How To Seal a Wood Deck
Wood decks require maintenance to keep them looking their best and to maximize their life span. An important part of this maintenance is sealing the wood against water. Start by testing to determine if retreatment is necessary. Splash water over the deck, some areas receive more traffic than others so check the entire deck. If water beads on the surface, it is adequately protected. If the water is absorbed and darkens the wood, then it is time to waterproof the wood.
How To Apply Wood Deck Sealer
Start by inspecting for loose and damaged boards. Refasten loose boards with new fasteners. Reposition fasteners if they will not hold in their original position. Replace boards that are damaged or badly cracked.
Next, remove furniture, BBQ's, and potted plants to clear the surface for cleaning. Use a deck cleaner, pressure washer or both to remove dirt and grime from the surface. This is an important step to ensure that the wood sealer can penetrate and protect the wood. Apply the deck cleaner according to the manufacturer's directions. Allow the product to sit on the surface before scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush.
There are a variety of water sealing products on the market. Choose a product suitable for your deck and conditions. To improve the appearance of a weather-worn deck and for maximum UV protection, consider using a tinted sealer.
Allow the deck to dry thoroughly before applying a sealer, generally two or three days. There are some products that can be applied to damp wood.
When applying the sealer, avoid overlapping previously treated deck boards. Use a roller, pad or brush wide enough to do one board at a time. If you use a sprayer, back brush the surface to even out the finish.
Treating a deck should be done annually, or at least tested to make sure the sealant is still effective. This is a project that is best during a cooler season, for your comfort but well in advance of the rainy season.