Your neighbors are waterproofing their decks. For you, it might seem like a waste of money. After all, you have used your deck for several summers and it appears perfectly fine. But it’s also possible that you’ve been neglecting the signs that your deck needs waterproofing.
This is how waterproofing helps your deck and some red flags to look out for:
Protection for your deck
Basically, waterproofing adds a protective surface to the wood of your deck to shield it from deterioration caused by water. It can come in different forms, including sealers, membranes, and specialized coatings, such as cementitious coating.
Almost every kind of waterproofing has unique applications. To apply a water sealer, for one, you need to coat the boards of the deck using a paintbrush or handle with a long handle, while avoiding lap marks. You can do this by yourself, but, since the lap marks are tricky to avoid, it is best to let a professional do the job.
There are also vinyl membranes for roof decks or elevated decks, and strictly requires professional installation. Rubberized coatings, which are commonly used by waterproofing experts, also require professional installation.
Look out for these signs
You need to have your deck professionally analyzed before you choose any waterproofing application. Early signs that you need waterproofing are easy to miss without expert inspection, but when your deck goes without waterproofing for long, you will start seeing signs you can no longer ignore.
One of the first signs to look out for on wooden decks are water stains, especially if it rains quite often in your area. Early signs of water stains are sometimes subtle, but you could easily scope out rusty and loose areas in the materials of your deck.
When you start noticing soft, spongy spots on the wood, do not wait another year. This is a sign of rotting rood, and is very dangerous. If you do not act quickly, your deck will eventually collapse.
Once you see the deck’s wood cracking and peeling, get waterproofing as soon as you can. This is an advanced stage of wood decay, and your deck may crumble any time soon. The heat, rain, and cold from the coming seasons will worsen the decay. Before the coming summer, your deck should already have a waterproof coating, regardless of the weather.
Do it on a dry day
You should clean your deck and let it dry completely before applying any stain or coating. Assuming your deck is sun-facing, and has optimal drying conditions, 48 hours should be a sufficient drying time for a newly washed deck. If it is on the shadow side of your house, where little to no sunlight can reach, you need to wait at least 72 hours before applying waterproofing. There should be no swelling, puffinees, or softness to the wood.
If you are applying waterproofing in winter or fall, you need to wait until a dry day without any precipitation. Applying the coating amidst the pouring rain will just counteract the benefits.
There is a pretty good reason why many people choose waterproofing for their decks. Not only does it look good, but it gives you and your property ample protection, as well. Your deck is a part of your home. By protecting it from damage, you are also protecting yourself and your family from the hazards of a deck that may collapse any second.