The best ways to maintain wood kept out doors will come in useful to Sheffielders as the city’s winters give our wood a battering.
Fences offer privacy and decking gives garden owners a useful outdoor space for relaxing but it isn’t always easy keeping them looking fresh, say outdoor experts at GardeningExpress.co.uk.
Once wet and cold weather hits them, they are susceptible to green algae, black mould spots, moss, mildew, plant debris and dirt. Caking soda and oxygen bleach can be used to clean and a coat of varnish can preserve the freshly cleaned wood.
Chris Bonnett from GardeningExpress.co.uk said: “Keeping your outdoor furniture, fences and decking clean can be a bit of a chore. However, you will be very grateful for the hard work once it comes to enjoying the space in the sun.
“These tips will offer you tips on how to clean up your deck, whilst also preventing the need for such a deep clean next time!”
A pressure washer will allow you to watch dirt melt away from your wooden decking and fences in a second. Start at the centre and work your way out, being careful not to catch anything that is loosely affixed or any exposed joints. Take care if thinking of pressure washing furniture or more delicate wood, as the pressure may pull structures apart.
Using natural products to clean decking, furniture and fences are a less harmful to the environment and the creatures in your garden. While they might not be as effective as chemicals and over the counter cleaners, they are a great place to start.
Baking soda can be sprinkled over stubborn stains to help lift them. Mildew-infested areas will benefit from a soak in water, soap, and vinegar. Once the baking soda or vinegar solution has sunk in, scrub the area with a brush until you see results. This method may have to be repeated a few times to achieve a thorough clean.
Bleach is not the most environmentally friendly choice, but chlorine does a good job of tackling standing water, mould, and mildew. The use of harsh ingredients and toxic chemicals outdoors can poison nearby grass, plantings, and wildlife so use as a last resort and with caution.
Oxygen bleach is a dry powder that can be found in most stores. It uses oxygen ions to break up dirt, meaning no harsh chemicals make their way into the environment.
The deck will need rinsing to open the pores in the wood. After this has been done, the oxygen bleach powder will need to be mixed with water, brushed evenly across the wood, and left to soak for at least ten minutes. Rise the solution off with a hose and watch any dirt or mould trickle away with the water.
Mildew, mould, and decay grow on wood when moisture is present. During damp seasons, move furniture under shelter or into a dry shed or garage. It’s also a good idea to move anything that is leaning on or blocking decking or fences that have been rained on.