How to Waterproof Your Deck

Outdoor deck

Your deck is a smart investment. Not only does it increase the value of your home, but it also provides a beautiful gathering place to spend time with friends and family. The national average cost of a deck is $6,280. You want to ensure you protect this valuable asset and do all you can to keep it in top condition.

One of the most important steps you can take for deck maintenance is to apply a protective deck coating for a waterproof deck. Keep reading to find out why a waterproof deck is so important and how you can waterproof your deck.

What is Waterproofing?

Waterproofing is the process of adding a sealant, that acts as a protective barrier on the wood of your deck. This barrier prevents the damage that water can have on your deck or patio.

Why You Should Waterproof Your Deck

As your deck is in constant contact with the outdoor elements, wear and tear can occur quickly. You need to keep up with regular deck maintenance to ensure your deck lasts a long time. This maintenance includes deck waterproofing. Put simply, waterproofing your deck will help it last longer, which will save you the cost of an early deck replacement.

Benefits of a Waterproof Deck

There are several benefits of waterproofing your deck.

Water Damage

Many people are surprised to learn that even in hot climates, moisture is a problem. Even a small amount of moisture can reduce the integrity of your deck structure. If water damage occurs on your deck, the wood can become soft and unsafe. Soft wood is weakened and can easily break, becoming a potential hazard for anyone walking on the deck. When you apply deck coating, you add protection and reducing the likelihood of soft spots.

Dry Rot

Similar to water damage, dry rot can occur on an unprotected deck. Dry rot occurs when a fungi species overtakes wood and starts to eat the wooden parts that make it structurally sound. Dry rot can weaken and destroy your entire deck, so it's not an issue to ignore. A deck coating can reduce the risk of dry rot by adding a barrier between the wood and the fungi.

Reduce Water Stains

Everyone wants their deck to look nice. It's the place where you relax and entertain on hot nights, so you want it to look as good as it possibly can. Unfortunately, an unsealed deck can start to show water stains, making your deck look dirtier and older than it is. When you waterproof your deck, you add a barrier that can reduce and prevent future water stains.

Lengthened Lifespan

Lastly, proper deck maintenance, including deck waterproofing, will extend the life of your deck. Decks can last up to 50 years if they're correctly cared for. As decks are such a large investment, you want to do all you can to make them last many years. It's essential to continue to keep up with deck maintenance; it's not a one-time action. We recommend waterproofing your deck every 5 years for optimal protection.

Determining the Right Time for Waterproofing

You need to waterproof your deck on a dry day. Applying the coating on a rainy day simply washes the product away before it has a chance to dry on and be effective. As a result, most people choose to waterproof their deck in the spring. That way, they can wait for a dry day and have their deck ready for the upcoming summer season. We suggest you apply your deck coating on a day that is above 10C/50F including overnight temps.

It's also essential to avoid blistering hot days when applying your product. Ideally, apply coats in the early morning or evenings. However, do not apply later in the day if dew is present.

How To Prepare Your Deck

There are several steps you can take to prepare your deck for the waterproof coating. These steps help to ensure the layer goes on properly and is most effective.

  1. Thoroughly clean your deck and remove dirt, dust, and loose paint flakes. Additionally, you'll need to ensure your deck is entirely dry.
  2. Use a professional cleaning product for optimal results. For wood decks, we recommend the Liquid Rubber Deck and Patio Cleaner.
  3. Next, consider using a primer. A primer will help create a moisture vapor barrier. This additional barrier helps provide extra adhesion and improves product performance and longevity. For both concrete and wood decks, we recommend applying one heavy coat of Multi-Purpose Primer.

How to Choose a Waterproof Deck Product

There are many waterproof deck products on the market. The three main types of waterproof deck products are sealers, vinyl membranes, and rubberized coatings. While sealers and vinyl membranes are marketed as optimal waterproof deck protectants, rubber coatings can be more effective.

Rubber coatings are the latest addition to the deck coating marketplace, and by far, the best option. Liquid Rubber Polyurethane Deck Coating is a high-performance polyurethane elastomeric coating that provides excellent UV stability and waterproofing for any hard surface deck or patio.

Some of the benefits of rubber deck coatings are:

  • Prevents mold growth
  • Prevent staining and discoloration of surfaces
  • Salt and water-resistant
  • Resistance to chemicals
  • Makes future deck maintenance easier
  • Easy to apply yourself

How to Apply Your Liquid Rubber Polyurethane Deck Coating

One of the best advantages of a rubber coating is that you can easily apply it yourself, which is a significant cost-savings. Some useful tips for applying Liquid Rubber Polyurethane Deck Coating are:

  • Apply using a roller, brush, or paint sprayer to provide a seamless and fully adhered membrane to most substrates. Make sure to apply the product in between deck boards as well.
  • After applying your primer, let the deck completely dry and apply your first rubber polyurethane deck coating coat. Make sure you apply it as a generous but even coat.
  • Wait until the first coat is completely dry before applying the second coat. It usually takes between four to six hours for each coat to dry. Ultimately, the drying time will depend on temperature, humidity, and airflow.
  • Make sure there is no uncured material underneath.
  • While you have to wait for each coat to dry, don't wait too long between applying each coat. For example, you don't want a few days to pass between the first and second coat. Ideally, apply each coat as soon as it's dry enough to work. This generally means you'll be able to apply one to two coats per day.
  • When working on your deck, make sure to avoid contact with solvents and solvent type adhesives.
  • The Liquid Rubber Polyurethane Deck Coating comes in a variety of colors. We recommend that you do not combine our black products with our colored products.
  • We recommend that you apply a minimum final thickness of 1 gallon per 50 sq ft (4.6 sq m). Your deck should require around 3-4 heavy coats. However, high traffic areas require 1 gallon per 30 sq ft (2.8 sq m).
  • When you finish applying all of your coats, wait three days before you allow light foot traffic on the deck. Additionally, it's best to wait 5-7 days before placing any furniture back on the deck.

Reseal your deck every 3-5 years, to keep it in peak condition and extend its life. Start improving your deck today with Liquid Rubber's wide range of deck coating products. We provide the highest quality products to seal, protect, and extend the life of your home, all on a DIY budget.