How To Waterproof Decking

14 September 2021

Here at Timberwise we talk a lot about property care, and how to safeguard your buildings against the onset of damp and rot, especially from the ever-present threat of weathering. The thing is though, a lot of properties feature decking and other forms of timber that make up a substantial or otherwise important structure outdoors.

So, if you have exposed wood in the form of decking (or similar panelling) on your property, and you are looking for a way to keep it safe from weathering, then read on to learn how to safely waterproof your properties decking.

NB. Be aware that Timberwise is unable to undertake or assist in repair work for decking. 

Clean Your Decking

The first step to waterproofing any decking is to make sure that the decking itself is clean. That doesn’t just mean cleaning the decking of elements like chairs, tables and any leaves that might have blown onto your deck, but also cleaning it of dirt.

This can be done in one of two ways. The first is pretty simple, and involves you getting your hands on a pressure washer to jet wash the decking. You might know a pressure washer as a power washer, or jet wash, but the outcome is always the same; a condensed high power water hose that is capable of cleaning off dirt, grime and other nasty materials from your decking, leaving you with a nice smooth deck free of dirt and grime, ready to be sealed.

The alternative method is to avoid the use of a jet wash in favour of using a brush. This method might require a bit more effort, but in this instance you can use specific chemicals designed to be worked into decking, in case your decking features stains or other dirt that might not be capable of being removed with a power wash alone.

Either way, this step should be completed before you move onto sealing the deck itself.

Sealing Your Deck

Ensuring that your decking is waterproofed means that you are going to have to seal it. Sealing your decking is a crucial step, and one that you are going to have to plan for when it comes to the whole waterproofing process – this isn’t something you can do on the spur of the moment.

That’s because if you want your deck sealed correctly you are going to need a few factors to line up before you even consider applying the sealant. First, you need to make sure the other steps in this list are complete – mainly that your decking has been cleaned.

If your deck is clean, then you are ready to consider the next factor: the weather. You will need to make sure that once your decking is clean that there is no rain forecast for approximately 48 hours, as well as the temperature remaining above at least 10 degrees Celsius.

That’s because it will take you roughly one whole day to apply the sealant to the decking itself (assuming you have an average sized domestic deck), and then you will need another 24 hours after application for the sealant to dry properly and protect your decking.

So, when the weather is on your side and you have the time, get your decking cleaned and get yourself ready with the appropriate tools. This can vary depending on what sealant you are using, but usually you will need something like an application pad or paint roller attached to a longer pole to seal the decking itself, and a smaller paintbrush so that you can seal the deck railing.

Make sure that you seal the deck railings first before you apply the sealant to the decking itself. Once your railings are done, you can begin to cover the decking floor in sealant, starting in the furthest corner from the decking entrance and working your way backwards so that your never leaving footprints in the sealant.

Make sure that when you are applying your sealant you are leaving a smooth sealant impression in your wake. Check with the sealant you are using, but in many situations one decent well applied coating will be more than enough to protect your decking from the harsh effects of weathering.

How To Decide When to Re-Seal Your Deck

Sealing your deck, and re-sealing it, are both important parts of owning a healthy, waterproof deck. So, how do you decide when to re-seal your decking?

The simplest way is by testing out the decking for its waterproofing capabilities. Just pour some water onto the decking itself, and observe its behaviour for an idea on how the sealant is holding up. If the water soaks into the wood that comprises the decking then you know that it’s time to reapply that sealant, but if the water just sits on top and beads then your decking is still safe.

Re-sealing your decking is a simple process – just follow the steps from beginning to end and once you are finished your decking will be ready to handle weathering once again.

If you have noticed rot in your timber, or damp beginning to set in within your home then it could well be time to call the professionals for an expert solution. Get in touch with our experienced team today to learn more about how we can assist your property recover from water damage.