As we enter fall, it’s a great time to make sure your deck is prepped for the upcoming winter months. An important step to maintaining a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing deck is sealing it.
In this article, we’ll explain why this is a necessary job and provide useful advice on how to seal it properly. Read on to discover why sealing your deck should be a part of your autumn checklist.
Applying a sealant to a deck is key to preserving its health and beauty in the long run. Consistent sealing will guard your deck against the elements so that it can stay stunning for years to come.
Steps to Seal a Deck:
Clean the deck: Thoroughly clean the deck to remove dirt, grime, and any mildew or mold. Use a deck cleaner and pressure washer for best results. Allow the deck to dry completely.
Repair any damage: Fill in any cracks or holes in the deck with wood filler and sand smooth. Replace any damaged boards if necessary.
Sand the surface: Lightly sand the deck to remove any rough spots and create a smooth surface for the sealant to adhere to.
Apply the sealant: Choose a high-quality deck sealant that is appropriate for the type of wood used in your deck. Apply the sealant using a brush, roller, or sprayer, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Start at one end of the deck and work your way to the other end, making sure to get into all cracks and crevices.
Allow to dry: Allow the sealant to dry completely, following the manufacturer’s recommended drying time.
Apply a second coat: If desired, apply a second coat of sealant for added protection.
Maintain the deck: Regularly clean and re-seal the deck as needed to keep it looking good and protected from the elements.
Preparing the Deck for Sealing
- Clean the deck thoroughly by sweeping, scrubbing, and pressure washing to remove dirt, grime, mildew, and other contaminants.
- Repair any cracks, splinters, or damaged boards. Sand any rough spots or raised grain to ensure an even surface for the sealer to adhere to.
Choosing the Right Deck Sealer
- Determine the type of wood used in your deck to select the appropriate sealer.
- Consider factors such as the age of the deck, the level of sun exposure, and the amount of foot traffic when choosing the right type of sealer.
- Look for a sealer that provides protection from UV rays, water damage, and mildew.
Applying the Deck Sealer
- Choose a sunny, dry day with temperatures between 50-90°F to apply the sealer.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and applying the sealer.
- Start by applying a thin, even coat to the deck boards with a paintbrush or roller, working from one end to the other.
- Let the first coat dry completely before applying a second coat for added protection.
Maintenance and Upkeep
- Re-seal the deck every 2-3 years or as needed to maintain its appearance and protect the wood.
- Clean the deck regularly to remove dirt, leaves, and other debris that can accumulate on the surface.
- Inspect the deck periodically for any signs of damage or wear, and repair promptly to prevent further damage.
Tips for a Successful Deck Sealing Project
- Plan ahead and allow plenty of time for each step in the sealing process.
- Wear gloves and eye protection when applying the sealer.
- Don’t over-apply the sealer, as this can cause bubbling and peeling.
- Avoid walking on the deck for 24 hours after applying the sealer to allow it to dry completely.
Best Deck Sealers
- Thompsons WaterSeal TH.A21711-16 Advanced Natural Wood Protector
- Cabot Stains DeckCorrect
- Olympic Maximum Stain + Sealant in One
- DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain
- BEHR PREMIUM DeckPlus Waterproofing Wood Stain & Sealer
These sealers are known for their durability, protection against UV rays, water damage, and mildew, and easy application. When choosing a deck sealer, it’s important to consider the type of wood used in your deck and the climate conditions it will be exposed to. Be sure to read reviews and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
Don’t Apply Deck Sealant To Damp Surfaces
It is imperative that you only apply deck sealant to completely dry and warm surfaces. Should you apply it to a damp surface, it won’t stick properly, causing an uneven finish. On the other hand, should it be applied to a too-cold or frosty area, the sealant could freeze and crack, leading to possible damage.
Therefore, make sure that the surface is completely dry and that the temperature is within the recommended range prior to applying the sealant. By doing so, you can make sure the sealant will be effective and will keep your deck looking great for many years to come.
Use The Proper Technique For Sealing A Deck
To achieve a successful and professional-looking result when sealing a deck, it’s important to use proper tools and techniques. Here are some tips to help you achieve the best outcome:
- A paintbrush or roller for applying the sealer.
- A broom or dustpan for cleaning the deck.
- Sandpaper for smoothing rough spots or raised grain.
- Gloves and eye protection to protect yourself while applying the sealer.
Start by cleaning the deck thoroughly to remove dirt, grime, and other contaminants. Repair any cracks, splinters, or damaged boards and sand any rough spots or raised grain to ensure an even surface for the sealer to adhere to.
Choose a sunny, dry day with temperatures between 50-90°F to apply the sealer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and applying the sealer. Start by applying a thin, even coat to the deck boards with a paintbrush or roller, working from one end to the other. Let the first coat dry completely before applying a second coat for added protection.
Avoid over-applying the sealer, as this can cause bubbling and peeling. Also, avoid walking on the deck for 24 hours after applying the sealer to allow it to dry completely.
By using the proper tools and techniques, you can ensure that your deck sealing project will be a success. A well-sealed deck will be protected from water damage, UV rays, and mildew, and will maintain its appearance for years to come.
Safety is an important consideration when sealing a deck. Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind:
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels. Some sealers contain chemicals that can be harmful if ingested, inhaled, or come into contact with the skin or eyes.
- Wear gloves and eye protection to protect yourself from coming into direct contact with the sealer.
- Ventilate the area by opening windows and doors, or using a fan, to minimize the inhalation of fumes.
- Store sealers and other chemicals in a safe place, out of reach of children and pets.
- Avoid using open flames or smoking near the deck while sealing.
- Clean up any spills immediately to prevent slipping hazards.
By taking these safety precautions, you can ensure that your deck sealing project is completed safely and without incident.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
The type of sealer you should use depends on the type of wood your deck is made of and the climate conditions it will be exposed to. Look for a sealer that is compatible with your type of wood and provides protection against UV rays, water damage, and mildew.
Yes, it is important to clean the deck thoroughly to remove dirt, grime, and other contaminants before sealing. This will ensure that the sealer will adhere properly to the surface and provide maximum protection.
The best time to seal your deck is on a sunny, dry day with temperatures between 50-90°F. Avoid sealing in damp or frosty conditions.
Typically, two thin coats of sealer are recommended for maximum protection. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat.