Having a deck on your property can improve its curb appeal as you extend the living space of your home. You can either keep it empty or add some outdoor furniture to make the area look comfier for everyone.
Whatever style you’re going for, your deck needs to be sealed appropriately to ensure maximum lifespan and protection. Meanwhile, most properties have decks made out of wood. But did you know that processed wood doesn’t last long, especially when exposed to harsh weather conditions?
So, to extend their lifespan, you should seal your deck to protect it from the weather and surroundings. If you’re going to DIY the entire process, listed below are some do’s and don’ts you should know.
Do’s For Sealing Your Deck
Before you seal your deck, you must learn what to do. This will help you achieve a smoother finish for your deck. Having a well-laid-out deck is something to be proud of, and knowing what to do can help you achieve that.
Below are the things you need to do when sealing your deck:
Pick A Proper Sealant
One of the first things you need to do is prepare the tools and sealant for your deck. Moreover, you can use three sealants: sealant, stain, or paint. A sealant protects your deck from moisture because it has better waterproof capabilities than stains. However, it doesn’t provide proper pigmentation. Hence, it would help to pick a beautiful wood for your deck.
A stain, like the Exoshield wood stain, can help to brighten your deck while also adding UV protection from the sun. However, it can only provide moderate moisture protection. Alternatively, you may paint the wood first, then apply the stain if you want more protection.
On the other hand, paint can offer UV and moisture protection but wouldn’t last long compared to a sealant and stain. However, with the number of colors you can choose from, it’ll surely help to brighten up your deck.
Wait 30 Days Before Sealing Your New Deck
If you’ve recently built your deck, you might be itching to get the job done as quickly as possible. But before you get your hands dirty, you must wait for at least 30 days before you seal your deck. This is because the preservatives in the wood need at least 30 days to settle before soaking up the sealant you’ll apply.
To ensure that your deck is ready for sealing, it’s best to pour some water on it and see its reaction. If it beads up, your deck isn’t prepared for sealing. But if it absorbs the water, you can start sealing it.
Prepare Your Deck
Before you seal your deck, it would help to prepare it well. This could lead to a more uniform and smoother finish that enhances your deck’s aesthetics and functionality. To begin, you should repair, wash, and sand your deck before you do any sealing. You need to observe your entire deck and repair or replace any broken boards.
Once the whole deck is in perfect shape, you can power wash it and wait 24 hours for it to dry. Once dry, you can begin sanding your deck for sealant installation. Ensure that you use 60 to 150 grit to avoid damage.
Annually Apply New Sealant Or Stain
To further protect your deck, it’ll be helpful to reapply a new layer annually. This can help extend its lifespan as you add protection to your deck. While it might be added work, it can help you save money and effort as you’re not replacing it entirely due to poor maintenance.
Don’ts For Sealing Your Deck
Knowing what to avoid doing to your deck will be helpful as you are already aware of the things you should be mindful of. This way, you can avoid mistakes and improve your sealant process.
Here are some of the things you should avoid:
Ignore Temperature And Weather
You cannot seal your deck at any time as you’re only risking it to further damage. Significantly, the timing of your sealant process can help your deck cure better and faster without causing further damage.
Ideally, it’s best to seal your deck when it’s dry and sunny. This will help your sealant to cure better, as it won’t be affected by any harsh environmental factors. Hence, sealing them during spring or summer would be a great idea.
Use The Deck Within 48 Hours
After sealing your deck, it might be tempting to bring out your furniture and decorate it. Your deck may look dry and ready, but it still needs more curing time before you can safely walk on it. It would be best to wait 48 hours before you use your deck.
This way, you can allow the wood to fully absorb your sealant and prevent any damage to the surface. Ignoring this step might force you to repeat the entire process, which can be time-consuming.
If you have a large deck, you might be itching to get the job done as quickly as possible. However, taking shortcuts can cause more harm than good for your deck. The more thorough you are with your sealing process, the better the results.
In addition, it would help to seal your deck one board at a time to achieve the best results. This will ensure an even finish, making your deck look more exquisite and well-made.
Apply A Thick Layer
Since a sealant’s role is to protect your deck from moisture and damage, you might be tempted to apply a thick layer to provide maximum protection. However, this doesn’t do any good because your deck can be more prone to damage.
Applying a thick layer of sealant might produce a longer drying time, uneven finish, and discoloration. In addition, it can result in chipping or peeling, which defeats the purpose of protecting your deck.
Sealing your deck can be challenging as you must be thorough with the steps you need to take. But with proper preparation, you should be able to get the job done perfectly. With adequate knowledge and patience, you can make your deck look new and well-protected all year long!