Maintenance for Millboard
All decking requires some cleaning, there is even a need of some maintenance for Millboard. However, if the deck is planned and installed thoughtfully this should be low-level cleaning rather than intensive maintenance. Work will probably involve no more than the occasional brush down for instance to keep the small drainage gaps between the boards clear. Some rules for the deck usage should also be in place – no barbecues and no fire pits on the deck would be a good start. Whatever the case you should find Millboard is a lot lower maintenance than softwood or hardwood decking.
Wood free product
Millboard decking is a wood free product, therefore lower maintenance to timber or wood-composite decking products (WPC) which contain wood flour. Softwood decking absorbs water from rain, snow and from cleaning and will stay wet for long periods leading to algae formation. This algae causes a problem by becoming slippery along with deckboards that may split, warp and splinter.
Similarly, hardwood decking requires annual cleaning and regular oiling to preserve its appearance. Despite the extensive maintenance you may need to do, you can still expect a hardwood deck to split and splinter eventually. Likewise due to expansion and contraction within the boards you will require larger gaps between the boards during installation.
Plastic decking won’t ever replicate the look of real wood like Millboard and will never compare to the performance that you will get from a Millboard deck either. Plastic deck boards will expand and contract with variations in temperature and will become slippery as ice when wet.
Deck build and planning
Ideally decks should be built away from heavy foliage, trees and dense shrubbery. Building a deck near a sap-rich tree is asking for trouble. Likewise it is best to integrate large plants in purpose-built spaces in the decking rather than putting large pots on the deckboards.
Millboard decking can be cut with standard saw blades, although a carbon-tipped, multi-purpose chop saw blade would be preferable. As the formed end of the board is lost when cut, these can be placed in less visual areas against a wall or edging profile. Matching Touch-up Coating for exposed ends is available to buy separately.
Yes, in BS79.76 slip resistance tests, all styles of Millboard decking achieve one of the highest slip-resistant ratings. The unique Lastane® surface has been developed to provide a tough surface that greatly enhances slip resistance in wet conditions.
Cleaning Millboard products
Because Millboard deckboards are made using non-porous composite, they resist mossy build-up and stains. Therefore very little maintenance is required. So spills and marks can be removed simply with the help of a mild detergent and a yard brush. There is no need for solvents, chemicals and abrasive cleaners that could damage your Millboard decking. Finish with a gentle wash down, there should be no need for pressure washing.
When frost and ice forms you can use small quantities of white salt to keep your Millboard decking ice-free. However don’t use rock salt, because this contains clay and grit and can be abrasive. When winter is finally over you can clean the decking surface with soapy water and a soft broom.
More maintenance tips
The Lastane® finish is highly resistant to scratches, food and drink stains, and even everyday wear and tear. Sharp objects such as unprotected table or chair legs, spiked shoes or metal planter bases can leave marks if dragged across the surface. So care must be taken when moving these items around. There is always a risk of marking the Lastane layer with strong dyes, berries and animal droppings. However, this risk can be reduced if you can clean any spillage as soon as possible.
In instances where there is burning wood or coal they will need to sit the fire bowl onto a concrete slab or similar. The slabbed area needs to extend about 1 metre outside the fire bowl or brazier. Likewise any embers or burning material needs to be removed immediately to prevent any damage or lasting marks to the Millboard surface. Patio heaters or infra red heaters are not know to affect the Millboard.
For long-term use there is no need to paint or stain the deckboards. Durable, through-body coloured and UV stable, Millboard is a low maintenance product that does not require a protective coating. Because of the composition of Millboard any paints and stains will not properly adhere to the surface.