only a few months' training under her belt, GardenSite's own Flori Bosnigeanu took part in this year's Great Birmingham Run, raising over £500 for the city's Children's Hospital.
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