Regular maintenance is critical for homeowners who have wood decks. They need to have their outdoor decks repaired, painted, and sealed every year or two. Composite decking is gaining popularity as a viable alternative to wood decking. Therefore, is it necessary to seal composite decking?
To begin answering this question, it’s necessary to understand that composite decking is composed of a blend of recyclable plastic and wood fibers. In comparison to traditional wood decking, composite decking is maintenance-free. Composite decking is low maintenance and easy to keep looking good. All you need to do is clean the composite deck on a regular basis. You can seal your composite decking if you wish. While sealing your composite decking eliminates the need for routine cleaning, you will need to reseal it periodically to keep it looking good.
The benefits of composite decking sealing
Sealing a decorative deck has numerous advantages. It can be used on composite decking as well. You will spend less time cleaning your composite deck if you seal it. Additionally, you can avoid some of the issues associated with mold growth and stain staining.
Another reason to seal composite decking is to bring the color of the floor up a notch. Composite decks may fade slightly as a result of constant sun exposure and corrosion from the natural environment. A sealer can restore the appearance of faded composite decking.
Cons of using a sealer
Most composite material manufacturers do not recommend sealing composite wood decking. While sealing composite material has a number of advantages, it also has a number of disadvantages. Sealing composite decking voids the warranty and increases maintenance costs. While this makes cleaning outdoor decks easier, once you begin cleaning, you will need to periodically reseal the deck. Not only will this add to the time required to maintain the deck, but it will also significantly increase maintenance costs.
Sealing composite decking
Certain do-it-yourselfers may prefer to maintain their outdoor decks themselves. So let’s move on to learning how to seal a composite deck.
Clean composite decking
Prior to sealing your composite deck, thoroughly clean your outdoor deck. to clean your outdoor deck of any dirt, stains, or mold that may be present. Bear in mind that once the composite decking is sealed, any dirt remaining on the surface will be “sealed” into the decking.
Avoid cleaning products containing chlorine bleach. This is due to the fact that chlorine bleach is corrosive. When used in composite decking, it can cause the floor to fade, chip, and crack prematurely. If you intend to use a pressure washer, you must be fully aware of the precautions to avoid causing damage to the composite deck.
Choosing a sealer for a composite deck
After thoroughly cleaning the composite decking, the sealing process can begin. It is critical to select the proper composite deck sealer. Water-based sealants are preferred over solvent-based sealants. Two significant advantages exist for water-based sealers. To begin, unlike solvent-based products, they do not stain the composite decking. Second, they employ synthetic resins that inhibit the growth of algae and mold.
Applying the sealer
To keep it clean, brush the sealer while it is still wet. You can apply the sealer with a roller or a sprayer, but always remember to back brush. Apply the sealer with a roller and immediately brush it back. If you choose to spray the sealer, simply complete the back-brushing with a roller. Back-brushing the sealer will increase the composite deck’s surface tension. As a result, the composite becomes more porous and absorbs additional sealer.
The more sealer that is absorbed by the deck’s surface, the longer the coating will last. It is critical to note that you should not use an excessive amount of sealer. Wipe away any excess sealant if you use more than the composite can absorb. Excess residual sealant on the deck surface can create shiny moving spots. As a result, a small amount of excess sealer must be wiped away to ensure a clean appearance. Then, allow at least one day for it to dry. Once the drying process is complete, you can enjoy your composite decking to the fullest!