Decks are the sturdy, dependable background to outdoor life. But once in a while, they need our full attention.
Ignore your deck, and the effects of moisture can cause the wood to splinter and become brittle. Damaged boards will need replacing. Suddenly, your deck isn’t so relaxing.
The best way to protect your deck is to regularly coat it with a sealer or stain. Which one? It depends on the look you want.
Choosing Between Sealer And Stain
A clear sealer lets you see your deck’s natural wood grain, while still protecting it from moisture and mildew. Note the transparent finish will let more of the sun’s damaging UV rays through than other options will.
At the other end of the spectrum are stains. These create a tinted, opaque shield that protects decks not only from moisture and mildew but also from UV rays. You won’t have to re-coat your deck as often, but stains these will also cover up the wood grain and offer more of a solid finish.
Can’t decide? Compromise with a tinted or semi-transparent finish. These provide a bit of color to the wood, highlighting the grain and allowing much of it to show through.
Sealers and stains can be sprayed, brushed or rolled on, depending on the product. Some products require one coat and some need two.
How Often Should You Seal Your Deck?
To keep your deck protected and looking its best, you should plan on sealing it once a year. If it’s in direct sunlight much of the day, it’s likely to fade and dry out without yearly attention.
If your deck is in a shady, humid spot, that location poses its own problems, including algae and mold.
Both types of deck can benefit from once-a-year attention.
A Few More Deck Care Tips
Wait It Out
As much as you’d like to celebrate, don’t plan a party for right after sealing. Sealer can take up to two days to thoroughly dry.
Don’t Sweat The Beads
Don’t panic if water doesn’t bead up on your newly sealed deck. Some sealers contain wax, which causes water to bead up. Others use oils, which fully protect your deck, but don’t cause water to bead up on the surface.
Wait To Seal New Decks
Brand new deck? Most experts recommend you wait 3-6 months after construction before applying a sealer.
In new wood, the grain is closed and the wood still contains natural chemicals. The grain needs to open, and those chemicals need to leach out.
Neave Knows Decks
The pros at Neave Carpentry know decks from top to bottom. They can help you design and build a beautiful and lasting structure you and your family will enjoy for years to come. Then, they can help you maintain it.
Outdoor decks not only improve your outdoor living space, but they’re also a valuable investment in your home — as long as they’re properly maintained.
If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.