While waterproof decks require little maintenance, it is important to keep them clean and free of debris, to extend their life.
The best cleaning products to use on your deck’s surface are either Simple Green, Zep, or good, old-fashioned soap and water.
Why? Your waterproof deck or walkway consists of several layers, the topmost of which is a U/V top coat. The top coat should be re-applied every 3-5 years (process known as deck re-sealing). The top coat is the first level of defense against water or moisture penetrating into the layers and wood beneath. Also, the U/V feature helps prevent your deck’s color from fading in the harsh California sunlight.
Harsh chemicals, such as bleach and ammonia, should be avoided, as they may break down the protective top coat.
Aside from cleaning chemicals, here is a list of other factors that can break down your deck’s top coat and penetrate the protective layers beneath:
- BBQs / Gas Grills: Oil and grease drippings often accumulate on the deck’s surface, causing harm to the top layers of coatings.
- Potted Plants: Potted plants should be placed on a stand, so that air can flow between the deck and the planter. When planters are placed directly onto a deck, they trap moisture and damage the deck.
- Carpets: While outdoor rugs look great on your balcony deck or entry deck, they are notorious for trapping moisture, leading to cracks, peeling, water penetration, and mold.
- Tile: If your deck was not built with tile installed, DO NOT install tile. Building codes require very precise sloping and deck height specifications; adding tile on top of your waterproof deck can cause water to pool or seep into your adjacent door. Also, water may penetrate beneath the tile and cause substantial damage to a deck, while the tile on top looks fine.
- Outdoor furniture: make sure your outdoor furniture is made for outdoors, and that water cannot get trapped beneath the footings.
By taking proper care of your waterproof balcony deck, walkway or pool deck, and by resealing the top coat every 3-4 years, you can extend the life and beauty of your deck for many, many years. Regular maintenance and proper care also help avoid costly repairs. Your deck inspector will take note of any small cracks or damage before water accumulates beneath the surface, which leads to wood rot, termite infestation and mold. As with any building components, the longer you wait to inspect and repair, the higher the costs for repairs…especially if repair to structural beams is involved.
We hope you find these tips helpful to maintain and care for your waterproof decks.
WICR Waterproofing & Decking is Southern California’s premiere waterproofing and decking specialist, covering Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. We are trained by all the major manufacturers of waterproofing systems, so that we can install or repair any waterproofing project. Please visit us at www.WICRWaterproofing.com.