How to Repair Old Decks

Decking has been proven to be an affordable addition to the home and garden – timelessly attractive, if maintained properly.

But if you haven’t undertaken regular care of the wood, then grime build-up, discolouration, and growth of algae and moss is likely to have occurred.

If this has already happened, don’t worry – with a measure of TLC (provided the timber is still in reasonable condition), it can be restored.


A new deck could cost you a fortune, but with a good few hours work, you can bring your deck back to life for a fraction of the cost. So, if your decking in need of repair, don’t despair; just simply follow these steps and tips for a long-lasting, new-look decking.

How to restore your decking ready for summer, to have an inviting outdoor space to spend time during the warmer months:

1. The Inspection

First, check all boards are structurally sound and stable. If any of the boards need to be replaced, then come and check out the range of recycled and new decking timber at our yard. We sell a huge variety in all various sizes – perfect for when you only need to replace just a few boards.

A great tip is to use existing good boards from the edge of the deck when replacing rotten or damaged boards from more visible parts of the deck. This ensures accurate colour and age-matching. Then, lay down your ‘from-Musgroves’ boards to replace the transplanted edge pieces.

Check boards are structurally sound

2. The Clean Up

Use stiff broom to sweep away as much dirt and debris as possible.

If you have time on your hands and you want the ‘pirate-ship deck-hand experience’ then using a tough brush and water to scrub away any surface grime and greenery (no thanks!). Otherwise, you can borrow, hire (from Bunnings) or buy a jet-wash waterblaster which will remove it in minutes (yes please!).

Waterblasting wooden deck

3. The Sand Down

Once it’s clean and dry, you may now notice grease stains from the BBQ and scuff marks from the flower pots and outdoor furniture. To get rid of these marks you will need to sand the boards down. Removing this top layer of the wood will not only remove the marks and stains but will also expose its pores, allowing it to absorb more of the protective coat you decide to use.

To combat the problem of older decks getting slippery in the rain, consider using non-slip anti-skid varnish, or slip strips (abrasive, similar to sand-paper) might be appropriate for elderly deck users, especially to give extra grip on step edges.

Anti-skid non-slip strips

4. The Coat

Now your wood should be ready for its new coat. There are plenty of great water-based colour stains on the market, however for a more natural look you may want to use Danish or tung oil finishes – these are also resistant to water and alcohol.

Try to apply the coat all in one go, so it dries evenly at the same time. Then apply a second and third coat.

Wooden sofa sleeve cup holder

Check out our online timber decking listings but to see our full and up-to-the-minute range you must visit our yard.


If you have a project in mind then give us a call or come visit our yard, our friendly staff will be able to provide good advice and knowledge about the materials you’ll need.

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Musgroves Christchurch