Clean and Seal Your Composite Deck With Defy
First, you want a water-based sealer as opposed to a solvent. In addition to simply being easier to work with, there are two main advantages in selecting a water-based product. Solvent-based products, or alkyds, will typically amber the color of the surface, whereas many of the water-based products are crystal clear and will not alter the color of the wood. Additionally, the alkyd resins in solvent-based products will serve as a food source for mold, mildew, and algae (what you’re trying to eliminate). Some water-based products (not all) utilize synthetic resins; these offer no food value for future mildew growth. Lastly, selecting a product with zinc nano-particles is especially beneficial. Zinc is a natural combatant to mold growth and will have a profound effect on delaying the re-growth of mildew. Consider using DEFY Composite Deck Sealer – Crystal Clear; it has all of the above characteristics.
All of you out there who are like me and don’t need to read the directions…READ THE DIRECTIONS. Everything that you need to know about the product is on the back of the can. Take a few minutes to read it before you start. The directions will make you aware of any particulars to the product that can affect how the job turns out, such as: What’s the dry time? How many coats should you apply? How much time between coats? Is there a critical recoat time? There can be any number of things that you can learn from reading the back of the can. Take a minute and read the directions.
Brushing is Critical
Regardless of how you apply the sealer—rolling or spraying—it absolutely, 100% must be brushed. If you rolled it on first, simply back brush it in after it’s rolled on, but while it is still wet. The same goes for spraying. But why go to all of that trouble?
It’s a simple explanation. When you brush the sealer, the brush creates friction on the surface, breaks the surface tension of the wood, and works the sealer into the pores of the wood. The more sealer that you can get the wood to absorb, the longer your project will last. Check out this video that shows how to apply deck stains quickly by using a car-wash style brush on a pole. This is my favorite method as it does an exceptional job and really makes the job go fast.
Wipe Off Any Excess
This one might throw you a little, but it’s important. If you apply too much sealer to the wood (more sealer than what the wood can absorb), wipe off the excess. We don’t think twice about wiping off excess stain when we are staining interior wood. My advice is to do the same if you over-apply sealer on exterior composite lumber. The reason is simple. First is aesthetics. When you apply too much deck sealer and it puddles on the surface and dries, it looks bad. It will leave shiny spots on the surface. Second, over time those spots are likely to flake and peel. Only apply as much deck sealer as the composite lumber can easily absorb.