Clear Deck Sealers and Stains for Exterior Wood
It is no secret that protecting a wood deck with a water repellent sealer is vital to its integrity and lifespan. Clear deck sealers leave the wood looking natural which may appeal to the deck owner. Without a doubt, a natural looking wood deck is a thing of beauty.
Deck sealers do give adequate water protection by locking out moisture. This is important to the wood’s lifespan. When water is absorbed into the wood it swells and when it dries up it shrinks. This continuous swelling and shrinking eventually begins to crack, split, and warp the wood. A clear wood sealer will stop this water damage from happening.Another enemy to a wood deck is the sun. Harsh UV rays turn the wood fibers gray and also cause warping and splitting of the wood. The problem with clear deck sealers is that they lack the pigment to protect against sun damage. So although a clear deck sealer will give a deck great water protection it will not protect against sun damage.
This is without a doubt a huge disadvantage when using clear deck sealers. The best way to keep a natural look and give the wood deck both water and sun protection is to use a semi-transparent deck stain in a natural color. The wood grain is still allowed to show through and with only a little bit of tone or color a wood deck can still look very natural, yet the deck stain has enough pigment to give adequate sun protection.
Clear deck sealers can be very appealing to deck owners looking for water protection and keeping that “natural look” they are wanting. This comes at a risk to the wood deck because of the lack of sun protection. If you are looking for a natural looking deck with both water and sun protection consider using a semi-transparent deck stain as opposed to a clear deck sealer.
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