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How to treat timber decking boards

Why lay wooden decking in your garden?

red cedar outdoor wooden deck during nice weather

Everyone likes spending time in the garden, but not everyone enjoys having huge swathes of grass to look after. Timber decking is a great option for people who want to extend the usable space of their garden while keeping mud off their shoes. Before you lay the first wooden decking board, make sure it’s resilient to weathering and biological growth. Here’s how to treat timber decking boards.

Wooden decking is adaptable. It can be installed in any sized garden. It can take up the entire space or only a small portion of the garden. A wooden deck equips the garden with all the benefits of indoor flooring. Play board games, socialise and serve dinner on a smooth and stable surface.

Woman reading a book on wooden decking in a UK garden

Perhaps you want to walk from the back door immediately out onto the decking for instant al-fresco dining. Or maybe you need a private oasis at the bottom of the garden to enjoy a good book. Whatever your needs, there’s a wooden deck for you.

Decking boards are usually installed above ground or over existing patios. We give lots care and attention to the top-side of timber, but the underside is just as exposed to the elements.

A low deck close to the ground exposes it to moisture, while joist support posts are in constant contact with the ground below. If the entire deck is laid on the ground floor atop a gravel and fabric base, condensation can easily build up between the ground and timber.

When planning to lay a deck, build in some time during each major stage to treat decking boards with Roxil.

Long-term exposure of untreated timber to the elements can lead to structural weakness – nobody wants to accidentally put their foot through their garden deck.

Ground level or raised? Choosing the right decking design

Wooden balcony on moss cover many small slope

If your garden is sloped or on uneven ground, a raised deck is a great way to regain some usable outdoor space. Transform a wonky lawn into an ordered place of comfort and tranquillity.

While it is simpler to lay wooden decking on even ground, raised decking might be worth the effort if you want an area surrounding a pond, a pool or a fire feature like a pizza oven or chiminea.

Ground level decking tends to be a little more flexible, as it is not traditionally attached to the wall of the home. The most common design for a raised deck attaches it to the back wall of your home, just below the damp-proof course.

Also consider any plants or trees in the garden. You don’t have to remove them. A wooden deck can incorporate large plants like trees as focal points, as long as you leave ample space for future growth.

Add these steps to your construction schedule to ensure maximum protection for your timber deck. Always allow each part of the Roxil Combination System to dry fully before advancing to the next step.

For a ground level deck

A ground level deck in a UK garden
  1. Once the sub-frame timber has been cut to size, treat it with the Roxil Combination System. Always ensuring that elements in direct contact with soil are left untreated.
  2. Lay the sub-frame and secure it to the inner and outer joists. Ensure the sub-frame in direct contact with the ground is kept untreated.
  3. Once the decking boards have been cut to shape, treat them with the Roxil Combination System before screwing the decking boards into place.

For a raised deck

A raised deck in a UK garden
  1. Ensure you treat the joist support posts with the Roxil Combination System before installing them, keeping any underground elements in contact with soil untreated. This will ensure that post ends are fully protected before they are permanently in position.
  2. Ensure wall joists are treated with the Roxil Combination System before attaching them to the wall of your home (ALWAYS install wall joists well below the Damp Proof Course. Trust us, we’re experts.)
  3. Before attaching railings (also known as the balustrade) to a raised deck, fully treat all cut timber with the Roxil Combination System.
  4. If you’ve added steps into the design, make sure you fully treat all elements not in ground contact prior to installation.

What direction do you lay decking boards?

Decking board made of solid wood in a stack.

See those deeper notches? Lay decking boards notch-side down

Wooden decks have a ridged side and a smooth side. DIY-ers gravitate towards laying decking boards ridged side-up, thinking that the ridges offer increased grip and aesthetic appeal. However, laying your wooden deck ridges up comes with risk. Ridges dislodge dirt caught in between shoe treads and are difficult to clean. Worse, moisture accumulates and becomes trapped in the grooves.

As well as being harder to clean and slipperier than the smooth decking board, the ridged surface has benefits facing the ground. Ridges can aid underfloor circulation, leading to less condensation and potential mould and rot growth.


The perfect finish

Grill with sausages in the garden with flowers and group

Each board of timber is unique – that’s what makes wood such a beautiful material to work with. We understand how important it is to retain the distinctly natural tone and quality of wood. That’s why the Roxil Combination System cures invisibly. Allow 1 week for full cream absorption. Once absorbed, timber will have fully returned to its natural colour.

While competing decking oils can reduce the threat of mould growth through waterproofing, they cannot eliminate mould spores present on the surface. Waterproofing wood minimises moisture ingress, but cannot completely eliminate it with 100% certainty.

Roxil Coloured Wood Preserver protects against the threat of wet rot and dry rot. Its biocidal active ingredient works as a shield, eliminating mould spores when they settle on the surface. It also protects against the sun’s damaging UV rays. Available in 6 gorgeous shades, from Red Cedar to Autumn Gold. Combined with Roxil Wood Protection Cream, Roxil Coloured Wood Preserver acts as the last line of defence to eliminate mould, mildew and fungal spores. After applying Roxil Coloured Wood Preserver, always allow 24 hours to fully dry before further treatment.

Roxil Enhanced Decking Oil waterproofs, nourishes and protects weathered timber. Includes advanced UV protection and mould control biocides. A complete decking treatment for weathered softwoods.

Decking stains and varnishes work by forming a barrier over the exterior of wood. This physical barrier is vulnerable to flaking and peeling. When exposed to the elements, a small section of damaged varnish can compromise the entire seal. Without biocidal protection, pristine decking can quickly turn to a damp, rickety and mould-ridden health hazard.

If you’re looking for a fresh tint for your wooden decking without relying on vulnerable varnishes, try Roxil Wood Stain Coloured Preserver.

For more information call
01403 210204