Many deck contractors, painters and construction services can seal your deck. The best way to find the right professional to seal your deck is by searching online. Because there’s a wide range of professionals who can seal decks, using online resources and an app (like Thumbtack) can help you quickly find the top-rated professionals in your area and compare them. Be sure to base your decision on customers’ ratings and reviews, paying particular attention to any customer-uploaded photographs of the pro’s work.
It depends on the climate, your deck’s age, its condition and the type of sealer you use. Some experts recommend adding a sealing product at least once a year, while others advise every three years. If your deck is frequently in hot, direct sunlight or harsh conditions like rain, high humidity or snow, you'll likely need to apply a seal at least once a year. Contact a deck sealing professional near you to find out if it’s time to re-seal your deck.
Yes, you’ll likely need to sand your deck before applying a sealer. The reason for this is related to pressure washing. When you run a pressure washer over wood, it causes very small fibers to separate and rise off of the wood’s surface. Step on these once it’s dried out and you’ll get splinters — which is where sanding comes in. Sanding your deck after you pressure wash it ensures you will have a smooth surface that’s not only comfortable but ready to accept the sealant.
Wait until the wood is free of moisture before you seal it. This could take a few weeks, a month or several months — it all depends on the wood, the climate and other factors. Chat with a deck sealing professional near you. They should be able to examine your deck, test it for moisture and help you determine how many more days or weeks you should wait before sealing it.
Preparing a deck for sealing involves using a number of different tools as well as knowing how to identify potential problem areas before moving forward — a process that’s as much experience as it is a skill. Sealing a deck involves a significant amount of effort, materials and time, making it a great job for a professional.
The process typically involves repairing the deck, pressure washing and scrubbing it, sanding it down, letting it dry and sealing it — all at the correct pressure, temperature and humidity.
If you want your deck to last as long as possible and retain its natural beauty, consider adding a sealer to it. From protecting your wood to enhancing its grain, here are the main benefits of adding a sealer to your deck:
- Wood decks usually need only one to two coats of sealer.
- Sealing gives wood a beautiful, natural finish.
- Sealers enhance the wood’s natural grain and beauty.
- It’s possible to apply paint on top of sealers.
- Sealers protect wood from water and rot.
It's not required that you put a sealer over the stain on your deck, but adding a finish may add a useful extra layer of protection. However, the sealer should be applied properly by a professional who understands the interaction between it and the stain below. You don’t want your sealer to cause the stain to peel, so consult with a deck sealing professional first.
The best sealer for a deck is one that can protect it against the elements, repel water and show off your deck’s natural beauty and grain. Water-based sealers are common among deck owners and more environmentally friendly. Oil-based sealers tend to be more durable and last longer.
Clear deck sealers bring out your wood’s grain but don’t block UV rays, making the best choice for a deck sealer is one that inhibits UV through chemicals and colors. The best balance usually comes from a semi-transparent sealer.
Whether you stain or seal your deck depends on what you are trying to achieve. Staining is ideal for those who want to protect their decks from water and UV rays but also desire a certain color. The downside of staining is that the color can quickly wear away on areas of high traffic. Sealers also protect against water, but they don’t penetrate the wood. If you’re stuck on whether you should apply stain or a sealer (or both), talk to a deck sealing professional in your area.
A back deck may (or may not) increase your home’s value or attract potential buyers if you’re looking to sell. According to the Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features, a new wood deck with an estimated construction cost of $10,000 recovered $8,000 for the overall recovery of 80%. Still, 9% of realtors suggested that home sellers should add a new wood deck before putting their home on the market, and 4% said this project has helped closed deals.
The impact of adding a new deck will likely depend on its material (wood, composite, etc.) and where you live. For example, if you live in an area where people rarely spend time outside because of the weather, it’s reasonable to predict that prospective home buyers might not rate a deck highly on their list of must-haves when looking for a new home.
When in doubt, consult with your realtor or a real estate expert to figure out if adding a new deck to your home is the right move to increase your home’s value. If it is, contact the best deck contractors near you to get free estimates and start planning your project.