If you own a deck, sealing is one of the maintenance steps that should be undertaken occasionally. In fact, sealing is not just exclusive to decks. Any timber flooring surface, be it inside a house or on a patio, should be sealed occasionally as well. Because a deck has to be cleaned before sealing can be undertaken, the two processes go hand in hand, even though cleaning is more of a general activity as opposed to sealing.
How it’s done
Sealing a deck is quite straightforward. First, any furniture placed on the deck is removed to clear the surface. Next, the entire deck is cleaned. Cleaning can be done using a slightly damp cloth or sponge. Alternatively, you can use a professional timber cleaning detergent. Cleaning is done to ensure that, upon sealing, no dirt or grit will have been left trapped on the timber surface. The deck is then left to dry completely. Once done, the sealer is then applied. This sealer is usually clear and slightly thicker than water. Several coats are applied on the deck to create a thin protective film over it. This layer is then left to dry and bind onto the timber.
When should it be done
There is no designated time when a deck should be sealed. Instead, you can use one of two ways to tell if you should have your deck sealed. One, you can choose to have your deck sealed periodically every 2 years. During this time, the decking surface will have worn off and will be in need of a fresh sealant coat. Decks that experience very high traffic may need to be sealed more often than this.
Option two, you may decide to seal your deck when you notice that the current coat is wearing off. You can usually tell when you see the shiny seal coat has worn off in some areas to expose the raw dull grain of the timber underneath.
Who to hire
Considering how important sealing your deck is, the job should be left to professionals. A deck builder/installer is the right person for the job. You can also hire any builder who deals with timber installation or sealing. Whoever you decide to offer the job to, just make sure that they have adequate experience sealing decks.
Although DIY (do it yourself) deck sealing is possible, this should be left only to people who are skilled at working with timber and have an experience with timber sealing.
Benefits of sealing a deck
There are numerous benefits to sealing a deck. These are:
1. Your deck can be infested by pests such as wood borers and termites. Needless to say, such an infestation can degrade the state of your deck and lead to its dilapidation, causing you a hefty loss in the process. Sealing prevents this by creating an impenetrable barrier through which pests cannot get through.
2. Just as with pests, sealing your deck keeps moisture from getting into the timber. This helps prevent the deck from rotting or getting infested with mold and algae. In addition, it keeps the decking timber from suffering moisture damage.
3. Sealing your deck also keeps the timber surface smooth, making it friendly to walk over. The sealant also keeps timber splinters from pricking your feet as you move about on the deck.
4. Deck sealing also keeps your decking timber from staining should you spill beverages such as juice or coffee on it. Instead, such substances can easily be wiped away because the sealant keeps them from being absorbed by the timber.