Deck Sealer: Cleaning and Treating Your Timber Deck

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Deck Sealer: The ticket to a perfect deck, year after year.

What is a Deck Sealer?

Surfaces that are constantly exposed to the natural elements like sun, water and wind need a protective layer to ensure that the deck stays in tip-top condition. For this reason, your best bet is to seal your deck properly.

However, don’t get confused by a deck sealer and a deck stain.

A deck sealer is typically either a clear or transparent layer that acts as a finish on your wood. It can either penetrate into the wood or act as a clear layer on top of the wood. However, you can also find sealers with a tint in them. Some of the most common colors are Oak, Browns, and Teaks.

Why do you need a Deck Sealer?

A sealer will extend the life of your deck significantly. It will keep your deck protected from all the natural elements.

Some of the main contributions of a proper sealer should include the following properties:

  • Water-resistant elements (Wax, Oil etc.)
  • Nourishing to wood
  • Good wear resistance
  • UV Resistant (For sun damage)

You need to ensure that you are protecting your timber from all the natural elements like rot and mould; as well as water and sun damage.

Most deck’s natural wood color will fade over time. However, using a high-quality decking sealer will enhance the wood’s natural color as well as prevent the fading of the timber. Therefore, to keep the aesthetics at an optimal level, you should always use a good sealer.

Why do you need to seal your deck?

How do you seal a deck?

Deck Sealer is not a complicated product. All you need to do is ensure that you are working on a clean surface.

If you have a newly installed deck, with no previous coatings on the surface, you can apply the sealer generously all over the deck. Most sealers require a second coating 24 hours after the first application.


If your deck is already sealed, but you want to change the colour or maintain it, you do not need to worry. There are amazing products on the market to make your life easier.

Depending on what is already on your deck, you will need:

  • Paint Stripper
  • Product Dissolver like TimberLife’s Indeg

Most of these products are easy to use and come with proper instructions as they may vary from products-to-product.

The most important note here is that the timber needs to be completely clean from any previously used finishes (stains, sealants, varnishes, etc.) and dirt. The wood needs to be in its most raw state before you can apply the new sealer.

Once the wood is completely stripped, you can apply your first layer of sealer, let it dry and repeat again in 24 hours.

Deck Sealer frequently asked questions:

  • How often should you seal a deck?

Ideally, a deck needs to be resealed every year. Cleaning your deck properly (removing all finishes like stains, waxes, etc) and resealing it with a brand new coat of sealer will give you the best results.

This is true no matter what type of deck you have, hardwood, softwood, treated or untreated.

  • Do you need to seal a pressure treated (Tanalised CCA Treated) deck?

Yes. Pressure-treated timber still needs to be sealed with a proper sealer. It is the best way to ensure that your deck will look perfect for years to come. It will lengthen the life of your timber deck significantly.

How should you wash a deck between stains and sealers?

Decks are exposed to the natural elements and can get dirty quite fast like any other surface. If you are looking at cleaning your deck (For daily living, not to re-seal your deck) you can follow these simple guidelines:

  • Do not use an abrasive sponge/tool to clean the deck. Stick to cloths, sponges, soft-bristled brooms and other tools that will not scratch the surface of the deck.
  • Use non-corrosive cleaning agents. Do not use bleach, handy-andy or other cleaning agents that can eat away at the layers of stains, varnishes, and sealants that you have applied to your deck. Luke Warm water will work.

Cleaning your deck this way will prevent any damage in the interim of sealing your deck.

Best Deck Sealer in South Africa

TimberLife is one of the most versatile deck sealers on the market in South Africa. Khuni Sealer is known as a contractor’s wood stabilizing oil and boasts with the following characteristics:

  • It is an oil/wax-based penetrating sealer that protects raw (uncoated) wood against water ingress, surface degradation, and contamination.
  • High-quality blend of drying oils and water repellent wax components.
  • Deeply penetrates, stabilizes and nourishes the wood.
  • Acts as a transit stabilizer, and protective sealer that prevents excessive checking and splitting of pre-manufactured timbers during building construction.
Timberlife Khuni Sealer

To read more about the Khuni Sealer and other TimberLife products, you can view our article on our Timberlife Range.

For any inquiries regarding our timber decking planks range and/or our Timberlife range, please feel free to contact us. Our sales agents will be happy to assist you!

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