Oiling your new deck

Congratulations on your new deck. Everyone loves the way their deck looks on the day it’s built, and they generally want to preserve that look. There’s a process you have to follow in order to give your deck the best chance at staying beautiful for as long as possible.

While you may be keen to coat your new deck straight away – don’t! New timber needs to be exposed to Mother Nature for 4-6 weeks before you can prepare it and finally coat it. 

This is because your new timber deck is still full of Tannins and Oils, which, if left on the surface of the timber, can ruin your beautifully applied coating. If you live in a particularly dry area (or your deck is undercover), hose down the deck every couple of days to help this leaching process.

Over the course of 4-6 weeks, your deck should have greyed off a little and appear to have dried out. You might notice the tannins have sat on the surface and caused dark patches.

To bring your deck back to a natural appearance and prepare it for coating, thoroughly scrub with Cabot’s Deck Clean, leaving on the surface for 10-15 minutes before hosing it off.

Allow the deck to fully dry before applying your decking oil of choice.

Maintaining your merbau, spottedgum hardwood deck

In order to keep a hardwood timber deck looking its best, it must be kept clean and well maintained. It is a good idea to inspect a hardwood timber deck at least annually to ensure that it is in good condition. The deck must be regularly maintained as it may become discoloured or affected by moisture and weather. Inspect the deck to replace loose boards and protruding nails or screws. Any loose or damaged boards should be resecured or replaced, loose nails hammered back in or screws refixed.

To clean the deck, sweep off any loose dirt or garden residue and then clean the deck with a specialised deck cleaning product. It is important to not only remove dirt, but any algae or moss that may be growing on the deck.
After the cleaning has been completed, lightly sand the deck in the direction of the timber. This will remove any splinters and damage to the timber.

Once cleaned, reseal the deck with a stain, oil, paint or varnish, depending on aesthetic preference. Before the
decking finish is applied, cover areas around the deck that need protection such as plants and furniture.
Drying times are dependent on the type of finish so check finish manufacturer’s recommendations before walking on a newly finished deck. Apply and re-apply decking finish as per finish manufacturer’s recommendations. Finish manufacturers may recommend that the decking finish needs to be re-applied more than once a year.

After a new timber deck has been built, or an existing deck repaired, thoroughly sweep and clean to remove metal filings from drilling, nailing or other construction materials that may cause black spots on the hardwood deck when exposed to the elements.
If the deck has turned grey from natural weathering or is discoloured due to metal filings or other construction materials, there are a large range of maintenance and cleaning products on the market which can bring back the timber’s original colour. Use with care and follow the finish manufacturer’s instructions carefully.