How to Avoid Water Stains on Your Decking

From city centres to your own garden, decking is everywhere. Versatile, sustainable and durable, wood is a brilliant natural building material that holds up beautifully over time. However, certain things are very common, like stains. No matter how you use your decking, it's very likely to accumulate a library of marks over time. One of the most frequent is water stains. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can remove them, keeping your decking looking its best for years to come.

How Can You Prevent Water Stains?

Water stains are preventable if you act early – or if you design a gentle slope in your structure so that the water can roll down and not accumulate. By sealing your decking before any water has the chance to touch it, you can also prevent these marks from ever appearing. Choose oil or water-based sealer for your decking to keep those stains away. If you are not sure how to seal your wood, get in touch with our team and we'll be happy to help you.

It's easier to learn how to prevent water stains than it is to remove them. But if you forget to seal your deck regularly enough and stains do appear, there are ways to get rid of them.

Is There a Best Time of Year to Remove Water Stains?

The best time to remove water marks is when it's dry. Most people work on their decking during the summer, which is a good time to undertake such projects. Most methods for removing stains need plenty of drying time. So during the dry, summer weather, it's likely that your project will be a lot easier.

How to Remove Water Stains From Decking

Many water stains are simply the build-up of dirt left behind from the water rather than the water itself. To get rid of them:

  1. Use a pressure washer lightly to spray the deck and apply a cleaning solution.

  2. Scrub the deck in the affected areas and wash off the cleaning solution using the pressure washer, opting for a wide spray setting.

  3. Never use a fine needle spray as this can etch lines in your wood.

Can you Remove Milky-White Water Stains?

Water stains that are milky-white are all too common on decking. If you have any light coloured stains, you can try removing them with your everyday electric iron (please be careful). Empty the water from the iron’s tank (ensuring it is completely dry) then turn it on to a setting with no steam. Lay a clean white cloth over the marked area and pass the iron over it. Lift the cloth every few goes to see if the stain is lifting. This should help to clear the stain quickly, leaving you with decking that looks as good as new! Here’s a video to help you.

Can You Remove Water Stains by Sanding?

If the stain hasn't penetrated too deeply into the wood, you may be able to sand it out. This should be a last resort for marks you just can't move, as it can damage the wood. But, with careful attention and the right advice, you may be able to get rid of the toughest stains without too much fuss. 

Start with fine-grit sandpaper and move in the direction of the grain. You are less likely to damage the wood if you can remove the stain with a finer grit. Test the paper on one area of the mark to see if it will remove it, and increase your grit until you see visible results. Don't press too hard on the wood, and sweep off the dust as you go to watch your progress. 

Replace Old Decking With Sustainable Timber

Some timber is simply too old to be refreshed. If yours is covered in marks, stains or rot, it may simply be time to replace it. At EcoChoice, we have plenty of durable timber species available for decking that are easy to maintain. Take a look at our species to learn more or get in touch with our team today.



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