Spring is now in full swing! It’s the ideal temperature for readying your outdoor space for summer fun – and your deck is a great place to start! A deck is often the center of the action, providing a place for conversation, cooking, and comradery. If you want to protect your deck from the elements, sealing the wooden surface is a great option! Here are some tips to consider if you are ready to take on this DIY project:
#1 - Don’t Seal a Brand-New Deck
It seems like as soon as your new deck is built, you would want to seal and protect the wood to keep it as pristine as possible. However, it turns out that the preservatives in new wood take around 30 days to fade out. If you attempt to seal your deck before these preservatives have diminished, the sealant will not properly soak into the wood and will be less effective in protecting it.
#2 – Don’t Seal a Grimy Deck
It may seem contradictory…you can’t seal a brand-new deck, but you also can’t seal a dirty one? Where’s the happy medium? It’s important to understand that sealing a deck does exactly what the name indicates: it seals in anything in/on the wood of the deck. So, just like you wouldn’t want to seal in preservatives, you don’t want to seal in dirt and grime. Pressure washing a deck is a great option for decks that have suffered years of abuse from the elements, while newer decks may only require a light cleaning. Finally, use deck brighteners to reduce stains for a more flawless look before sealing.
#3 – Choose the Right Product
When it comes to sealing a deck, the products absolutely matter. Some people prefer stains to sealants, while others prefer paint. While each of these offer protection for your deck, they come at different levels:
- Sealants are primarily used for moisture protection. While they do also offer UV protection, they lack pigmentation and therefore provide less UV protection than other products.
- Stains provide the most UV protection because they include pigmentation (added plus, they can add new color to your deck). However, they provide less moisture protection than sealants.
- Paints can properly protect against both moisture and UV damage, but do not last nearly as long as sealants or stains. In addition, paints are more likely to bubble and chip than the alternatives.
#4 – Helpful Staining Methods
When it comes to the best method of sealing a deck, there really isn’t one! Some people use roller brushes, while others prefer a paint brush for precision or even a paint sprayer for ease. Regardless of your application tool, it is important to get an even, thin layer over the entire deck. Too thick of a layer can result in peeling. If you want extra protection, consider applying your second layer at least 24 hours after you apply the first.
If you are ready to get your deck into summer shape, browse our wide variety of wood coatings and finishes. We have sealants and stains that can take your deck to the next level for summer fun. Or, if you are interested in learning more about the products we offer at Andriots, contact us today!