Sound Advice for Applying Deck Sealants Built to Last

Posted on 6/4/2020 9:40:44 AM By ASC

It may seem like all the hard work is over when the last screw is put into the deck and all that’s still needed is a quick swish with a paint brush and sealant. However, to make sure that the sealant sees to it that the deck outlasts the stresses of time and the elements; it takes more than just applying a quick finish to the wooden planks. It requires patience.

As effective as sealants are in protecting decks from water damage and exposure to the sun in the long term, they will only perform that function well if they are applied at the right time, and that almost certainly isn’t right away.

New wood, still wet with preservatives, will repel rather than absorb the sealant, in the same way that the sealant, once correctly applied, will repel any water that falls on it and cause small beads of water to form on top of the surface instead.

New wood is best left to rest for about a month or until it’s ready to absorb the sealant. At the end of the 30-day period, water poured on the deck should be absorbed rather than repelled. If it is absorbed, the wood is good to go and ready for the sealant. However if beads appear to show it’s still too wet, a little more waiting time is needed. However, it’s important that the delay isn’t long enough for moisture and UV light to damage it. Repeating the bead test after a couple of days is the best bet.

Sealants, which can be either waterproof or water repellent, are colourless, so deck-builders may choose to apply a stain two days before the sealant is added, or opt for a sealant and stain combination product for application. A mix of the two may add benefits in that the stain may increase the UV protection factor while sealants would add their superior moisture protection to the mix.

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