Restoring a Teak Deck

by Claire
(NSW Australia)

Buying a lovely timber 36 footer sail boat that has some little bits of moss and other growing things in her now silver coloured teak deck.

What can anyone suggest to help restore the deck to its natural beauty?



Teak Deck Cleaning
by: Mike

Depends on what you mean by it’s natural beauty.

Silvery grey is the natural colour of a ‘weathered’ teak deck.

The teak turns a silvery grey over time due to the effect of the sun's UV rays.

In my opinion, not only is a naturally weathered deck beautiful to look at but is also naturally, beautifully, non-skid.

Putting any oils, paint, stain, varnish or whatever will compromising the non-slip and simply won’t last.

Now I must admit that freshly oiled teak looks pretty good but it won’t last.

Any oiled wood soon darkens and goes black outdoors and the organic oils attract those “little bits of moss and other growing things”.

The best thing you can do for a teak deck is to rinse it down regularly with clean salt water, you can use a little household detergent if you wish.

I would advise against brushing with any propriety teak cleaners like the plague.

Teak grain has alternating strips of hard and soft fibres, aggressive scrubbing with these cleaning solvents tends to remove the soft fibres and leave the hard ones standing proud.

Most of these propriety teak cleaners contain nasty stuff like caustic soda, oxalic acid and/or phosphoric acid that have to be neutralized once you have finished ‘cleaning’ or the acids will slowly eat the wood away.

Not only that, these products will also damage your surrounding paint or varnish (and you) if it gets splashed around.

Claire, most of those “little bits of moss and other growing things” will probably come off quite easily with a rub down with sandpaper or a scraper ( the carbide tipped variety will stay sharp longer).

Any “other growing things” such as mould and mildew, other bacteria and their spores can be killed off with good old fashioned vinegar or water soluble wood rot treatments such as glycol or borate.


Comments for Restoring a Teak Deck

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by: Anonymous

Vinegar and holystone were good enough for Nelson’s navy.

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