Pressure-treated deck wood is wood that has been submerged in liquid chemicals within a pressure chamber.
This industrial process makes these chemicals penetrate the wood and help extend the life of the wood from decay and insects.
Most pressure-treated wood has protection to some degree yet will need to be sealed additionally with a specialized stain or sealant for pressure treated wood deck.
Most wood decks aren’t manufactured to withstand moisture, foot traffic damage, splintering and rotting damage.
Water damage is the primary risk factor to pressure-treated wood decks. Moisture will seep into the wood and then evaporate on a hot day. This makes the wood deck continuously expand and contract and over time and warp your pressure-treated wood deck.
Intense weather such as harmful UV rays and wind gusts can also harshly damage wood decks. This can create discoloration, peeling, and overall changing the natural look of your precious pressure treated wood deck. It is likely to cause irreversible damage.
By not sealing pressure treated wood, you may end up having to repair the whole deck by other means. Other repair fees will generally cost you more than buying a sealer which can easily be applied by any responsible adult within a day and need no professional assistance.
Maintaining your pressure-treated wood is a must, as wood decks are usually the life of an outside patio. It is a stunning wood that should be well maintained to keep a home beautiful.
The team at Cleaning King have compiled a list of the best sealers for pressure treated wood decks to help you make the best choice. Through our own experience and testing, and reading about the experiences of others we have ultimately decided on which sealer is the best of all.
The “ #1 Deck Wood Paint and Sealer – Advanced Solid Color Wood Stain” is a perfect combination of water-based sealer and solid colored stain for pressure treated wood deck.
The non-toxic solution protects against UV rays, discoloration, greying and water. As a versatile option. It can work on various pressure treated wood deck types such as Lumber, Pine, Cedar, Fir, Redwood, Mahogany.
It contains super-low VOCs per litre as a water-based sealer, approximately 60g of VOCs per Litre of deck sealer. Making it a super-safe option.
This sealer will protect against splintering mildew and peeling. The same brand comes in semi-transparent varieties as well.
The “Roxhill Wood Protection Cream” is a clear sealer for pressure treated wood decks.
It is a durable option which can protect wood up to 10 years from harsh weather conditions, mold, algae and cracking.
Due to its unique cream formula, one coat will penetrate deeply into the wood, making for easy cleanup. Sealing from 130-200 square feet of the pressure-treated wood deck. Applying this clear sealer requires minimal cleanup.
The clear formula protects warping in pressure-treated woods as it instantly waterproofs the deck.
The “Olympic Stain Smartcard Concentrated Multi-Surface Sealant” is a fast-acting protective sealer for pressure-treated wood.
Drying time is only 1 hour, and despite its 15 oz pouch size, it can cover up to 15 square feet of a pressure-treated wood deck. The sealant can quickly be applied by spraying the pressure-treated wood deck surface. So, you won’t have to break your back using arduous amounts of applying force.
It provides fantastic protection against moisture damage. The durable formula lets the wood deck breathe, making the wood deck trap less water.
The small packet only needs to be diluted in 2 gallons of water, covering a generous amount of 15 square feet of the wood deck.
The “Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofing Stain” is the ultimate sealer & stain for water protection. Its premium formula works better than other sealers to prevent moisture damage.
It comes as a transparent stain; however, the same brand offers a clear & solid wood deck sealer option.
This transparent stain and sealer is an all-in-one stain and sealer. It is excellent for sealing damp or dry wood decks.
In one coat it protects against color fade and water damage. And, effectively protects against UV damage and mildew.
The ‘Defy Extreme Semi-Transparent Wood Stain” is excellent if you want a semi-transparent wood finish. It is readily available in 7 colors, which will suit any pressure treated wood deck—providing a matte finish for any wood deck color.
This stain sealer provides great UV ray & discoloration protection. As it’s unique Zinc nano-particle formula is excellent for reflecting sun rays that cause discoloration and over time greying of your wood deck.
As a water-based sealer, it makes for easy cleanup and free of VOCs. Furthermore, its durable strength will last a long time, meaning you will not have to reapply coats as frequently as other sealers do.
Best for Weathered Decks
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If you are looking for a long-lasting sealer for pressure treated wood decks that can restore older pressure-treated wood. The “Cwf-Uv Wood finish” restores worn out wood decks whilst providing a protective seal against moisture and UV rays. No matter your wood state, you can enhance the natural look or restore an old wood deck.
Its durable strength lasts up to 2 years for decks. Protecting against harsh hot & cold weather & moisture from seeping into the wood.
It works well for pressure-treated woods such as pine, cedar & redwood.
It’s also great for protection against the mildew and from flaking. If you are working in a large area, you can provide up to 250 square feet of coverage.
The “Cabot Low VOC deck & Siding” option comes in semi-solid to semi-transparent options. It’s best if you are looking for a low VOC sealer for pressure treated wood decks.
By using this wood deck sealer, you won’t be exposed to harmful fumes. The deep penetrating formula will protect against most moisture and harsh UV rays.
If you are working with a pressure-treated wood deck that sees a lot of foot traffic. With one coat it will effectively protect against scuff marks, fade, and discoloration.
When buying a sealer for pressure-treated wood. You should consider whether you want to buy a sealer or stain or a combination of both.
A sealer usually comes in a clear liquid whilst a stain will also seal your pressure-treated wood deck but contain some color. Sealers & stains for pressure treated wood decks range from clear, semi-transparent, to solid color varieties.
These are the qualities you should look for when buying a sealer or stain.
An excellent sealer for pressure treated wood will have great moisture protection to prevent any rotting or splintering. Water damage is the top culprit for pressure treated wood deck damage.
The purpose of a sealer is to prevent moisture damage; therefore, the wood deck sealant should have maximum waterproof protection.
You should check what type of pressure-treated wood deck you have on your hands.
For the best results, the sealer should be formulated specifically for your type of wood.
You should also consider other factors such as the age & state of a pressure-treated wood deck if it is newly manufactured or has seen wear & tear.
Depending on your situation, you may want to consider a sealer that will stand the test of time.
Sealers & stains for pressure treated wood decks vary in strength.
Paying for a premium version of a sealer will protect your wood deck for more extended periods than a budget Sealer. Depending on your situation, if you are serious about preserving your pressure-treated wood deck, a higher-end sealer & stain will provide maximum protection for longer.
Sealers for pressure treated wood come in different varieties such as transparent, semi-transparent and solid color stains. A solid stain will change the color of the wood. Clear sealers will not change the look whilst semi-transparent will be a bit opaque.
This will depend on whether you want just to apply a sealer and just preserve the natural look. Or you want to change or enhance the color which will typically be a solid or semi-solid stain. Sealer and stains can come as a 2-in-1 sealant option.
Pressure-treated wood decks should be resistant to seasonal changes such as scorching heat damage. Thus, an optimal pressure-treated wood deck sealer should have the ultimate UV ray protection.
Light color stain sealers usually won’t absorb UV rays as a darker solid color stain will. Generally semi color and transparent sealers provide better UV protection than clear sealers.
Pressure-treated wood sealers should be non-toxic and have little to no VOCs. If you are applying a sealer to large pressure treated wood deck areas, this can emit large amounts of toxic fumes. Buying a low/ no VOCs sealant formula will keep you safe from inhaling poisonous fumes.
When applying large amounts of sealer to your pressure-treated wood deck, your hands & clothes will likely be messy after the job is done. A water-based deck sealer is easier to clean up with warm water and soap than oil-based deck sealers.
If you are applying sealer on exterior deck surfaces, you likely have plants nearby. Plants that come in contact with some deck sealers may become damaged or die due to harsh chemicals. A biodegradable wood deck sealer will protect your precious plants.
A quick-drying wood sealer is the best way to quickly seal pressure treated wood decks and limit your exposure time to potential harmful VOC fumes. It can also mean that you can apply multiple coats quickly for the best protection so that you can get onto better things. This is best if you expect unpredictable temperatures over the next few days and you want to seal your pressure-treated wood deck quickly.
Prepare your pressure-treated wood deck.
To seal pressure treated wood, it will need to be completely dry.
If your pressure-treated wood has recently been manufactured. Drying times can take weeks to months to dry.
Otherwise, you will need to clean the wood deck of any dirt, moisture, mildew and stains. If you hose down your wood deck, allow between 24 to 48 hours to dry. Without prepping the wood, you are likely to trap any moisture or dirt once the deck sealer has been applied.
If you are unsure when your wood deck is ready for a sealer application.
You should perform the bead test.
Consider the temperature and day and timing.
You should not apply a sealer with rain forecasted in the next few days as this will typically ruin your results.
A scorching day will also make the deck sealer dry too quickly and not let the deck sealer enough time to absorb into the pressure-treated wood deck.
Apply the sealant
Using your chosen pressure treated wood sealer or stain, you should always apply some deck sealer to a small area to see whether it is perfectly compatible with your pressure-treated wood deck.
Let this dry for 24-48 hours then assess it’s the effect on the wood. If the sealant has not created any strange discoloration, you can safely apply a larger amount to the whole surface. Depending on the sealers time to dry, this can be between 1 hour to 24 hours. After a sealant application, you should clean up any excess with warm water.
The application process will depend on the sealant, for best results refer to the sealants application guide.
How to perform the bead test
Once you have left sufficient time for the new pressure-treated wood deck to dry.
You should test whether the wood is ready to be sealed and all moisture has left the surface. This can easily be checked with the bead test.
We took into consideration that all pressure-treated wood decks come in different wood types, colors, and age.
Choosing the best sealer will also depend on the climate surrounding the wood deck.
Our overall best pick is The “ #1 Deck Wood Paint and Sealer – Advanced Solid Color Wood Stain” If you’re not too fussed about the added benefits of specialty formulas. It is an excellent sealer & stain if the deck lives in relatively normal climate zone. Nonetheless, it will protect against heat and moisture damage.
If your pressure-treated wood deck has seen wear and tear and is a little older than a new pressure treated wood deck, especially after a year. The “Cwf-Uv Wood finish” sealant is great general wood deck formula for older decks. It will leave a nice finish upon application and restore the natural look of your wood deck.
Harsh UV rays a significant risk for pressure-treated wood decks. So, if the wood deck lives in a relatively hot climate and sees lots of sun, the ‘Defy Extreme Semi-Transparent Wood Stain” is handy for reflecting sun rays. Made with zinc nanoparticles, it truly protects against UV rays.
However, if your pressure-treated wood deck sees lots of rainfall and moisture, the “Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofing Stain” is the best overall for water damages. It has been specially formulated and is regarded as better than the industry standard for water protection.
For the most environmentally friendly option and are worried about personal health problems. The “Cabot Low VOC deck & Siding” has minimal amounts of VOCs. It comes in semi-transparent and solid varieties depending on your wood decks type.
The Cleaning King team understand that time isn’t always in our favor so if you’re expecting crazy weather or having guests over and need to impress. You should be buying a quick and easy applying sealant for pressure-treated wood.
The “Olympic Stain Smartcard Concentrated Multi-Surface Sealant” can be applied easily by diluting in water for easy clean-up. Its water-based formulas dries within an hour. It also comes in a handy small pouch, so if you are not too keen about lugging around a large gallon of sealant, this the perfect sealant for you.
Pressure-treated wood decks can be an essential asset of a home. Its beauty brightens up a home, so it is necessary to invest in a long-lasting wood deck sealant. The “Roxhill Wood Protection Cream” provides 10-year coverage and although its durability, it protects within one coat and can quickly be done a DIYer.
Maintaining a pressure-treated wood deck will likely save you unwanted costs in the future from professional repairing. Wood decks are a beautiful type of wood that adds character to a home, it’s one of the best ways to protect the soft, porous wood from moisture and sunlight.
These sorts of damages can easily be prevented. As sealing pressure-treated wood decks can be an easy process done by anyone by using our guide to help you along your buying & applying process.
So no matter your color, age or where the pressure-treated wood deck. There’s a pressure-treated wood deck sealant suitable for you. Considering what goes into choosing the optimal sealant, we recommend seeking additional advice from local professionals.
Above-ground use wood deck is typically used for decks and does not come into contact with the ground. Ground contact pressure-treated wood is for wood that encounters nearby environment, such as being submerged in water. It’s essential to find the right sealant depending where your pressure-treated wood deck is located.
For home decks, the above-ground wood is most likely best. However, wood decks situated as ports, for example, will need ground contact special sealants.
Suppose you have recently installed a new pressure-treated wood deck. You usually must wait weeks to months for it to completely dry. Applying sealant or a stain too soon will likely not absorb into the wood deck.
If your wood deck is susceptible to water & heat damage, then it’s a good idea to use sealant for protection. As pressure-treatment typically only protects against rot & insect damage. Pressure-treatment is not effective against moisture damage. Some high-end wood decks, however, come with an application of wood deck sealer.
Oil-based sealer for pressure treated wood typically penetrates the wood with more strength and water-based sealer and lasts longer. However, if you would like to clean up quickly, a water-based finish will be easier to clean up with water and soap. If you live in damp conditions, a water-based sealer would be best for you.
Applying a second coat of sealer to you would pressure deck will depend on the type of sealer you have chosen. An oil-based Sealer will need fewer reapplications then a water-based repeat. Generally, you will have to apply a sealer once a year.
Volatile organic compounds or VOCs are toxic chemicals found in products such as pressure-treated wood deck sealers. Such sealers can emit poisonous fumes that could harm your respiratory system if you do not work in a well-ventilated area.
By working outdoors or using fans, the air will most likely circulate well.
However, if you find yourself working in small, enclosed areas, you should adequately ventilate the area to avoid fatal accidents.
A sealer simply protects against weathering of your pressure-treated wood deck. Whilst a stain sealer will change or enhance the color and provide the same benefits of a sealer. Stains come in either transparent, semi-transparent, solid or semi-solid varieties. Many sealers come as a 2-in-1 combination of sealer and stain.