What’s the first thing that people see when they visit your house? If you are thinking of the front door, you are absolutely wrong. There is one thing that guests tend to notice even before ringing the doorbell: your curb appeal. Regardless of how lavish and modern your home décor is, the peeling paint on the exterior walls of your house or a dirty looking patio and walkway can have a huge impact on the overall aesthetics of your place. Since we have already discussed all about painting your home exterior, it’s about time we talked about the ways to weatherproof your deck, patio and walkway.
In case you are wondering if weatherproofing a deck, patio or walkway is even necessary, the answer is yes. Unlike the interior flooring, the outdoor areas of most homes rarely receive the attention they deserve. This is unfortunate considering they need more care and cleaning than their indoor counterparts.
The constant exposure to sunlight, humidity, rainfall, pollution, and other elements can pretty much ruin the outdoor parts of your house. This is why weatherproofing them is more important than most people realize. If you want to keep the deck, patio or walkway of your house safe from discolouration, cracks, as well as general wear and tear, you must weatherproof them as soon as you get the chance.
It is also pertinent to mention that you don’t need to hire a professional for this project. Unless your driveway, patio or deck have faced some structural damage in the past and need to be fixed by an expert, you can seal them rather easily all by yourself.
So, how do you weatherproof a deck? Let’s find out.
How to Weatherproof Your Deck
Nothing adds a hint of luxury and extravagance to your house like a well-maintained wooden deck. However, wood can rot, decay, warp, contract and swell due to excessive moisture and heat. Therefore, you need to clean and seal it regularly.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to weatherproof a wooden deck.
Step 1: Thoroughly clean the deck with a broom or a brush. You must remove the dust and debris that must have accumulated on the wooden boards.
Step 2: Use an old, blunt screwdriver to get rid of the leaves, twigs and other debris stuck between the deck boards. It is important to remove them before weatherproofing or waterproofing a deck. This step might take some time, but skipping it might lead to rot and decay.
Step 3: Make a solution of bleach and water to get rid of mildew and algae. Wear thick rubber gloves as you soak a brush into the cleaning mixture and then scrub the wooden boards. This step will also help you remove grease and other stains on the surface of your deck. However, please note that the bleach solution will affect the colour of the wood.
Step 4: Sand down the wood if needed. If you have previously sealed your deck boards or have noticed any nicks and scratches on their surface, take a sanding paper and move it across the wood in the direction of the grain. If you skip this step despite your deck being previously sealed, the application of any deck waterproofing products might not give you the desired result.
Step 4: Stain the boards using a paintbrush. You can even use a deck waterproofing paint to ensure the wooden boards look brand new and last for a long time. Wait for the wood to dry before staining it again. Follow manufacturer’s instructions while using any deck waterproofing material.
Step 4: Once the wood is completely dry, it’s time to weatherproof it using a store-bought sealant. Since sealants repel water and stop moisture from seeping into the wooden boards, this process will further increase the longevity of the wood. To weatherproof your deck or wooden patio, apply a sealant using a regular brush or a foam roller.
You can also use waterproof deck coatings on balconies and to protect them from sun and water damage.
How to Weatherproof Your Patio
The harsh weather conditions can age your concrete patio rather quickly. Grease and oil stains, excessive moisture, dirt marks, and debris can also take away from its beauty, leaving you with an ugly-looking patio floor.
Let’s take a look at how you can go about concrete deck waterproofing without spending big bucks to hire an expert.
Step 1: Remove all the furniture and clean the surface thoroughly to remove all the dirt and debris. Then, add half a cup of baking soda and a few drops of a dishwashing liquid soap to about one gallon of water. Spray this mild cleaning solution on to the patio surface and let it sit for half an hour before using a brush to scrub the oil, grease, and stains from the concrete. If you notice heavy mildew forming on the surface, consider using a power washer to remove it.
Step 2: Do you see any cracks in your patio floor? If so, take a look at our guide on how to fix concrete cracks and make your patio look brand new.
Step 3: If you are planning to repaint or stain your concrete patio, strip the existing sealer from the surface using a solvent-based stripper. Depending on the condition of your concrete patio, you can also try resealing it without stripping off the old sealant. This will save the surface from further damage. Once done, pressure-wash the patio floor or walkway and leave it to dry.
Step 4: Acid etching is a process that prepares the concrete to accept the new sealer. All you need to do is apply a thin layer of an easily-available etching solution onto the patio floor using a roller brush. This will help open up the concrete, allowing the sealant to adhere to it. Use the manufacturer’s instructions for the application, but don’t forget to wear protective goggles and gloves.
Step 5: Wait for the surface to dry before applying the first layer of sealant to weatherproof your patio. Once it dries, apply a second coat in the opposite direction. Allow the concrete to dry for about 24 hours before walking on it again.
You can use the steps above for concrete deck waterproofing and sealing concrete walkways as well.
Meanwhile, here are some creative ideas to transform your patio that you might find helpful.
How to Weatherproof Your Walkway
Stone pavers are the most ideal and commonly-used options for walkways in houses across Pakistan. Waterproofing and sealing these stone walkways not only protect them from mildew, moss, and mould but also increase their longevity and protect their colour.
So, how do you weatherproof your walkway? Let’s find out.
Step 1: Sweep the dust, debris, and grime from the stone walkways. Then use a store-bought degreasing agent to remove oil and grease stains. It is recommended to let the degreasing agent sit on the stone for a few minutes so it can properly penetrate the stain.
Step 2: Make a solution of liquid dishwashing soap and hot water. Dunk a brush into the cleaning solution and scrub the paved stone walkways vigorously to remove the stains. This step is extremely important unless you want dirt and grime to be sealed in the stone.
Step 3: Use a pressure washer to thoroughly rinse the paved stone walkway and remove any soap or degreasing agent left on the surface. Allow the walkway to dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Step 4: Apply a generous amount of sealer onto the stone walkway using a paintbrush or foam roller. Make sure you apply enough sealer to penetrate the stone without leaving pools of liquid on the surface. Roll over each stone paver in long, clean strokes to avoid streak marks. Leave the walkway to drive for about 90 minutes.
Step 5: Touch the stones to ensure they are completely dry. Then apply the second coat of sealer to weatherproof your walkway. It is suggested to let the area dry for about 48 hours before allowing people to walk over it.
Hopefully, this guide must have answered some of your most pressing questions about weatherproofing a deck patio or walkway. Feel free to share your feedback and suggestions with us by dropping an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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