Every house owner cherishes the beauty and functionality of a wooden deck. It’s a perfect spot for relaxation, barbecues, or simply enjoying the outdoors. But, like any other part of your home, your wooden deck requires care and maintenance. Most importantly, it needs to be waterproofed. But why should you waterproof your wooden deck? This comprehensive guide will answer this question and provide essential insights into deck waterproofing.
Understanding Deck Waterproofing
Deck waterproofing is a process of applying a protective coating to your deck’s wood. This protective layer shields the wood from moisture, preventing decay, and extending the deck’s life. Waterproofing is not merely a surface procedure; it protects your deck from the inside out, safeguarding the wood you can and can’t see.
The Necessity of Deck Waterproofing
An unprotected deck is prone to water damage, which often leads to costly repairs. Moisture is a wooden deck’s biggest enemy. It seeps into cracks, causing them to widen. This water infiltration erodes the base materials, leading to settling, holes, and ultimately, deck failure.
What’s more, when winter comes, the water inside the cracks can freeze and expand, causing more cracking. By sealing your deck, you can keep moisture out of these cracks, even the ones you can’t really see. Deck waterproofing helps you avoid these issues, maintaining the integrity of your deck and saving you from future repair costs.
The Cost-Saving Factor
Replacing an aging deck can be quite expensive. Depending on the size and materials used, costs can range from $10 to $18 per square foot or more. This expenditure doesn’t include the additional cost of removing the existing deck, which can significantly increase the total price.
On the other hand, waterproofing your deck is a much more cost-effective solution. It extends your deck’s lifespan, saves you from hefty replacement costs, and enhances the overall aesthetics of your deck. It’s like giving your deck a facelift at a fraction of the cost!
The Role of Sealants
Sealants play a pivotal role in deck waterproofing. They are usually clear and coat the fibers of your wood, creating a barrier against moisture. Some sealants even contain an aggregate (like sand) for added durability.
Deck sealants don’t only waterproof your deck; they also renew its look by providing a consistent color. A sealant can give your deck a smooth, blackened texture, effectively concealing any existing imperfections and reviving its look.
The Liquid Rubber Revolution
One of the top solutions for deck waterproofing is the use of Liquid Rubber. This water-based, VOC-free, and nontoxic sealant is a favorite among DIY enthusiasts. It’s easy to use, affordable, and reliable, making it a modern-day best choice for deck waterproofing.
Liquid Rubber creates a protective, rubberized coating on your deck’s surface, filling in cracks and providing maximum waterproofing. It’s safe for the environment, and its durability adds years to your deck’s lifespan.
Applying Liquid Rubber: A Step-by-Step Guide
Here’s a simple guide on how to apply Liquid Rubber to your wooden deck:
- Choosing the Right Time: Start the deck waterproofing project during the warmer months when temperatures are ideal for sealant application.
- Cleaning: Clean the deck thoroughly using a pressure washer to remove all dirt, debris, and stains.
- Second Round of Cleaning: Use a suitable deck cleaner for a second round of cleaning, followed by another round of power washing.
- Drying Period: Allow at least 24 hours for the deck to dry completely before applying the sealant.
- Preparation: Gather all the necessary tools and prepare your deck for the sealant application.
- Application: Pour out the sealant slowly and spread it evenly across your deck. After the first coating has dried, you can apply a second coating for added protection.
- Curing: Allow the sealant to cure for at least 48 hours before using the deck.
Protecting Your Deck Beyond the Surface
Remember, deck waterproofing is more than just a surface procedure. It’s about protecting the wood you can and can’t see. For instance, serious damage to a deck often starts with the joists or the boards that fit against the house. By waterproofing your deck, you ensure that every part of it is protected, prolonging its lifespan.
The Role of Flashing
In addition to the deck sealant, flashing is another important aspect of deck waterproofing. Flashing is a non-skid, self-adhesive tape that shields the tops of joists, rim joists, and beams from moisture, preventing rot and decay. It’s a small investment that guards against costly future water damage.
Dealing with Drainage
If you have a second-story deck, you can install a deck drainage system to divert water away from the joists and beams. The best deck drainage systems are installed above the joists, providing 100% protection from moisture penetration. This type of system also helps to hold the screws in place longer, enhancing the overall stability of your deck.
In conclusion, deck waterproofing is a crucial aspect of deck maintenance. It protects your deck from water damage, extends its lifespan, and saves you from costly replacements. The use of modern, easy-to-use products like Liquid Rubber makes this task a breeze for DIY enthusiasts. So, don’t wait! It’s time to waterproof your wooden deck and provide it with the protection it deserves!