Your outdoor living space is an important part of your home. Not only does it provide a space to relax and enjoy the outdoors, but it also adds value to your property. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your deck is properly waterproofed. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of waterproofing your deck step-by-step. We’ll discuss the different types of waterproofing materials available, as well as the best way to apply them. So if you’re looking to keep your deck in great shape for years to come, be sure to read on!
Why Should You Waterproof Your Deck?
Decks are a beautiful addition to any home, but they can be a lot of work to maintain. One of the most important things you need to do to keep your deck looking its best is to waterproof it. Waterproofing your deck will help protect it from the elements and extend its lifespan.
One of the most important things to remember when waterproofing your deck is that it’s important to do it before the rainy season starts. Waterproofing your deck before the rain starts will help prevent water damage and will make it easier to clean up if any water does get on your deck. 
How To Waterproof A Deck?
Step 1: Test Your Deck
To see if your deck needs to be waterproofed, simply sprinkle water on it and see how long it takes to dry. If the water soaks in immediately, your deck definitely needs to be sealed. If the water beads up or puddles, you may still need to seal it, but it’s in better shape than decks that absorb the water immediately.
Step 2: Choose Your Waterproofing Method
There are several ways to waterproof a deck, and the method you choose will depend on your budget, the condition of your deck, and your personal preferences. Some common methods include:
- Waterproofing membranes;
- Encapsulation systems;
- Floor coatings;
Step 3: Clean Your Deck
No matter which method you choose, you’ll need to start by cleaning your deck. Sweep it free of dirt and debris, then use a power washer to remove any remaining dirt, grime, mold, or mildew. Be sure to let the deck dry completely before proceeding.
Step 4: Apply Your Waterproofing Product
Once your deck is clean and dry, it’s time to apply the waterproofing product of your choice. If you’re using a sealant, apply the sealant with a brush or roller, working in small sections and overlapping each stroke. If you’re using a membrane system, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. Generally, this will involve laying down a layer of fabric membrane, then applying a layer of waterproofing material over top.
Step 5: Inspect and Repair Your Deck
Once you’ve applied the waterproofing product, take a close look at your deck to see if there are any problem areas that need to be addressed. Look for cracks, gaps, or other damage and repair as necessary. Also, be sure to check the condition of your deck regularly and reapply the waterproofing product as needed to keep it in good shape.
Step 6: Let The Sealant Dry For A Minimum Of 48 Hours
Most sealants will be dry to the touch within an hour or two, but it’s important to let them cure for at least 48 hours before walking on them or putting furniture back on the deck. This will give the sealant time to fully harden and bond with the surface of the deck, ensuring maximum protection.
Step 7: Prepare Your Deck For Enjoyment
After the sealant has had time to dry, it’s time to enjoy your deck! Be sure to sweep it clean of any debris before using it, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your deck is well-protected from the elements. 
Add The Protection Of Wall Flashings
You can also add the protection of wall flashings to your deck. Wall flashings are installed over the ledger board and help to keep water from seeping in behind the ledger. They are usually made of metal or rubber and can be found at most home improvement stores. 
How Long Does Deck Waterproofing Last?
What Are the Best Deck Waterproofing Products?
There are a variety of products on the market that can be used to waterproof your deck. Some of the most popular include:
- Thompson’s WaterSeal: This sealer can be applied to both old and new decks, providing a clear finish. It helps protect against sun and water damage, and it can also be used on concrete, brick, and stone;
- Olympic Maximum: This semi-transparent stain can give both new and old decks a fresh look. It offers UV protection and is resistant to mold and mildew;
- Behr Waterproofing Stain: This particular shade of solid color stain can bring a whole new life to an old, worn-down deck or patio. It offers excellent UV protection and is resistant to mold and mildew;
- Cabot Australian Timber Oil: This is an oil-based sealer that can be used on both new and old decks. It helps protect against sun damage, water damage, and fading;
Things to Avoid When Waterproofing a Deck
When it comes to waterproofing your deck, there are certain things you should avoid doing if you want to keep your deck safe and in good condition. Here are a few things to avoid when waterproofing your deck:
- Don’t use a pressure washer to clean your deck. Pressure washing can damage the surface of your deck, making it more susceptible to water damage;
- Don’t apply a sealant or stain to your deck without first testing it on a small, inconspicuous area. Some products can cause damage or discoloration to your deck if they’re not applied correctly;
- Don’t forget to clean and maintain your gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters can cause water to pool on your deck, which can damage the surface;
- Don’t wait until your deck is already showing signs of water damage to waterproof it. It’s best to apply a sealant or stain to your deck before any damage occurs;
- Don’t use a sealant or stain that isn’t specifically designed for decks. Some products can actually damage your deck if they’re not meant for outdoor use;
- Don’t apply a sealant or stain in direct sunlight. The heat from the sun can cause the product to dry too quickly, making it difficult to apply evenly;
- Don’t neglect to clean and repair any cracks or holes in your deck before waterproofing it. Water can seep into these cracks and cause further damage;
- Don’t forget to remove any furniture or decorations from your deck before waterproofing it. These items can get in the way and make it difficult to apply the product evenly;
- Don’t use a sealant or stain that is expired. These products may not work as well as they should and could even damage your deck;
- Don’t try to waterproof your deck yourself if you’re not confident in your abilities. It’s best to hire a professional to do the job for you ;
Is It Worth It?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to waterproof a deck, it’s important to ask yourself one question: is it worth it? Waterproofing your deck will undoubtedly extend its lifespan and protect it from the elements. But it’s not a cheap investment. For starters, you’ll need to purchase a waterproofing sealant or membrane. These can range in price from $ 20 to $ 100 per gallon. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of labor if you plan on hiring someone to do the job for you. In most cases, it’s best to leave this task to the professionals. Otherwise, you run the risk of making mistakes that could void your warranty or cause further damage to your deck.
How do you water seal a wood deck?
To waterproof your deck, you’ll need to seal it with a waterproofing sealant. You can find these sealants at most hardware stores. Be sure to read the instructions on the sealant before applying it, as some require you to clean the surface first and others may require multiple coats.
How often should you waterproof your deck?
It’s generally recommended that you waterproof your deck every one to three years, depending on the severity of your local weather conditions. If you live in an area with frequent rain or snowfall, you may need to waterproof your deck more often.
What are the consequences of not waterproofing my deck?
If you don’t regularly waterproof your deck, it will eventually start to rot and decay. This can lead to expensive repairs or even replacement. Waterproofing your deck will help extend its lifespan and keep it looking its best.
How do I know if my deck needs to be waterproofed?
If you notice any signs of water damage on your deck, such as warping, cracking, or discoloration, it’s time to waterproof it. You should also waterproof your deck if it hasn’t been done in a few years, even if there are no visible signs of damage.
What is the best way to clean my deck before waterproofing it?
You should clean your deck with a power washer or strong garden hose before applying sealant. Be sure to remove all dirt, debris, and stains from the surface. You may also need to sand down the decking boards to create a smooth surface for the sealant to adhere to.
What’s the best waterproofing for decks?
Oil-based sealants provide better protection against water damage, but they can cause the wood to become discolored over time. Acrylic sealants provide the best protection against both water damage and UV rays, but they can be more difficult to apply evenly. When choosing a sealant for your deck, it’s important to consider the climate in which you live. If you live in an area with a lot of rain or snow, you’ll need to choose a sealant that can stand up to the elements. If you live in an area with strong UV rays, you’ll need to choose a sealant that will protect the wood from fading.
Is it better to stain or seal a deck?
It’s important to note that sealants and stains are not the same things. A sealant will protect your deck from water damage, but it won’t do anything to improve its appearance. A stain, on the other hand, will both protect your deck from water damage and give it a new look. If you’re trying to decide between a sealant and a stain for your deck, it’s important to consider how you want your deck to look. If you’re aiming for a natural look, a sealant is probably the better option. If you want your deck to have a new color or design, a stain is the way to go.
How long does deck waterproofing last?
The lifespan of a deck waterproofing job depends on a few factors, including the type of sealant used and the climate in which you live. In general, however, you can expect a good quality sealant to last for 3-5 years. If you live in an area with a lot of rain or snow, you may need to reapply your sealant more frequently.
When should I waterproof my deck?
If you have a new deck, it’s best to wait at least six months before applying a sealant. This will give the wood time to cure and settle into its new environment. If you have an older deck, it’s a good idea to inspect it for signs of wear and tear before applying a new coat of sealant. If you see any cracking, peeling, or discoloration, it’s probably time to reapply your sealant.
Do I need to sand the deck before sealing?
Yes, you should always sand your deck before applying a new coat of sealant. This will help to create a smooth surface for the sealant to adhere to. It’s also a good idea to clean your deck before sanding it. This will remove any dirt, grime, or pollen that could prevent the sealant from adhering properly.
Can you permanently seal a deck?
Yes, you can permanently seal a deck with waterproofing sealant. This will protect the wood from water damage and keep it looking new for years to come. However, it’s important to note that permanent sealants can be more difficult to apply evenly. If you’re not confident in your ability to apply the sealant evenly, it’s best to hire a professional to do the job for you.
Useful Video: How To Waterproof A Deck (With EPDM Pond Liner) || Dr Decks
Waterproofing your deck is an important part of protecting your home and extending the life of your deck. By following the steps in this guide, you can be sure that your deck will be well-protected against the elements for years to come. Thanks for reading!