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Sealing a Deck with Deck Sealant


Tips on Cleaning a Deck and Sealing a Deck with Deck Sealant


By: Mark J. Donovan

A deck is an extension of your home’s living space and where you will spend much of your time during the summer months. Consequently, a deck needs to be treated and cared for as much as your home’s inside rooms. Sealing a Deck with a deck sealant plays a major part in caring for your deck.

Proper care of your deck begins with regularly cleaning a deck and sealing a deck. This is particularly true if you want your deck to maintain the natural color of the wood. 

Cleaning and sealing a deck with a deck sealant is critical in order to preserve the life and look of the wood. The sealant preserves the beauty of the natural deck wood by protecting it from both water and sun damage.

When to Seal a Deck with a Deck Sealant

In order to preserve the natural wood look for many years, I typically seal the deck every year with a deck sealant.  Also, I usually apply it in late summer/early fall as I live in New England. I do this because of the concern of snow lying on the deck for long periods of time during the winter months.

My concern is in the acidity of the water in the snow. By putting on the deck sealant just prior to snow season, I can provide peak protection against the prolonged damaging effects of the acid contained in the water.  In hotter climates, where there is less snow, I would suggest applying the deck sealer in late spring.

Cleaning the deck prior to Deck Sealing

First, remove all of the deck furniture off of the deck. 

Prior to sealing a deck, it is best to first power wash the deck and let it thoroughly dry. You may need to use a stiff bristly brush to get off any material that is not being removed by the power washer. Pine pitch frequently requires the services of this tool.  There are a variety of products offered by sealant manufacturers that can also assist in the deck sealant preparation.

After power washing it may take 24-48 hours, or even longer, for the deck to thoroughly dry, pending weather conditions. Make sure the deck is completely dry prior to applying the deck sealant. Otherwise the sealant may not be appropriately absorbed into the wood’s surface.

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Once the deck is dry, and you are about ready to begin sealing, use a leaf blower to remove any debris that may have fallen onto the deck’s surface since you power washed it. If you do not have a leaf blower, than simply sweep the deck.

Sealing a Deck with Deck Sealant

First, sealing a deck should not be done if the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and if rain is forecasted in the next 24 hours. Otherwise the deck sealant may not absorb properly, nor dry properly.

Using a brush apply the deck sealant around all the deck edges and posts. Once the edging is complete, use a sprayer, brush or roller to apply the deck sealant to the deck surface. Make sure that the deck sealant is firmly pressed into the deck wood surface to maximize the penetration of the deck sealant into the deck wood.

Typically only one coat of deck sealant is recommended by most deck sealers. 

Though most manufacturers suggest the deck is ready for walking on after the deck sealant 24 hours, I would recommend waiting a little longer if the weather has not been ideal for drying conditions.

Once the deck is dry, return the deck furniture and enjoy the beauty of your deck for another year.

For more help on building a deck, see HomeAdditionPlus.com's Deck Installation Bid Sheet. The Deck Installation Bid Sheet will teach your how to hire the right deck contractor, and help to ensure that your deck project is completed on time and budget.

How to Finance your Deck Project -  can help provide funds for your new home improvement project if financing is required.

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- Sealing a Deck with Deck Sealant -

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