Owning a home with a nice deck can be one of the great perks of being a homeowner. There is time to be spent enjoying the sunshine and being outdoors lounging or entertaining on your deck when weather permits. However, one of the downfalls of having a beautiful wood deck is the care and maintenance it requires to stay looking good and making the wood last for years to come. How exactly do you protect and maintain your deck? It all comes down to weatherproofing it from the elements, with the main focus moisture and water. In fact, water combined with UV rays from the sun, cold, snow & rain can lead to the stripping of your decks seal. This will leave it dull looking with the natural resins and color found in the wood washed away. To weatherproof your deck a seal needs to be applied and maintained after time when it naturally starts to wear off from outside elements. The good thing is, with a little elbow grease, hard work and a few materials bought at Home Depot, Lowes or a store similar you can seal and weatherproof your own deck.
DIY Steps To WaterProofing Your Deck
- Check Your Decks Seal- Before putting in the hard work and labor we suggest checking that your decks seal needs to be replaced. This can be done by dropping water droplets onto the wood of your deck in different areas. Should the water bead up the seal is still in tact. Should the water disappear this means the wood of your deck is absorbing it and the seal is gone and is in need of being replaced.
- Prep Time- You will want to remove all furniture, potted plants, pretty much any and everything that can be moved. Next you will want to cover the shrubbery or ground plants close to your deck with a tarp. Avoid plastic sheets for plants because it will attract the chemicals from the sealant you will be using and can create a trap for the toxins of the sealant killing your plants.
- The Cleaning Phase Begins- Now it’s time to spray your decks surface & between the boards,with a garden hose. This is to help remove any debris, dirt, foliage etc. Keep in mind that you want to get your deck as clean and dust free as possible. Next you will take a pole or orbital sander with a medium grain sandpaper and go over any spots that need smoothing or left over old seal removed. The better your prep your deck the better the sealant with hold and protect your decks surface. This can be quite a chore so the most amount of time in between your next sealing endeavor is choice.
- Time For The Sealant- It’s time to seal the deal! We suggest that you use a waterproof, high quality sealant with some kind of UV protection in it. Then starting with sections and as evenly as possible apply a thin coat of sealant at a time. Remember less is more i this case. You can always add another coat if need be but it’s more of a chore to take off excess. Another tip is to use a sealant that offers resistance against mildew and mold.
- The Waiting Game- You are almost finished! Now we play the waiting game allowing the sealant to dry for AT LEAST 48 hours. It is important that it is completely dry before replacing any furniture etc. back on the deck surface. This means no one can walk on it either until deck is dry.
Although sealing and waterproofing our own deck can be a DIY task it can take a fair amount of time. It’s best to start and complete the job in one time frame so be mindful of that when starting this project.