When Does My Deck Need Sealing?

Most decks are made of wood, because it’s cheaper and easier to use, and though the maintenance is high, it’s still something that can be a great investment that will last you for decades. However, without knowing how to test if your wooden deck needs to be sealed or re-sealed, it can deteriorate quickly—or, you could spend money unnecessarily on sealant when deck sealing didn’t have to be redone.

The Water Test

You can first tell by performing a water test. This test is really, really simple. Go to your sink. Get a small glass of water. Dump it on your deck, and analyze what you see. If the water sinks in, you should definitely seal your deck; imagine if that were a torrential rainfall on the wood and what damage it would do. On the same token, if the water beads up and sits in round bubbles on the surface of the wood, your deck doesn’t need to be sealed and was either sealed recently or is made of pre-treated wood.

The other way you can tell if your wooden deck needs sealing is if you notice bubbling and cracks in the sealant. It would look like a car whose clear coat flaked off from the sun, it would literally be peeling off in either strips or clumps. Then the sealant is sun damaged and needs to be stripped and resealed.