When dealing with a timber deck, something that many people have come across in the past is the timber leaching or bleeding onto surrounding surfaces.
Leaching is when hardwoods, such as merbau, are exposed to moisture and their tannins or resins seep out and stain surrounding surfaces – So how can this be prevented?
Before the installation of a hardwood deck, the timber needs to be ‘weathered’, i.e., left outside in the elements for 6 – 8 weeks so the tannins and resins can bleed out in a controlled area. This will reduce the chance of leaching from happening.
There are some products containing harsh chemicals such as tannin prep or deck clean which can be used to help bleed the timber, but it should be noted the aggressive chemicals used may cause more damage to the surrounding environment and surfaces, so take care if using them .
If you have surrounding surfaces that are porous, such as concrete or stone pavers, these are especially difficult to remove any leaching stains out of. Removing stains from tannins in timber can be extremely difficult, and in some circumstances impossible. Be prepared for some serious elbow grease!
Comparatively, composite decking products, do not have any resins in the finished product, so a lot of the above leaching issues with using hardwood timber for decking is mitigated.
This, coupled with composite decking’s durability and low-maintenance factors, makes it an attractive alternative to timber.
We hope this article helped give you some clarity on leaching and how to prevent it.
If you need further assistance, check out our how-to videos to see the process in action.
Alternatively, you can reach us at [email protected] or call us on (03) 9639 7774.