Timber decking is stunning when it is clean and free from signs of weathering. Over time, exposure to rain renders the timbers porous and prone to splintering, cracking and warping. To check if your deck is in need of resealing, sprinkle some water on its surface. If the water “beads up”, then the deck is fine. If the water spreads and darkens the surface of the deck, then it is in need of resealing. The following feature shows the best way to Seal a Deck.
Clear everything from the deck and sweep it thoroughly. Check the timbers carefully for damage. Nail any loose timbers firmly into place and flatten protruding nails. Use a good deck cleaner to remove dirt from the timbers in preparation for sealing. Read all directions carefully. Mix one part cleaner and four parts water in a bucket, and mop the surface of the deck thoroughly with it. It is a good idea to wear protective goggles and gloves while doing this, since these cleaners are often toxic. When the deck has been covered in cleaner, wait for ten to twenty minutes before hosing it off with a high-pressure jet of water.
If the deck has been stained previously, the old stain must be removed before the sealant is applied. Use a drum sander to do this. Start by using coarse to medium sandpaper. Sand in the direction of the grain of the wood, and finish by using a fine sandpaper. With the deck clean, dry and free of old stain, it is now ready to apply the sealant. The kind of sealant you choose will depend on the kind of wood your deck is made of, and whether you want a natural, semitransparent or opaque finish. Your hardware supplier will advise you on this.
Set aside a day for the sealing work, making sure that the forecast does not include rain. Plan the job so that you do not get “locked” into a corner of the deck. Pour the sealant into a wide tray and use a lambs’ wool applicator to apply it lengthways along the timbers. A good applicator will be wide enough to cover two or three timbers at a time. Work so that sealant does not overlap timber that has already been treated. You will find it easier to finish the edges of the deck with a small paint or varnish brush.
When the first coat has been applied thoroughly, wait eight hours before walking on the deck, and eighteen hours before applying the second coat. The number of coats you apply eventually will depend on the kind of finish you want. These are the main points to know before you Seal A Deck.