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There are a number of threats to your timber decking, depending of course on where you live. Some will have to face the risks associated with bushfires or insects, whereas others have to ensure that their deck is prepared for damage caused by precipitation. Today we are going to take a look specifically at how you can protect your timber deck from hail, sharp pieces of ice falling from the sky, which can damage the timber in many ways. 

In order to ensure the integrity of your deck — whatever the weather — here are some steps to bear in mind. 

Dangers of Hailstones

The clearest risk that hail presents to your deck is the damage upon impact. Those who do suffer from a lot of hail will know only too well just how large those chunks of ice can be. Damage can be caused by particularly large hailstones, as well as repeated impacts caused in extreme hailstorms.  Even if impact damage is not done to the deck, the stain can easily be broken through, and the cold and wet can even rust your decking brackets. 

Picking The Right Timber

The key to preserving any timber deck is to get the timber choice right first time. This is about weighing up what potential dangers your deck is likely to face during its lifespan. Here you will find the likes of Merbau decking which is ideal at withstanding fires and insect damage, whereas others such as treated pine are notoriously bad in harsher climbs. Getting this decision right the first time will save you a lot of trouble in the future. 

High Risk Protection 

If you do live in an area that sees a great deal of precipitation including hailstorms then the smart option is to use a roof addition. This may not be ideal but it is the best way to ensure maximum protection for your deck. There are other benefits that a roof can offer, such as keeping the deck cool and more comfortable to use during very hot days. 

Thick Protection 

An alternative to a permanent roof is a thick layer of protection for your deck during winter months. Tarpaulin sheets should be placed on the decking in order to take the strain of a heavy hailstorm. Be sure that these layers are fitted tight to the decking to ensure that they don’t allow too much moisture though as the hail melts. If you opt for this method of protection then you have to ensure that you remove the sheeting on drier days, to allow the deck to breathe and dry out. Remember also that standing water will add weight to the deck and could result in dimples over time. 

Getting the Basics Right

No matter what the risk is to your deck it is important to remember that regular maintenance will help to preserve its integrity. Make sure that the wood is properly stained and protected, reapplying at least every 2 years. Additionally look to repair any cracks or damage as soon as they occur, as this can very quickly become a breeding ground for fungus, which will cause further damage in no time at all. 

Choose the right timber, take steps to add physical protection for your deck and always ensure that you spend the time on maintaining the deck as often as possible.