Is it necessary to seal the composite decking on my home?
Wood decks require regular maintenance. This is especially important for homeowners who have used them. Every year or two, they need to have their outdoor decks repaired, painted, and sealed. Composite decking has become increasingly accepted as an alternative to traditional wood decking. So, do we need to seal our composite decking on my home?
Before we answer this question. We need to understand those composite decking boards are made from a combination of recyclable plastic and wood fibers. Comparing composite decking to traditional wood decking. Composite decking has the advantage of requiring little to no maintenance. Composite decking does not require a great deal of maintenance to keep its attractive appearance. All that is required is that you clean the composite deck on a regular basis. You have the option of sealing your composite decking if you so desire. Sealing your composite decking will reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning it. But you will need to reseal it from time to time to keep it looking good in the long term.
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Advantages of sealing composite decking
When it comes to sealing a decorative deck, there are numerous advantages. Even composite decking can reap the benefits of this technique. If you choose to seal your composite deck, you will save time by not having to clean it as much. You can also avoid some of the problems associated with mold growth and stain staining as a result of this.
Another reason to use a sealer on composite decking is to make the color of the decking more vibrant and appealing. Composite decks may fade slightly over time as a result of constant sun exposure and corrosion from the natural environment. Applying a sealer to faded composite decking can restore it to its original appearance.
Disadvantages of applying a sealer
Most composite material manufacturers do not recommend sealing composite wood decking. While there are numerous advantages to sealing composite material, there are also several disadvantages. The use of a sealer on composite decking can void the warranty and increase the cost of upkeep and maintenance. While it makes it easier to clean outdoor decks. But once you start cleaning, you will need to reseal the deck on a regular basis to keep it looking good. Not only will this require you to spend more time maintaining the deck. But it will also significantly increase the cost of maintenance.
How to seal composite decking
Some DIYers may prefer to maintain their outdoor decks. Following that, let’s look at how to seal a composite deck.
Cleaning composite decking
Before you seal your composite deck, you should thoroughly clean the surface of your outdoor deck. To clean your outdoor deck of any dirt, stains, or mold that may have accumulated over time. Keep in mind that once the composite decking has been sealed, any dirt that has been left behind will be “sealed” into the decking material.
The use of cleaners containing chlorine bleach should be avoided. This is due to the fact that chlorine bleach is corrosive, it will corrode the composite decking. Which can then lead to discoloration or cracking of the composite deck. If you plan to use a pressure washer, you need to know the precautions to take to avoid damage to your composite deck.
Choosing a composite decking sealer
Following a thorough cleaning of the composite decking, the next step is to begin the sealing process. It is critical to select the most appropriate composite deck sealer for your needs. Water-based sealers are more appropriate for this application than solvent-based sealers. Water-based sealants have two major advantages over other types of sealants. They do not change the color of the composite decking, in contrast to solvent-based products. Second, they make use of synthetic resins, which inhibit the growth of algae and mold.
Putting on the sealant
When the sealer is still wet, you should brush it to remove any remaining residue. You can apply the sealer by rolling it on or spraying it on but always remember to back brush after each application. Apply the sealer with a roller and immediately brush it back into place after it has been rolled on. If you decide to use a spray sealer, you can simply use a roller to finish the back-brushing process. The surface tension of the composite deck will be increased if the sealer is brushed back into the wood grain. In order for the composite to become more porous and absorb more sealer, it must be heated.
The greater the amount of sealer that is absorbed by the deck’s surface, the longer the coating’s life expectancy. Please keep in mind that you should not apply excessive amounts of sealant. Using more sealant than the composite can absorb will result in excess product being wiped away. Excess residual sealant can cause shiny moving spots on the deck surface if there is too much of it. It is necessary to wipe away a small amount of excess sealer in order to maintain a clean appearance. Then wait at least a day to allow it to dry completely. Your composite decking will be ready to use as soon as the drying process is completed.