Plan deck sealing for dry days when the weather isn't too hot or cold

Deck sealing can be performed during good summer weather from Spring through Fall in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. Most deck stains and sealers require a few dry days for proper application and dry time. Temperatures need to be warm enough (most often over 50-degrees F day and night) but not too hot (usually over 85-degrees) and rain should not be in the forecast for a few days. The best "work window" for sealing a deck is usually from June 1 through September 30.

Trying to seal a deck before June can be difficult due to finicky spring weather with its intermittent periods of rain and cool nighttime temperatures followed by dew in the morning. On the other hand, some summer temperatures can be too hot for many sealers. Waiting to seal a deck too long into the fall can bring about cold night temperatures and the added aggravation of falling leaves from nearby trees. Picking the right weather conditions will affect sealer performance in the long run.

Photos of deck cleaning & sealing

First the deck was cleaned...

deck after being powerwashed
Photo #1 - Deck after being power washed
and allowed 24 to 48 hours drying time

deck with redwood sealer
Photo #2 - Completed deck with a
'Redwood' translucent sealer


Remember when?
When pressure treated lumber was first introduced, we were told it was "maintenance free".  Over the years we have found that decks can become pretty ugly without periodic cleaning and sealing, usually being required every two years.

Whether it's the bleaching effect of the sun's ultraviolet rays in full sun, or the unsightliness of algae growth in full shade, pressure washing will clean your deck, folowed by a fresh coat of sealer will bring back its natural beauty.

Key Benefits of Deck Cleaning

  • Protect a major investment

  • Improve aesthetics for everyday enjoyment

  • Sealing CCA (chromated copper arsenate) treated lumber reduces exposure to arsenic

  • Add to your home's value with good maintenance

Translucent 'Cedar Tone' sealer
Railing and pickets freshly sealed with 'Cedar Tone' CWF-UV

Deck cleaning and sealing is done in two steps; first power wash your deck, then following the proper drying period, seal your deck.

Power washing
Most power washers use regular tap water, which is pressurized to clean-off years of accumulated dirt. Too much pressure can damage wood and make it 'fuzzy' so use care, especially if your power washer p.s.i. exceeds 2,000 to 2,500 psi. This video will help guide you through the basics of powerwashing:    


Deck Sealing
You have a choice of which brand of sealer you would like to use on your deck, but we always liked Flood CWF-UV®.  "Clear" coatings are the most commonly used, but tints are also available. Tints can help the appearance of older decks that have more stains in the wood that aren't always removed by powerwashing.

Solid color stains work well where an old deck finish is blotchy, or if you wish to match the deck color to the trim on the house. Many solid color stains can be color matched to a paint sample.

Photos of decks with solid color stains:

Solid color deck stain used on a railing
Solid color stain matched to the house trim: 'Pella Tan'

Sunburst deck railing sealed with a cedar tint solid color stain
Sunburst pattern deck railing sealed with a cedar-tint solid color stain

Fence sealing... 

Swimming pool fence sealed with Cedar Tone CWF-UV

This pool fence was sealed with a translucent Cedar Tone sealer

Cedar Tone CWF-UV was used on this pool fence


Power Washing

Deck Cleaning


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