Deck coating: mine is flaking off, what can I do?

It is essential to choose the right type of deck coating, should you wish to apply such a product to your decking. Using the wrong product is the primary cause of peeling and flaking.

Coating products such as paints or stains that are intended for use on vertical surfaces like cladding, doors and windows have properties that do not lend themselves to flat surfaces. A floor or outdoor surface is subject to footfall and particularly the movement of timber as it responds to changes in moisture content throughout the season. Using the wrong type of deck coating product will cause problems over time and the product might start to lift or flake off.

The type of deck coating product you need to use is one designed specifically for decks in that they penetrate rather than coat the surface and are resistant to scuffing by footfall. Suitable DeckMark accredited products are available from Owatrol UK Ltd. 

But what can you do if your deck coating is already flaking off? Be prepared for some hard work! Firstly, remove as much of the coating as you can with a paint scraper. Work systematically across the timber deck. Next, opt for a special deck stain remover. This can be sprayed on if you protect surrounding greenery first. Try dealing with small sections at a time, scrubbing the remaining deck coating with a hand brush when it has softened.

When you have worked across each area of decking in this way, rinse the surface well with a hose pipe and leave the decking to dry thoroughly. You might then choose to apply a deck conditioner prior to using a deck coating that is appropriate for timber decks. If you would prefer to avoid the flaking issue altogether, consider choosing a decking stain instead of a paint product. Stains soak into the timber and do not simply sit on the surface.

All deck coatings are however optional, simply offering variety in the finish and look of your timber deck.