When Should You Apply Deck Sealer?
So you have decided to seal your deck –
congrats! Sealing your deck is one of the simplest steps you can take to ensure
that your wood lasts for a long time, allowing you to enjoy lots of good times
outdoors on your patio. While homeowners can hire a company to seal their wood
decks, applying the sealer yourself can be an easy, quick weekend project.
However, you will need to find the proper time to prepare for and seal your
deck. While this is an easy project that can be tackled in a weekend, it can
not be tackled any weekend of the year. We have compiled a list of times when
you should – and should NOT – seal your deck.
If you just installed a new wood deck
with new wood, congratulations! However, do not jump to sealing your deck the
next day. While it seems like you seal your deck as soon as possible, it is
actually best to wait about 30 days after installing a new wood deck before
sealing the wood. This is because the preservatives in new wood often require
about 30 days’ dwell time before the wood can soak up the sealant. To check if
the wood is ready to absorb sealant, pour a small amount of water on your deck;
if the water beads up, the wood is not ready to seal. If the water is absorbed,
the wood is ready. Be sure to apply sealant once the wood is ready, as you do
not want to leave the wood too long unexposed. This can increase the chance of
sun and moisture damage.
While time of day may seem like an
arbitrary thing to consider when planning to seal your deck, it can actually
play a big role in how successful the seal is. You do not want to apply seal to
damp or frosty surfaces, as this will lead to uneven seal application or seal
that beads up with the water on the deck and is not absorbed into the wood.
Avoid starting this project first thing in the morning before the sun has
warmed your deck. If it has rained or the deck has gotten wet, allow the
surface to dry for at least 24 hours before sealing. Additionally, start your
project when you know the temperature will be between 50 and 90 degrees
Fahrenheit. Too cold, and your sealant might not spread properly; too warm, and
the sun might cause sealant to evaporate before it is adequately absorbed.
Sealant does not care if you apply it on
a Tuesday or a Saturday. However, you should be aware of the weather for about
a week after you plan to seal your wood deck. If high winds or rain is in the
forecast, hold off on your sealing project. Plan to seal your wood deck when
you have a week of sun and no winds, so your deck can adequately dry.
While your sealant may feel dry to the
touch within a few hours, it takes up to 48 hours for your deck to absorb the
sealant and properly dry. Plan to stay off your deck for two full days to
ensure the wood has time to absorb the sealant and dry.