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Composite decking is durable. True, but that does not mean that plastic wood is free of damage. Certain conditions can damage composite decking. One of them is failing to maintain it regularly. Another is letting moisture or water settle on the surface of your decking without sweeping it. Most homeowners will not maintain their plastic wood decking during winter; they will let the snow settle on the surface for a long time. This can cause moisture infiltration and eventually destroy the plastic wood decking. So, how do I protect my composite decking? 

Seal Your Composite Decking with a Sealer

Composite decking has a reinforced surface that prevents moisture from infiltrating it. The protective shell on the top of the decking encapsulates it and prevents water from entering the boards. But if homeowners refuse to sweep moisture off their decking surface, it can get damaged or destroyed. 

Aside from that, most composite deckings have a three-side capped surface, while others have two sides capped surface. The old-generation composite decking does not have a capped surface at all. This makes it susceptible to moisture absorption and decay. If you have three sides, two sides, or the uncapped old-generation plastic decking, you have to seal its surface. To protect your composite decking with a sealer, you have to follow these steps. 

protect my decking with a sealer

Check the Weather

To ensure that you seal your plastic wood decking properly, you have to check the weather to know if it is right. You should have a temperature between 50 and 90º F. Getting the right temperature will ensure that you get the best seal. 

Clean off the Decking Surface

Prepare your composite decking surface of the seal by cleaning it. If you discover debris on the top of your deck, use a broom to remove it. Aside from that, stains can make the surface of plastic wood decking unpleasant. Scrub off the stain with soapy water and a brush, and rinse the patio thoroughly. 

Sand the Decking

The newer generation composite decking does not need sanding. But if homeowners want the surface of their composite decking to be smooth, they should sand it with sandpaper. Note that you should not try sanding a new composite decking because you could lose the warranty placed on the board’s surface texture. You can only sand your composite decking if you have used it for a long time and if it belongs to the first generation decking. 

Prepare the Sealer

You should have got the sealer by now. Open the seal and stir it. Use a short stick to stir the sealer in the can. Continue until you are sure that the sealer is ready for a smooth finish. Note that homeowners should not shake the sealer while stirring. This might cause a bubble after applying it on the decking. 

Apply the Sealer

Homeowners can apply the sealer with a brush, paint roller, or sprayer. You can select any tool that is convenient for you when applying the seal. Start by applying a light coat over the decking boards. After, you can apply another thin coat as it will dry much faster than applying a thick coat. When you have applied all the sealer, you can let your decking dry. 

Protect Your Composite Decking Joists

The joists of your plastic wood decking are the substructure or frame that serves as its foundation. You have to protect the joists from moisture because moisture can make them rot. According to homeowners, most decking began to split and rot around 8 – 10 years. It is because the wood joists used to make the decking is exposed to moisture. Water will infiltrate the joists through the decking boards and the screws holes. 

Once the water reaches the wooden joists, it will cause decay or rot, leading to the collapse of the decking. To ensure that your joists last as long as your decking, you have to take steps to protect them. Use butyl tape to seal the top of the joists to prevent moisture from entering them. Homeowners should ensure that they tape the top of the joists before they fix their plastic wood decking on them. Taping your joists will guarantee that it will last as long as your plastic wood decking. 

Conclusion 

How do I protect my composite decking? To protect your plastic wood decking, you must seal the surface to stop moisture from entering the boards. Also, you should tape the top of your joists to prevent decay or rot. 

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