An integral part of keeping your deck looking great and functioning properly for years to come is to waterproof your deck with sealant. If you have already applied a sealant to your deck, you may think that your job is done, but it truly isn’t. In order to maintain the integrity of your deck, it is essential to re-apply your waterproof sealant every couple of years. This ensures that your deck has a line of defense against water damage and rot so that it can look great for years to come. In this blog, we offer a step-by-step guide to waterproofing your deck.
Step One: Check the Deck
First, you want to determine whether or not waterproofing is actually necessary at this time. There are a couple of different ways to figure out whether or not you need a sealant. Start by sprinkling a few drops of water on the deck. Does it bead up? This means the waterproofing is still working just fine, and you can wait on waterproofing your deck further. If it soaks into the wood, it means that the initial waterproofing has worn away, and it is time to reapply in order to protect your wood from damage. Alternatively, press a piece of tape against the wood. If wood fibers or old stain comes up off of it, it could indicate you have a moisture problem. Additionally, there are visual signs that indicate it’s time to restain. For example, if your deck is faded and gray, it’s time to reapply the waterproof stain.
- Make sure to check the weather report before you begin resealing your deck. If it is supposed to rain within 48 hours, hold off for dry weather.
- Any stain you apply will protect from moisture, but not all protect against UV rays. In sunny Colorado, it’s best to opt for a stain that provides UV protection.
- Look for signs of wear, splitting, or rotting. If they are present, it’s important to refinish your deck before you waterproof.
Step Two: Prepare the Deck
Begin by preparing the deck. Remove all furniture and anything else, such as potted plants. Cover adjacent ground plants with tarps, but make sure not to use plastic sheeting, which can be harmful to your plants, and always remove covers as soon as you are finished restaining. Sweep your deck and clean between the boards. Inspect for damage, and address it before you begin the waterproofing process.
Clean your deck of dirt and debris with a pressure washer or hose. This will also help to remove the previous waterproofing, which will allow for a more even application of the new sealant. Make sure to spray in between the boards. Finish by sanding down the deck to remove any damaged areas and to completely remove the previous sealant. You may use a deck cleaner if your deck is particularly dirty.
- If you are cleaning your deck with a pressure washer, make sure to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.
- The ideal temperature when cleaning your deck is between 50 and 90 degrees. Choose a day that isn’t too windy.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a deck cleaning product. Be sure that any cleaners you use are compatible with the material of your deck.
- Any tough spots can be scrubbed with a stiff brush. Don’t use wire brushes, which can be left in the wood and cause rusting.
Step Three: Apply Sealant
After you have let your cleaned deck dry for 24 hours, it’s time to apply a waterproof sealant. Apply a thin, even coat with a stain brush in the direction of the boards. Don’t neglect corners, steps, board ends, railings, and cracks, all of which are easily forgotten. If necessary, apply two coats. Do not use the deck for 48 hours after applying a sealant, and allow it to dry completely before replacing any furniture. Once finished, remove tarps, return furniture, clean up, and enjoy your beautiful, waterproof deck!
- Wear safety goggles, rubber gloves, and protective clothing to avoid skin irritation.
- Do not apply sealant in direct sunlight, as it will dry without absorbing into the wood.
Besides waterproofing, it is also important to ensure that your deck has the right drainage system. At Colorado Deco Drain Experts, we have the deck drains you need! Shop today!