6 Ways Applicators Extend the Life of Waterproof Deck Coatings


Before application:

  1. The foundation of the new waterproof deck, whether it be concrete or plywood, is essential to be of sound construction. The waterproof deck cannot be used as a structural component. In other words, do not have the impression that the waterproof deck coating is going to fill-in holes or provide structural integrity. What is underneath the coating cannot be a duct tape or foil repair. Do it right. If the concrete has any cracked, deteriorated areas causing gaps, or broken corners, then repair them with standard techniques that provide structural integrity.  For instance, the waterproof coating applied over a corner of a concrete slab that has a history of cracking off because of poor drainage or erosion, will crack off just as before. If there are roots uplifting the concrete, these must be destroyed and the concrete section needs to be replaced.
  2. If the plywood decking is warped or dry-rotted, these areas need to be replaced. If the deck is raised above ground with support 4 x 4 posts, they need to be free of decay and be well anchored. Cross beams need to be free of rot. Any sign of insect related destruction needs to be treated. If there is water pooling a proper slope must be constructed. Deck flashing must be installed properly.
  3. If using a lath system proper technique of cutting and positioning needs to be followed. Staples and nails securing the lath must be seated by the use of pneumatic power tools. The lath butting edges need to be overlapped 2″ and secured with staples every 2″. The outer edge of the lath needs to be stapled every 2″. Any protruding staple, nail or lath material must be flattened before application.

During application:

  1. Appropriate tools to prepare the coating by mixing, and spiked shoes and pool trowel for application, need to be used. The thickness of the application must be to specs and be evenly applied. The waterproof deck coating needs to be undisturbed as it sets and dries.

After application tips for your customer:

  1. Remind them to keep the deck clean by spraying it off with a standard garden hose. If there are areas of dirt build-up, mildew or algae, scrub these areas with a mild soap. The use of a power-washer is recommended for once-a-year cleaning.
  2. Stress to them that regular inspections and maintenance are a good way to extend the life of your waterproof deck coating. Also, if the coating has a warranty, inspections and certain regular maintenance is usually required to maintain your warranty status.  Pay attention to cracks or protruding nails or staples. Inspect the flashing areas for rust or separation.  Follow the recommended time-table for renewed sealing.  Every year check on the structure and overall state of your deck. Look for moisture build-up or decay on joints. Ensure that the support beams and posts are free of rot. Inspect for insect damage such as wasps, carpenter bees and ants.

Check areas of the deck where tables, chairs and grilling is done.  Sharp objects, scrapped over the surface, can damage a deck coating such as the foot of a heavy metal deck chair.  Burning charcoal from a grill can damage waterproof decking. Use pads on the feet of deck furniture and hose down the grilling area after cooking.  This will also keep the area clean by washing off dropped food or grease and prevent staining.

Pli-Dek, Inc. manufactures a wide variety of specialty coatings for the building industry; waterproof deck coatings, fluid applied waterproofing membranes, epoxy flooring and concrete coatings. Please contact us for more information.