It’s a good time to learn about a waterproofing deck system, especially if you’re already seeing continuous rain fall upon your outdoor deck. Below is how to best care for it.
The rainy season is coming up, and that means a lot of things for your home. You’ll need to ensure you’re protecting your roof by cleaning out gutters and fixing holes, so it won’t develop leaks. You’ll also need to prepare your yard, so all your plants will withstand the extra water. But, what about your deck? A lot of rain can damage the wood, and that’s the last thing you want.
Here’s how to protect your investment and keep your deck in the best possible condition.
How Rainfall Damages Your Decking
If you don’t have any waterproofing on your deck, then water will be able to get into the wood. This causes several problems that can be potentially costly to fix.
The biggest problem is that you may not even see the damage happening. It will rain, the water will pool for a few hours, and then disappear. You think the water has evaporated, but in fact, it will have soaked into the unfinished wood. If this keeps repeating, then that water will start to cause problems.
Firstly, water can lead to the wood of your deck splitting. When there’s water on your deck, that’s going to attract other things, like dirt. This then makes its way into the decking, creating more problems for you. Over time, that water and dirt will get in through the cracks in your deck, even the tiny ones you can’t see. The dirt will expand in the cracks, pushing them wider. This also happens if the water freezes, something you need to think about with winter coming up. If that keeps happening, then the wood will soon split.
Then, there’s the fact that water soaked wood is a haven for pests like termites. They’ll happily eat into the wood to get at the dry wood beneath, as they’re attracted to the bacteria that sits in wet wood. If this is allowed to continue, then the deck will lose stability and become unsafe.
You have to consider mildew and mold too. When water gets into the wood and can’t escape, it creates the perfect breeding ground for it to grow. Of course, mold is ugly, but it’s also a safety hazard. It’s a known allergen, and it again will make your deck unstable as it continues to grow.
The Importance of Maintaining Your Deck
As you can see, it’s so important to maintain your deck and keep it as dry as possible. Untreated wood isn’t able to resist water, so you need to find ways to keep it out.
If water is allowed to collect in the wood, then the deck will become less stable over time. Again, remember that from the outside, it may look as though nothing is wrong. Inside though, the wood will be rotted or cracked, ready to break. That wood may break just as you walk out onto it, putting you at risk.
At this time of year, it’s important that you take special care of your decking. With the colder weather, you won’t be out on your deck as much. Problems can start to arise that you won’t even see until it’s too late. If you’re paying attention though, you can stop those problems in their tracks.
Avoiding Water Damage
The best way to avoid water damage to your deck is to invest in a waterproofing deck system. Waterproofing your deck protects it by adding a waterproof layer that water can’t get into. If water can’t soak into the wood, then it can’t attract pests, swell in the cracks, or allow mold to grow. It’s a simple solution, but will be the best thing to do this winter.
If you want to to do this, you can hire professionals to handle it for you, or you can waterproof it yourself. Either option will allow you to keep your deck looking like new.
How to Waterproof a Deck
If you’re going the DIY route, you’ll need to ensure you’re doing the job properly. Any missed parts will still leave your deck vulnerable to water, so here’s how you can properly waterproof the wood.
Step one: You need to clear the area before you can start work. Sweep away any debris on the deck, to make a clear surface. Move any objects you keep on the deck, such as grills and furniture. Once everything is moved, take a look for any loose boards or nails. These will need to be repaired before you can move forward.
Step two: Now that everything has been cleared, the wood needs to be cleaned. Scrubbing the deck with a stiff brush and water will be enough to do the job here. Rinse the wood with clean water afterwards, and let it air dry. Remember, water will find its way into the wood, so let it air dry for around two days before you continue.
Step three: Now you’re ready to start applying sealer. Choose a time when you’re going to get several clear days, to ensure rain won’t cause you any problems. Pick the right waterproof sealer for your deck, and then stir it with a paint stirrer. The best way to apply this product is with a lint free nap roller, the same way you would apply paint. Work with two or three boards at a time, applying sealer before moving on to another section. Do this in thin layers, to ensure you get the best coverage.
Step four: Start adding another coat while the first is still wet, working in the same sections as you did before. You can also use a lamb’s wool pad to distribute the sealer more evenly, giving you a smoother look. Finish off by using a paint brush to seal areas like railings and corners. Allow the sealer to totally dry before you place anything back on the deck.
Once you’ve done this, your deck will be ready for the winter, and as much rain as the weather can throw at it. A waterproofing deck system will keep you safe, keep mold and pests out, and keep your deck looking its best.