Waterproofing your deck or patio is essential to its longevity. Without proper sealing, wood can warp and buckle, and concrete can degrade and eventually crumble. Both would be more susceptible to dirt, grime, and staining.

Waterproofing a deck is as simple as a thorough cleaning and some painting. It is important that the deck be clean because the deck sealer will lock in whatever dirt and debris remains. To remove an old stain or renew that look of new lumber, use a pressure washer before applying a waterproofing agent. Also check for areas that may require sanding to regain smoothness.

Deck waterproofing is usually done with a stain or sealant. Paint was once popular, but it peels and has been widely discarded as a waterproofing option. Paint doesn’t penetrate as well as sealants and stains either. Deck stains are fitted with pigments to change the tint of wood while simultaneously sealing it.

Deck sealants can be colored as well. They can even be applied on top of stains to add extra protection and durability from weathering and wear and tear. Apply a clear deck sealant or a colored stain with a sprayer, roller, or brush. Let it dry completely (roughly 48 hours) before walking on the deck.