One of the most important swimming pool features isn’t actually in the pool, it’s around it. The look of your pool deck can have major influence on your enjoyment of the pool. Nothing is more disappointing than seeing your beautiful, sparkling pool surrounded by a deteriorating deck. That’s why it’s important to waterproof and protect your deck surface.
The chemicals used to keep your pool water clean and free of bacteria can, over time, begin to degrade the surface of your pool deck. Consequently, you should hose off the deck every few days. You should also periodically use a mild detergent or specially formulated deck cleaner to remove chemical build-up.
Sand and dirt can also harm your pool deck. Sweeping the deck daily will prevent these abrasive materials from being ground into the surface and causing damage, and will keep leaves and other debris from accumulating.
One of the best ways to protect a wood deck is to apply a penetrating stain. This will not only keep chemically treated pool water from damaging the surface, it will keep the water from absorbing into the wood and doing internal damage.
Wood sealants from leading providers like Sherwin-Williams and Behr tend to come in a clear formula and also semi-transparent and opaque paint-like versions in a wide variety of color tints. The more tinted or opaque a stain is, the higher degree of protection it will provide.
Before staining your deck, clean it with a power washer and/or a commercial deck cleaning solution and a brush. You want to not only remove visible dirt and debris, but also any fine layer of mold or mildew that may have developed. After thoroughly cleaning every surface you can see or reach, let the deck completely dry. This may take a few days.
Cover your pool and take care not to allow any of the stain to run off into it. After applying the sealer, let it dry. Then inspect the deck and touch-up any missed spots. The next time there is water on the deck, look for areas where the moisture doesn’t bead, as that’s an indication more sealant is needed.
While we’d all like to believe that concrete is impervious to moisture, experience tells us otherwise. Chemically treated pool water can be especially damaging to concrete.
Applying a sealant to your concrete deck can not only keep it from crumbling, it can protect it from fading and help it repel stains. Like wood sealants, the concrete versions can be clear or tinted. They can also have anywhere from a no-gloss to a high-gloss finish. Sealants are available in a slip resistant formula that is a wise choice for a pool deck. Concrete sealants can also help prevent freeze/thaw damage in cold climates.
The process for applying concrete sealant is the same as for wood sealant. Thoroughly clean the deck of dirt, debris, and mold or mildew. Let it dry completely. Cover the pool to keep the sealant out of the water. Apply the stain according to the manufacturer’s directions. Note that new concrete must be completely cured before you stain it. That can be as long as 28 days after it is poured.
An investment in enjoyment
The time it takes to regularly clean and periodically waterproof your pool deck is time well spent. Not only will you have a beautiful deck today, but you’ll be able to enjoy it for many years to come.