As summer approaches, homeowners everywhere are starting to think about getting their outdoor spaces ready for the season. And for many, that means cleaning and sealing their wooden decks. But where do you start? How do you ensure that your deck is properly cleaned and sealed for maximum protection and longevity? Here are some tips for cleaning and sealing your wooden deck to get you started.
Why is Cleaning & Sealing Your Deck Important?
Wooden decks are exposed to a lot of wear and tear, from foot traffic to weather conditions. Over time, this can lead to a buildup of dirt, grime, and other debris on the surface of the deck. This buildup can not only make your deck look dirty and uninviting, but it can also compromise the integrity of the wood, leading to rot and decay. Sealing your deck helps to protect the wood from moisture, sunlight, and other damaging elements, ensuring that your deck stays strong and beautiful for years to come.
How Do I Get Started With My Deck Cleaning & Sealing Project?
The first step to cleaning and sealing your deck is to make sure it is thoroughly clean. Start by removing any furniture, planters, or other items from the deck surface. Then, sweep your deck to remove any loose debris, such as leaves and twigs. You can also use a leaf blower for this step if you have one. Next, mix a cleaning solution of one part bleach to three parts water, and apply it to the deck using a pump sprayer. Allow the solution to sit on the deck for about 15 minutes, then use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the surface of the deck. Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection for this step. Once you’ve scrubbed the entire surface of the deck, rinse it thoroughly with a garden hose or pressure washer.
Prepare For Sealing
Once your deck is clean, it’s time to prepare it for sealing. Start by checking the moisture content of the wood using a moisture meter. You will want the moisture content to be below 15% before you start sealing your deck. However, if it’s higher than 15%, wait until the wood dries out before proceeding.
Next, sand the surface of the deck using medium-grit sandpaper. This will help to smooth out any rough spots or splinters, and will also help the sealant to penetrate the wood more effectively.
Seal Your Deck
Now it’s time to seal your deck. There are many different types of sealers available, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs. Some sealers are designed for specific types of wood, while others are formulated to provide a particular level of protection. Be sure to read the label carefully to ensure that you’re getting the right product for your deck.
When applying the sealer, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Some sealers may require multiple coats, while others may need to be applied in specific weather conditions. Generally, you’ll want to apply the sealer using a roller or brush, working in small sections at a time. Be sure to work the sealer into the wood thoroughly, and avoid leaving any puddles or streaks on the surface of the deck.
Finally, allow the sealer to dry completely before using your deck. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the type of sealer you’re using and the weather conditions. Once the sealer is dry, you can replace any furniture or other items on the deck and start enjoying your newly cleaned and sealed outdoor space.
By following these tips and taking the time to properly clean and seal your deck, you can ensure that it stays strong and beautiful for years to come. However, if you are not experienced or lack the time to clean and seal your deck, it is best to call in a professional.