re. decking treatments

If anyone has experience of treating decking, I'ld be glad of advice.
I have a great deal of decking between the house and the garden. It was put down about 10 years ago and was never coated with anything. The previous owner gave it a light power-wash twice a year and this has kept the algae down, so there is barely any green to be seen anywhere. The fact that all this decking is south-facing probably also helps keep the algae down. Currently all the wood looks clean but grey.
The pale grey of the decking does not fit at all well with the strong mahogany-colour of the UPVC window-frames, so for this reason I want to coat the decking so that it matches the windows. A paint company has advised me to firstly clean the decking with "oxygen bleach", to clean it and remove discolourations, and then to coat it with "a water-based epoxy sealer with a synthetic resin."
Does anybody here have experience of these products?
Also, what would you recommend as being best for the above situation?
Thanks, Eddy.
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wrote:

A water proof epoxy would be the the last thing I would use. I would use a water repellant preservative stain and keep water vapour moving in and out and water in the liquid phase out There has been an extensive previous post on this as far as I can recollect... Chris
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wrote:

I'd look at Sikkens Cetol HLS or Hicksons Restol Decking oil in a medium or dark shade to get close to what you want.
There are various other tinted decking oils the 'sheds' sell but the above is likely to be better quality.
Then once a year or two give a thin coat of a light shade to top it up.
Well worth try an inconspicious sample first though.
cheers, Pete.
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Pete C wrote:

As long as you are sure its never been treated I'd agree with Pete C. Decking oil soaks in rather than forming a surface coating, so it's easier to apply & top up. I'd avoid any kind of seal, epoxy or not.
I've used clear decking oil from the sheds & found it OK.
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

Dave, thanks for the advice. The idea of using something that sinks into the wood, rather than just forming a film on top of it, as paint does, seems like very good sense to me. However, I have seen quite a lot of references on internet pages to how algae & suchlike love to "eat" oil-based treatments, i.e. people claim that the organic nature of the oil while soaking into the wood is also attractive to the green stuff ! Have you used oil-based treatments and not found this to be the case?
Eddy.
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Eddy wrote:

AFAIK oil based treatments change chemically when they dry. Hopefully someone will be along in a minute who knows more. I've never heard of algae liking oil based treatments & I do keep my eyes open for anything to do with decking.
I built my first deck in July 2000 and have only ever used decking oil. Having said that I've nothing to compare it with so its not a scientific study.
Just found this on the Axminster site;
--------------------------------- Liberon Decking Oil
Decking oil is for use on all decking and can be applied to treated and untreated wood. It is compatible with other products, is water resistant/repellent and helps to prevent mould and fungal growth. A low odour, durable finish with UV filters to maximise resistance to the elements. Supplied in clear or teak to help lift and rejuvenate tired looking timber.
---------------------------------------
It says it helps prevent mould & fungal growth. Whilst I'm always suspicious of 'helps prevent' statements I can't see why it would be difficut to add a fungicide.
On that point, I reckon its worth cleaning the deck first with a decking cleaner. The contain optical brighteners to restore colour ^ fungicides to kill off spores.
HTH
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

Thanks for all of the above, Dave.
Eddy.
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wrote:

Algae tends to thrive on a rough or porous surface, especially with trees overhanging.
The ones I mentioned both form a thin surface film which discourages algae by making the surface less porous.
They protect the wood from weathering better, and last longer but _need timely maintenance_.
The non film forming ones usually have fungicide/algaecide to help stop algae, and are more forgiving of neglect.
In view of the fact the deck is 10 years old it might be worth giving the latter type a try.
If the results aren't satisfactory then let it weather off and try the former type.
cheers, Pete.
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Pete C wrote:

Thanks, Pete.
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Eddy, when you have decided on a treatment, and in time ascertained the effectivness of the stain/paint, I would be awfully grateful if you can come back to the group and give us your opinion on how effective it was. Thanks Don
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Donwill wrote:

OK, Don. Will try to remember this.
Am still undecided what to do. The decking (10 years old and gone grey) here certainly looks natural, but it's the many circular or square patches where previous owners had planters and pots stood as well as the rust stains in the wood from use of the wrong screws that's the bugbear.
We're at the stage now of tossing up between an annual spray with Jeyes Fluid might be better replaced with an annual spray with "Sikkens Cetol Marine". What I need to look into next is the colour range of this Sikkens product . . . and its price!
Eddy.
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wrote:

Hi,
You can get Cetol HLS or Restol from here:
<http://www.decoratingdirect.co.uk/
or maybe a timber yard or decorators merchant.
If you have a BIG deck it might be worth getting a tin to try as a sample for coverage and number of coats.
But a 'decking oil' from a 'shed' could be more economical and tolerate negelct better.
cheers, Pete.
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Pete C wrote:

Thanks, Pete.
I see that the Sikkens Cetol Marine is reasonably priced, at 18 a fairly large tin. But unfortunately it's darkest shade is a "teak" which is a medium dark brown. I could do with darker shade than that to hide the flaws, but beggars can't be choosers.
Now the big thing to decide is whether to step onto the ever-turning treatment wheel! On the plus side, Sikkens Cetol Marine can simply be sprayed or brushed on each year over the previous year's coat without sanding. On the negative side though, after 10 years the whole damn lot (the pile-up of annual coatings) has got to be completely removed, before starting again. Well, there's 30 years more life left in this deck, and we don't intend moving again, nor do we intend dying within the next 30 years, so this 10-yearly removal has got to be carefully considered. We've got lashings of decking here, about 120 square metres, all told, with about one third of it composing steps from the house to the road: so the 10-yearly removal would be one hell of a job.
I'm beginning to think it might be easiest to try and turn a blind eye to the greyness of it all and the various patches and stains.
On the other hand, I'm still not convinced there isn't some black stuff out there that can simply be painted on year after year for the next 30 years without any significant problems. I just haven't found it yet!
Eddy.
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wrote:

I'd let it weather some more for the patches to fade, I doubt a couple of years more will make a difference to a 10 year deck.
cheers, Pete.
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Eddy wrote:

I think the weathered look is best for fences and decking. It's a slippery slope once you start prettifying it.

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wrote:

I'd say it's a moderately uphill struggle, weathered decking can be the slippery option, not pretty either IMHO.
cheers, Pete.
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Pete C wrote:

. . . and, Stuart & Pete, I'ld say the problem of what to do with it is a pain in the neck! :-)
I'm still holding out for discovering some dark stuff that you can slap on (or better still spray on) every couple of years and NEVER have to strip the lot off.
However, if no such miracle stuff materialises, I'm thinking that "brightening" the patchy grey we currently have (with one of these "deck brightener" fluids/cleaners I've seen on the shelves) might possibly, at least, give us a respectable UNIFORM grey!
Eddy.
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Eddy wrote:

There are two basic choices when renovating a wooden floor (inside) or a deck (outside). (A) A product that forms a surface coating or (B) a product that soaks into the wood.
Varnish, polyurethanes & two pack resins (A) are much more durable, but need a physical key (sanding) when you need to recoat.
Decking Oil or Oleo Resinious Seals (B) soak into the surface and are less durable, but are much easier to re coat.
The second point is the use of a stain. IMO 'stained' wood never looks good. It just looks like wood that has been 'stained'. Never natural.
Stain that soaks into the wood looks better than stains which colour the surface coating.

They will do better than that. First of all they will remove all of the dirt & algae, which should even out the colour quite a bit, then the colour brighteners will even out the colour even more.
Decking Oil will then enhance the colour & protect the surface from UV degradation & dirt. Recoating every one/two years is simply a case of using a decking cleaner & another coat of oil.
I'd suggest that you wash the whole area with a pressure washer (using a wide fan), then use an 'off the shelf' decking cleaner. See if that evens out the colour.
Then I would use a natural decking oil. See how it looks, then if you want, use a coloured decking oil straight over it.
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

Dave, thanks a lot for this advice. Is it correct that if I use decking-cleaner > decking-oil > decking-cleaner > decking-oil . . . ad infinitum, there won't come a time when the entire 120 square metres will need completely stripping back with a sander . . . as would be the case if I go into the world of, for example, breatheable "varnishes", like "Sikkens Cetol Marine"?
Eddy.
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Eddy wrote:

I built my deck on 2000 and that's exactly what I've done. Its also the case with school hall floors coated with oleo resinous seal (which is also non film forming).
May not need doing every year.
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