Wooden decking has become a popular garden feature. It provides a pleasant, level surface for sitting outside and can conceal a multitude of sins.
If your decking has been down for a while, however, it may look a little worse for wear. Give discoloured and damaged areas of decking a new lease of life by following these simple steps to replace split and pockmarked boards, one at a time.
1. Examine your decking carefully, and identify any damaged boards. Then work on one board at a time. You will need to cut away the damaged section, so make guide lines in pencil for cutting lines. Wherever possible, make your cuts close to an existing joist.
2. Remove any fixing screws and lift out the damaged board.
3. Saw along the marks you made on the board you have removed*.
4. Using a steel tape and a carpenter's square, measure out the new board, and mark a cutting line (you will be filling the gap left by the damaged section of the old one).
5. Saw through the new board carefully, using a fine-toothed handsaw. Support the waste pieces as you cut through the boards. Or you can use a powered mitre or circular saw.
6. Nail or screw a sturdy support batten to the side of the joist to support the new board.
7. Replace and refix sound parts of old board.
8. Remove any "whiskers" on the end of the new board, using a sanding block.
9. Mark screw positions on new board and drill pilot holes for fixings with a cordless drill - this will stop the wood from splitting.
10. Fix the cut section of new board to the joists using 50mm decking screws.
11. Clean the area around the new board, using a scrubbing brush and a bucket of warm water with a dash of washing-up liquid.
12. When the boards have completely dried, apply a decking stain such as Cuprinol Ultra Tough.
* To prevent future rotting, treat all newly-sawn ends with a clear wood preservative, for example Cuprinol Wood Preserver.
Instructions provided by the Wood Preservation Society.