If you have recently had a deck installed on your property, then you may want to seal it to make sure the wood is well protected from rot and weather damage. However, before you start adding the sealer, read through the tips below:
Allow Wood To Dry
New wood will have a high water content, and the water needs to naturally evaporate over time. It can take at least six months for some of the water to evaporate and the wood to dry out. While contractors used to insist on a deck service after about one year so the sealer could be applied, this is often not the case anymore. You want the water to release, so the pores in the wood open up to allow the sealer to soak in. However, leaving the wood exposed for a significant amount of time simply leads to more water and weather damage.
One good solution to this issue is to apply one thin coat of sealer to the deck. You want to do this within a few weeks to a month after the deck was installed. Once the one year mark has passed, add another thick coat to the wood.
Once the first two coats are added, you want to inspect your deck often to learn exactly when more sealer is needed. Sprinkle a small amount of water on the deck. If the water bead up, then you do not need to add sealer yet. Wait until the water absorbs into the wood instead of sitting on top of it.
Go For Oil-Based Sealers
When you go to purchase your wood sealer, you will have some options available to you. You can either choose a water or oil based sealer. Water-based sealers are extremely popular because they are easy to clean up. However, oil-based products are longer lasting. The oil penetrates the wood deeper and creates a thicker and more water-repellant barrier on the wood's surface.
If you think that oil-based sealers are difficult to work with, then there are a few things you can do to make the product easier to use. Always wear protective rubber gloves and also use an airless sprayer. Sprayers help to minimize issues with strokes in the sealer but keep in mind that you will need to back brush it once it is applied. This means using your paintbrush along the surface to make sure all surfaces are covered in the sealer.
Use a larger fan sprayer to make it easier to cover the surface of the wood. If you need to spray rails and other smaller spaces, then use a narrow spray tip. This is also a good idea in areas where overspray can cover bushes and other plants near your deck.
Contact local deck services for more information and assistance.