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Waterproofing Your Deck

Waterproofing Your Deck

Whether you decide to build your own deck or hire a deck contractor, you certainly understand the large investment (both monetary and in time) that went into the project. Decks add beauty and value to a home, and are often the family’s favorite place on lovely afternoons. In protecting your new or updated investment, deck waterproofing is essential.  It is nearly as important as making sure your basement stays dry and is safe from water damage. 

After the deck is completed, depending on the materials used, either you or the contracted builder should seal the wood with a water-resistant coating.  If the deck is built using pressure-treated wood, you will need to wait until the wood dries out somewhat before coating or staining.  Covering the entire deck: decking, railing and posts, water-resistant sealants are applied to the entire deck.  The sealant (whether waterproofing or stain/paint) not only provide protection from the elements of the weather such as rain, hail, and constant sun, but also provides wonderful preservation of the deck’s beauty.

Note: if a composite material is used, you still will want to use a waterproofing agent for the wood materials (usually the posts and deck skirt and/or joists).

For redwood materials, waterproofing is essential for preserving the natural wood's color.  Waterproofing the lumber before construction is generally recommended to ensure that the sealant is properly and evenly applied.  Re-applying the waterproofing and/or sealant is recommended every 12 to 18 months to help prevent the wood from losing its natural color. 

Harsh or extreme weather and direct sunlight are the primary causes for damage to an untreated deck.  The wood can and will begin to crack, rot, splinter and even in severe cases, even been known to be an attraction for termites. The lighter, softer wood (like pine) are more suseptible to damage more so than redwoods.  But with either type of material, waterproofing or staining/painting should be applied to preserve and protect your deck.  Taking these measures is sort of like insurance for your investment. 

Enjoy your deck!