With year-round exposure to the sun, water, salt and chlorine, it’s not surprising that timber pool decks can become faded, damaged and tired looking when winter comes around. While we’ve looked at how to repair damaged pool pavers and coping, this time we’re going to focus on how to maintain (and even install) timber surrounds.
Refresh your existing timber decking or install new decking
Over time, sun, water, pool water chemicals and salt cause decking to fade, dry out, splinter and warp. In addition to looking tired and giving you and your family splinters, lifted boards create a tripping hazard.
“Wood is a great material to use around pools as it naturally absorbs water quickly and minimises slipperiness when wet,” says Adam McDonald of Impressions Landscape.
The type of timber largely determines its durability. David Hayward from the Australian Timber Flooring Association recommends hardwoods with narrower sapwood (outer wood beneath the bark) and softwoods, provided the wider sapwood is appropriately treated. Argo Master Planner and Principal Architect Will Marcus recommends a durability grade 1 or at least grade 2 hardwood such as teak, ironbark or spotted gum that are 32mm, as thinner boards tend to buckle and pull up their fixings when used pool side.
Before you screw your timber boards and joists into place, apply a coat of water repellent preservative or oil based primer followed with an additional coat of a timber finish (after the deck has been constructed, apply additional coats of preservative and oil). To prevent your decking from becoming slippery when wet (cue Bon Jovi), add Intergrain UltraGrip to your timber finish to create a textured surface.
How to renew an existing dry, rough and faded decking
Follow a light sanding and a clean with Cabot’s Deck Clean to remove dirt and oils, apply a couple of coats of decking oil such as Cabot’s Aquadeck to create a protective weather-resistant finish, nourish the timber and help it regain its natural hue.
Synthetic and composite timber decking options
Traditionally made from a mix of waste wood or cellulose fibre and plastic, composite decking mimics the look of timber minus the drawbacks like warping, fading, splitting, decay and regular maintenance. However, like all wood, composite timbers will show signs of wear over time.
There’s a wide choice of synthetic decking on the market including Amber’s Timberstone, which are concrete tiles that replicate the look of timber sleepers with the durability of concrete; and Ekodeck, which is a mix of bamboo, reclaimed timber and polyethylene making it resistant to rot, decay, mildew, mould and termites as well as fade proof.
Complete your pool mini renovation by replacing discoloured, cracked or chipped filter covers and flaps and pool light guards.