When Should You Apply Deck Sealer?

So you have decided to seal your deck – congrats! Sealing your deck is one of the simplest steps you can take to ensure that your wood lasts for a long time, allowing you to enjoy lots of good times outdoors on your patio. While homeowners can hire a company to seal their wood decks, applying the sealer yourself can be an easy, quick weekend project. However, you will need to find the proper time to prepare for and seal your deck. While this is an easy project that can be tackled in a weekend, it can not be tackled any weekend of the year. We have compiled a list of times when you should – and should NOT – seal your deck.

Amount of Time After Deck Installation

If you just installed a new wood deck with new wood, congratulations! However, do not jump to sealing your deck the next day. While it seems like you seal your deck as soon as possible, it is actually best to wait about 30 days after installing a new wood deck before sealing the wood. This is because the preservatives in new wood often require about 30 days’ dwell time before the wood can soak up the sealant. To check if the wood is ready to absorb sealant, pour a small amount of water on your deck; if the water beads up, the wood is not ready to seal. If the water is absorbed, the wood is ready. Be sure to apply sealant once the wood is ready, as you do not want to leave the wood too long unexposed. This can increase the chance of sun and moisture damage.

Time of Day

While time of day may seem like an arbitrary thing to consider when planning to seal your deck, it can actually play a big role in how successful the seal is. You do not want to apply seal to damp or frosty surfaces, as this will lead to uneven seal application or seal that beads up with the water on the deck and is not absorbed into the wood. Avoid starting this project first thing in the morning before the sun has warmed your deck. If it has rained or the deck has gotten wet, allow the surface to dry for at least 24 hours before sealing. Additionally, start your project when you know the temperature will be between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Too cold, and your sealant might not spread properly; too warm, and the sun might cause sealant to evaporate before it is adequately absorbed. 

Day of the Week

Sealant does not care if you apply it on a Tuesday or a Saturday. However, you should be aware of the weather for about a week after you plan to seal your wood deck. If high winds or rain is in the forecast, hold off on your sealing project. Plan to seal your wood deck when you have a week of sun and no winds, so your deck can adequately dry.

Time to Allow to Drying

While your sealant may feel dry to the touch within a few hours, it takes up to 48 hours for your deck to absorb the sealant and properly dry. Plan to stay off your deck for two full days to ensure the wood has time to absorb the sealant and dry.

Are you ready to seal your deck or other outdoor wood on your home? Now is a great time to get started on these projects. Contact the team at Lovitt’s Coating to find the product that is right for you job or talk with our team for professional advice on your project.