When to Seal a Deck or Fence
When to seal a Deck or Fence
The water testThe water test is a way of telling if your exterior lumber needs to be sealed or not (decks, fences, landscaping timbers).
While your deck or fence is completely dry; sprinkle, splash, or spill some water over the lumber in a few different areas and see what happens.
If the water "beads" or sits on the surface, you're O.K.
If the water is being absorbed into the lumber at all, anywhere, it is time to seal.
Just because the water isn't "beading", doesn't necessarily mean you need to seal.
Freshly sealed lumber will most always bead for a while.
You need to seal your lumber when you start seeing that water is being absorbed.
The best time of the year to seal
- Apply your sealer in the Spring, Summer or Fall, applying sealer in the winter is not a good idea.
- Make sure the outside temperature is no lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit when you apply it. If the temperature drops slightly overnight, it shouldn't be a problem in most cases.
- Rain should not be in the forecast (depending on what material you apply, rain window could be anywhere from two hours to eight hours (check your product's label).
- Applying sealer or stains in direct sunshine is not recommended, neither is applying over a dirty, wet or damp surface.
SpringThe Spring time temperatures are nearly perfect; and what better time of the year could you think to get your deck ready for the upcoming summer fun. Two things to consider however; "April Showers" and late spring pollen.
SummerSummer is fine to seal your deck, although it has the excessive heat to deal with, and late afternoon thunderstorms. Try not to do your sealing or staining in direct sunshine, the sealer may set up too fast.
FallFall almost seems to be the perfect time of the year other than all the leaves blowing around everywhere, and if you wait too late in the Fall, you have to deal with chilly winds and possible temperatures dropping under 50 degrees overnight.
WinterToo late, you need to wait until spring.
The best time to seal your deck is when you see that water is no longer being repelled.
Keep in mind that your lumber needs to be dry before applying most sealers, so there might be wait time if it rains all the time.