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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Driveways, Pools & Outdoor Living > Sealing a Deck

Sealing a Deck Cost


How Much Does Sealing a Deck Cost?

 
average costDo-it-yourself: $50-$350+high costProfessional Sealing: $1-$5 a Square Foot

A deck sealer is a clear product that has no color and allows a wood deck's natural grain to show. Sealers typically protect against moisture but not UV rays; a sealed wood deck will begin gradually graying after about two months (particularly if the deck faces south in full sun), but without splitting, warping, cupping or cracking. Decks should be resealed every one to two years. Sealing a deck provides a more natural look than staining a deck, which provides both moisture and UV protection but changes the color of the wood, and may not let the natural grain show.

Typical costs:

  • Having a handyman, contractor or deck company clean and seal a deck can cost $1-$5 or more a square foot, but averages about $2-$3.50 a square foot ($300-$525 for a 10'x15' deck or $640-$1,120 for 16'x20'), depending on local rates, deck condition (if it needs sanding and simple repairs in addition to cleaning), the height and location of the deck (whether ladders are needed, or if there are other decks or structures nearby) and the number of levels, railing, stairs and other features.
  • For example, Roof Restore Outdoor ProWash[1] in Nashville, TN charges $1 per square foot for deep cleaning and sealing a deck, $10 per linear foot of railing and $10 per stair, and estimates that a typical 10'x10' deck with three stairs and 38' of railing costs $582. Deck Care of Nova[2] in Washington, DC estimates a typical cost of $229 to clean and seal up to 200 square feet of decking, including all railings, up to four steps and all support beams. We Stain Decks[3] in Ohio estimates costs of $330 to clean and stain a 10'x10' deck, $650 for 20'x20' and $920 for a 20'x35' deck; with additional costs of $75-$150 if the deck is higher than 6'; $50-$10 for lattice below a first floor deck; $75-$150 for lattice a second floor deck; and $4 a linear foot for built-in benches or flower boxes.
  • Do-it-yourself deck sealing can be an effective alternative; supplies can cost $20-$300 or more, depending on the cleaner and sealer products used, and any needed equipment. Renting a power washer can cost $40-$75 a day, and buying a basic residential power washer can cost $70-$200 or more. However, a high-pressure stream can cause serious damage, and some experts say it's better to use brushes, non-pressurized water and an acid-free cleaner instead of a power washer. DIYNetwork.com[4] estimates that cleaning and sealing a deck is a relatively easy DIY project that takes about two days and costs $100-$250.
What should be included:
  • Procedures vary, but typically any furniture, a grill and other items are removed from the deck (some deck companies include this step in their pricing, while others ask the homeowner to clear the area); if plants are nearby, they should be covered with plastic sheeting. The deck is cleaned, and possibly treated with a stripper to remove the old finish; rough areas may require hand or power sanding. Before the sealer is applied, the deck may need to dry 24-48 hours or more, depending on the sealer used and the amount of exposure to sunlight the deck receives. FusionGuy09 provides a video demonstration for cleaning and sealing a deck[5] . In some cases, two coats of sealer may be needed, typically with two to three hours between coats, depending on the manufacturer's recommendations.
Additional costs:
  • If not included in the quote for cleaning a sealing the deck, basic deck repairs (replacing small sections of bad decking boards, strengthening wobbly posts, replacing loose or popped nails or screws) can cost $100-$500 or more, depending on what is needed.
Shopping for sealing a deck:
  • Sealing a deck can be done by a handyman or other casual labor, or by a deck company or contractor. Ask for and check references from satisfied customers; and confirm that the individual or company is properly insured and licensed by the state. Ask for a detailed explanation of the process and the chemicals used.
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External Resources:
  1.  outdoorwash.com/deckfence-cleaning-sealing-and-maintenance/deck-repair-cleaning-st...
  2.  www.deckcareofnova.com/Fairfaxpowerwashingdeckcleaningstainingarlingtonva.html
  3.  westaindecks.com/
  4.  www.diynetwork.com/outdoors/tips-for-cleaning-and-repairing-deck/index.html
  5.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z2Hd9oxJ2w
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