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Lawsons are the largest independent timber, building & fencing merchants in London and the South East of England. Established in 1921 Lawsons now have a number of branches offering the complete range of building materials.

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Spring Clean Your Garden Deck

With BBQ season quickly advancing, it’s a good idea to take a look at your garden decking to make sure that winter hasn’t taken a toll. This can help you avoid accidents – such as a slippery deck or even rotted joisting – and means that you’ll have any repairs and maintenance done in time for summer.

Rot is the worst-case scenario when it comes to timber decking – check for rot with a screwdriver and by walking along your deck. Be sure to check the posts as well as your boards, especially where there is potential for ground contact where water might pool around structural parts of your decking. Knocking along your joists will also help you to find differences in density which might indicate rot. If you do find problem areas, you can remove small amounts with a chisel, treat the hole, and reseal. If the rot is in one of your joists, it’s important to replace it properly as it could lead to an accident.

The next important job is checking for rust in the metal work – the ledger, for example, attaches your deck to the house and should not be rusted or have any holes in it. Likewise, check your nails and other metalwork for damage.

If you have a railing system or balustrades, check that it isn’t loose and handrails have no splinters. Water and temperature changes can cause wood to expand and contract, resulting in cracks and splinters which will need filling in and sanding down. It’s important to check your decking boards for these as well – especially if you have pets or tend to go out onto the deck barefoot.

Finally, you can also check for more superficial damage such as staining. It’s recommended to sand down your deck (if necessary), clean it properly to get rid of any debris, and stain or oil your deck to top up the water protection and make sure it looks great for the next time your friends come around.