Weatherproofing Your Deck

How to Instructions on Sealing your Deck to Keep it Looking Like New

By Mark J. Donovan

Shortly after construction your deck, and every couple of years after, you should plan on weatherproofing your deck. Sealing your deck protects it from moisture and ultraviolet sun damage. If you do not seal your deck, in just a few years it will not only be aesthetically unappealing it will also begin to decay and rot. In addition, mold and mildew growth will most likely be present on the deck. By sealing your deck you will not only preserve its appearance you’ll extend its life for many years.

Weatherproofing your deck is easy to do if you keep up with it regularly and apply the deck sealant properly.

If, on the other hand, you wait too long to seal your deck, or apply the deck sealer improperly, you could end up with a major deck restoration project or a big peeling mess.

The first step in weatherproofing a deck is to thoroughly clean it. You can clean it with a hard bristle brush and a deck cleaning solution or you can use a pressure washer. If you elect to use a pressure washer it is important to use a low pressure nozzle and keep the nozzle an adequate distance away from the decking boards (approximately 12 to 18 inches) so that you do not damage the wood grain.

While cleaning the deck look for and replace any rotting or damaged decking boards. Also, hammer down any loose nails, or replace them altogether. In addition, make sure to use non-corrosive nails when fastening down new deck boards.

 Sand your deck and restore it to looking like new!

After the deck has been cleaned, and has had time to thoroughly dry, you can then apply the deck weatherproofing solution. Typically deck weatherproofing products used to seal the deck are clear deck sealers, semi-transparent stains, colored stains, and paints. I prefer semi-transparent stains the best as they provide color and protection, and they don’t peel.

I find the best way to apply the deck sealer is with a roller and a 4 inch wide brush. However, before weatherproofing your deck, make sure the weather forecast is clear of rain for at least 24 hours, and preferably 48.

With the weather forecast clear of rain, start in a corner of the deck and work your way outwards in small sections at a time. First apply the deck sealer with a roller, and then follow up behind with a paint brush to work it into the decking boards.

For the deck balusters and railings it is best to apply the deck weatherproofing sealant with a brush, albeit it is time consuming. Spraying these items simply wastes too much sealant, and it doesn’t get worked into the wood pieces as well.

Deck Installation Bid Sheet

Once you’ve weatherproofed your deck allow it to dry for 24 to 48 hours, depending up weather conditions, prior to walking on the deck or placing items on it.

For help on building a deck, see’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.

Related Information

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