As the evenings get lighter and the rain eases off a little, giving way to the odd bit of sunshine, it is easy to imagine those long, summer days to come. Get ready for summer by making sure your garden is in good shape, so that you can enjoy the great weather when (if) it arrives.
Decking is a great garden feature, allowing you to dine al fresco and enjoy your outdoor space with friends. It is easy to upgrade your decking with a bit of clever lighting or some new garden furniture, but before you embark on the fun bits, it is important that you make sure your decking is safe first.
With prolonged exposure to the elements, and repeated use, even treated wood can become damaged. Before you get out the Pimm’s, check your decking. It may need a new coat of stain or weather guard, you may need to replace a few fence panels, or you may need to invest in new decking boards.
Look for Loose Connections
Check stairs, railings and ledgers for signs of wear and tear – if any seem to be warped, cracked or loose, it is important that you repair or replace them.
Inspect the Wood
It is natural that, over time, wood will decay or rot. If any of your decking feels soft or spongy, it will need to be replaced. Use a piece of metal, such as a screwdriver or poker to poke the wood: if the metal easily enters the wood, it is decaying.
Look for Rust
It’s not just the wood in your decking that is vulnerable to the elements: nails and screws can rust, making them potentially dangerous. Wood treatment can also be corrosive, so inspect metal brackets and joints to make sure they are intact and holding tight.
If in Doubt – Ask an Expert
Your decking is there to be enjoyed, but your safety is paramount. If you are unsure whether any element of your decking is safe, or want to know if it needs replacing, ask an expert. A reliable carpenter or landscape gardener will be able to give you a quick consultation and offer a quote for the work or provide you with advice and guidance on what you need to do to keep your decking safe for another summer.
Once your decking is checked, repaired, and ready to be enjoyed, you can upgrade it with solar lights, hanging baskets and new foliage, ready for a long, hot summer of enjoyment and relaxation.