August Project: How to Seal your Deck

You'll want to gather some basic things to start the project including: deck wash, wood protector, paintbrush, roller or sprayer, scrub brush, garden hose and rags.
 
Perform a test before you start the project to make sure your deck is in need of water resistant care. Sprinkle a few drops of water onto the surface of the wood. If the water beads up, it still shows water resistant qualities.

If, in the first few seconds, the water soaks into the woods, you'll want to apply a wood protector. Water that soaks into the wood causes the wood to balloon, and that means your wood will breakdown faster.

To get started, grab the deck wash. You'll want to remove the mold and mildew. Simply follow the product's directions, and apply a healthy amount to the wood. You can use a brush, roller or sprayer. No matter what's used, you want to let the deck wash seep into the wood.

After you let the deck wash soak, take a scrub-brush and loosen the mold and mildew. Once those particles are loose, you can use a garden hose to wash the deck entirely. If you're willing to put in the extra effort, you can wipe down the deck with a dry rag.

Let the deck dry for two days. It's important to allow the bleach time to evaporate before you continue. After the deck has dried, you can apply the wood protector. Wood protectors come in a variety of options. You could choose one that tints your wood in addition to adding the protective seal. Or you may want to highlight the wood's natural color by selecting a clear sealant.

Unlike the deck wash, you want to limit the application of sealant. Apply a thin, even coat on the deck. It will not work effectively if you put on too much. If you have a new deck, hold off for about a month before adding a wood protector. The chemicals in lumber need to evaporate before adding a protector.

It's necessary to monitor your deck's health. Repeat the water test to make sure it still beads when hitting the wood. Depending upon your climate, you may need to complete this task each year.

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