Maintaining your deck is crucial if you want it to last for a very long time. One of the many maintenance treatments for decks is applying seals. Traditional wooden decks require sealing to keep them in excellent shape. But how about composite decking? Can you put sealer on composite decking?
Sealing Composite Decks
Composites are materials made from thermoplastics and wood fibres. It looks and feels similar to wood. So many often wonder whether it’s safe to use sealants of composite decking. The short answer is yes. However, the question is, should you? There are some things you may need to consider first before using sealants and other similar products.
Before anything else, you will want to read any instruction manuals and guidelines from your boards’ manufacturers. Many brands don’t recommend seals for their products. Seals won’t work on several decking board varieties, and you will only be wasting money by doing so. What’s more, many brands specifically advise against it. Doing so can potentially void the warranty coverage of your decking boards.
Composite decking materials have greatly improved over the years. Not only are composites more beautiful today, but they are also more resistant to issues such as moulds, mildew, and weathering. Unfortunately, that means older boards are not as high-quality as the ones today. First-generation composites suffer from water issues and mould growth. If you have the same problem, treating it with seals is an excellent solution.
If you have composite decking boards produced recently, you won’t likely need to seal them. But in any case, you still have the freedom to choose whether to use sealants or not. In conclusion, you can use sealants for your composite deck if your boards’ manufacturers say you can do so. It’s also an excellent way to solve water pooling and mould growth problems for older composite decks.
Advantages of Sealing Composite Decking
There are many advantages to sealing a deck. Even composite decks can benefit from it. One of the best reasons to apply sealants to your composite deck is to make it easier to maintain. With a sealed deck, you’ll spend less time cleaning it. You can also avoid several problems, such as moisture damage, mould growth, and staining. Many varieties of seals also protect the deck from fading.
Another reason to seal a composite deck is to brighten the colours of the deck. While it takes a while before it happens, composite decks may fade due to constant sun exposure over time. For faded composite decks, a coating of sealants can make it look new again.
Disadvantages of Sealing Composite Decking
While there are more than a few reasons to seal your composite deck, there are drawbacks that you should consider. As mentioned, you will void the warranty of your decking boards if your manufacturers advise against it. You would potentially waste money by doing so.
Another disadvantage of sealing composite decks is ironically due to maintenance cost. While it makes the deck easier to clean, you will need to regularly re-seal the deck once you start doing it. While it may not seem much, the added cost will pile up over the years.
Should You Seal Composite Decks?
You can seal a composite deck like a wooden deck. However, it doesn’t always mean you need to do it. In some instances, it can be harmful to your deck. It can void the warranty or increase the maintenance cost. However, there are also several advantages. It makes composite decks easier to clean, renews older and first-generation decks, and protects them from moisture and moulds. The bottom line is, you’ll need to decide whether your deck needs sealing or not.