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How to Choose the Best Waterproof Coatings for Your Deck

Jenn Tolson
June 13, 2014

One of the joys of being a homeowner is having your own deck in the backyard. Decks are great year round, especially in these summer months when you can invite friends and family over for a good time. This is why it is important to take care of your deck to help prevent costly repairs. One of the best ways to care for a deck is through deck coatings, which help prevent water from soaking into the deck. Water will increase the chance of mold, rotting, and decay in your deck. Coatings help to prevent these risks because they create a seal over the wood. However, not all coatings are the same. There are different options to consider, and knowing your needs and preferences will help to determine which coating is best for your deck.

One type of popular coating are those that are heavily pigmented – these are called opaque or solid deck stains. These coatings do not penetrate the wood; instead, they completely cover the wood as a layer of paint would. In this way, the film created over the wood protects it from moisture and in some cases, from UV rays. Since this type of deck stain does not penetrate the wood, over long periods of time and due to traffic, it tends to peel and will require maintenance. A benefit of these types of solid stains though, is that they come in a number of different colors, which will allow for greater personalization!

Another option is a semi-solid deck stain, which allows for a little more transparency than the solid deck stain. These stains also create a waterproof seal for your deck, and the level of penetration into the wood is greater than that of solid stains. Because of this, there is a much higher level of protection from UV rays. These stains are also usually very rich in color or dark in tint. There is also the semi-transparent deck coating, which may be one of the more popular options. The semi-transparent stain deeply penetrates the wood protecting it from water, UV rays, and other elements including the cold. This type of coating is usually more natural looking than the other thicker types of stains.

A final option is the fluoropolymer coatings, which are polymer resins. These stains offer complete waterproofing and deep levels of UV protection. What makes this type of coating competitive is that it also prevents a deck from bacteria, fungus, rust, mold, and other elements. The best coating for your deck depends on different factors, such as the type of climate you live in – do you need more protection from the sun or from water? Other factors should be taken into consideration as well, such as how you want your deck to look.Whether you are looking to coat your basement or your deck, you can't go wrong when you follow these tips.