When the calendar shows spring and summer, the desire to get outside increases. Our decks and screened porches become almost expansions of our living spaces. To increase the life of your deck and keep it safe from damage, you’ll want to seal the wood to protect it from water, wind and sun damage.
The best deck sealers offer maximum protection while still allowing the beauty of the grain to show through, which is why many prefer sealers as opposed to stains or paint. Sealer sits on top of the surface, and is ideal for rich woods like cedar, mahogany or redwood with lots of natural grains and movement. Sealers’ main job is to protect from moisture and wind damage, not sun, so over time, your color may fade. However, sealing is an easier process than say, staining or painting, for a DIY-er. Using a stain or paint can show brushstrokes, drops or uneven applications.
There are a few factors to take into consideration when choosing a product:
- Oil based vs. Water Based- water-based products are more popular, but there are still benefits for choosing oil-based. Durability is one of the key benefits of oil-based sealers. Over time, water-based products can flake or chip. Oil-based products are generally more forgiving for rough or uneven surfaces. Additionally, oil-based products are less expensive than their water-based counterparts. Benefits of choosing water-based sealers include a shorter dry time, easier cleanup and application.
- Water and Mildew Resistance- take into consideration the location of your deck. Does it get a lot of direct sun? Is it in the shade? If the latter, your deck may stay damp longer after a rain and be susceptible to mildew. Some sealers contain mildewcides, chemicals that kill growing spores.
- Coats and Application- while most products require two coats, there are some on the market that can get the job done in one coat. This is not only a time-saver, it’s a money saver on additional supplies.
Our Top 3 Products
- Seal-Once Marine Premium Wood Sealer– while this product is a water-based sealer, it provides a lot of the same protection as an oil-based stain. This sealer penetrates the wood and contracts and expands as the temperature changes- which means no fear of chipping or flaking.
- Eco Advance Exterior Wood Water Repellent- this product makes our list because of its ease of application. Simply mix the concentrate with 1 gallon of water, pour it into a sprayer and cover. The mixture sprays a milky white, allowing you to see where you’ve sprayed, but dries clear in about two hours.
- Olympic Stain Smartguard Concentrated Multi-Surface Sealant – along with this product’s ease of application, the dry time is the quality that we enjoy the most. This product mixes with two gallons of water to spray and is dry within an hour.
If the steps on your deck need additional protection from the elements, Traxion is proud to have the world’s first and only step treads for all-weather conditions. Not only do our step treads protect your wood from the elements, they provide an element of safety from slips and falls. Visit our website to order today.