Decks are a great addition to any home or backyard and give you a nice and private place where you can relax or entertain, in the most informal way. Make sure that your deck is made from well seasoned or pretreated lumber, as this will give you a deck that will more easily withstand the vagaries of the weather. This is important if your deck is exposed and not covered.
While the deck can be your perfect platform for the fun and good times that you will have on it, you must cover it with a proper sealant, so that it is better prepared to deal with the sun rain and fluctuation of temperature that it will be subject to. If you have just had your deck installed, do not be in a hurry to seal it, and give it at least 30 days to dry out completely as wood can have preservatives in it that can prevent it from soaking up the sealant. A deck is ready for sealing if it absorbs any water that is poured on it.
A word about sealants and stains that you will now be using on your deck for the first time. The primary job of sealants is to protect the surface of your deck from any damage due to moisture. Sealants have properties that allow them to repel water and make the wood waterproof. They are of a thick viscosity, unlike stains. They will however not have any pigmentation and do not give your wood as much protection from UV rays, as stains will do. Stains on the other hand will always be pigmented and this can add color to your deck and also protect it from damage by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Stains do not offer much protection against moisture, as the sealant will do.
Proper preparation is the key to being successful with staining and sealing a deck for the first time. Do not stain or seal it unless the deck has been exposed to the weather for at least 30 days, as this will allow the wood to dry out, and allow it to absorb any stain or sealant that you apply on it. Test it for dryness. Any water sprinkled over it should be absorbed, and not form beads. Clean the deck thoroughly, with a power washer if necessary, as decks can gather dirt and dust over time. You will need to allow the deck to dry out again before you start the staining and sealing. You now need to inspect the deck for raised nails, broken screws, splinters, and any warping. Repair where necessary, though a new deck may not show any signs of needing it.
Best deck stain is required for your deck to color the wood or darken it, and it will help to bring out the grain pattern that will give your deck surface a more dramatic look. Stains can come in many colors and finishes and while the container will indicate the color and finish, it is always best to test your chosen stain over a small area of your deck that will normally remain hidden or covered. Use the same number of coats that are suggested by the manufacturer and see if the color is that which you want or is acceptable to you. Use tape to block off any areas that you do not want stained and also protect any nearby vegetation or plants. Stains can be applied with roller brushes or sprayers. Do it systematically, so that all areas are given the same even stain. Back brushing the wood stain allows it to soak better into the wood of your deck. Wood stains will require a day or two to dry, though this can vary depending on the wood, the humidity, and the temperature. You must not do this work when there are chances of rain, and you need to wait for a clear and dry day.
Sealing your deck will now give the stain a protective coating that can even add a luster to your stain. The sealant can be applied with a roller, a paintbrush, or even sprayed on. Work slowly and ensure that every part of your stained deck is covered with the sealant. Choose a day for sealing that is dry, not too windy, and has a pleasant temperature.
Stay off the deck for at least two days. You can now move in your furniture and start to party or use it as you know best.