The Pros and Cons of Deck Waterproofing Options

Decks are a source of pride for many homeowners and business establishments. These open spaces are perfect for receiving and entertaining guests; and with a few, well-placed plants or fences, decks can be a true sanctuary.

If you want to fully enjoy your deck, reinforce them with deck waterproofing solutions. Whether you have an elevated wooden deck or a concrete patio, waterproofing installations by Life Deck will protect it from moisture, humidity, and impact from foot and vehicular traffic.

Why Should You Make Your Deck Waterproof?

Water is the biggest culprit of deck deterioration. While the weather is beyond your control, water-proofing is very much a viable option.

Other than adding to the durability and longevity of the structure, waterproofing also means you can worry less about potential slips and falls.

Types of Deck Waterproofing Systems

These are the types of deck waterproofing systems available at Life Specialty Coatings, along with their pros and cons:

1. Acrylic Coating

Waterproofing for a deck would be incomplete until the permanent planter fixtures on the deck are also outfitted with a protective coating. 

Acrylic underseal is best for outdoor planter boxes. The membrane provides an absolute waterproofing cover that’s flexible (expands with the substrate under hot temperatures) and seamless.

  • Pros: Durable, flexible, enhances planters’ aesthetics, and has a broad range of applications.
  • Cons: The initial cost may be a bit pricey.

2. Under Tile Waterproof Decking System

This metal-lath-reinforced waterproofing system has plenty of residential and commercial applications. It acts as a waterproofing membrane between a substrate (usually concrete) and the tile. Under-tile waterproofing systems in general are suitable for different types of tiles and add to the floor system’s overall strength and durability.

  • Pros: Under-tile waterproofing membranes may be installed to rehabilitate problematic flooring with tiles. They can also be used for decks, balconies, stairs, and landings.
  • Cons: The Acrylic Lath Under Tile (AL-UT) system by Life Deck, which we offer here at Life Specialty Coatings, is suitable only for plywood decks.

3. Plywood Waterproof Decking System

Wooden decks are the preferred material for many homeowners for their aesthetic appeal. They do need superior waterproofing to avoid rapid deterioration due to weather exposure and foot traffic.

Waterproofing a plywood deck can include metal lath installation and application of various coatings like fiberglass resin, a textured finish, and a final decorative finish. These layers enhance the appearance of the plywood and reinforce the deck to make it resistant to moisture and wear.

  • Pros: Extremely durable with 10-year warranties, these systems are heat-reflective, skid-resistant, and may also be applied to concrete substrates. Plywood waterproof decking has plenty of applications, from stairways to poolside decks.
  • Cons: The waterproofing system is best installed together with the plywood deck, and not as a post-assembly application.

4. Concrete Waterproof Decking System (for Pedestrians and Vehicles)

Concrete is durable and made to last for years, but it is susceptible to damage due to traffic and environmental wear and tear. Heavy-duty, waterproof coating can help prevent deterioration and early damage on concrete surfaces, especially service roads, driveways, courtyards, and parking lots.

Aliphatic and aromatic liquid urethane coatings are ideal for concrete. They protect the surface from impact damage like cracks and chips. At Life Specialty Coatings, we use different installation methods and procedures depending on the locations of the concrete and its applications.

For example, we make four applications of water-based acrylic concrete coatings for courtyards because they have high foot traffic and require an aesthetic appeal.

Urethane coating for vehicular spaces (i.e., parking lots and driveways), on the other hand, need a high-tensile aromatic urethane coating and epoxy primer to create a smooth, seamless expanse that’s trendy for driveways today.

  • Pros: Concrete waterproofing systems offer years of protection and help ensure that concrete flooring lasts.
  • Cons: Immense precision in application and curing is a requirement to achieve optimal performance. Also, if the soil grading and concrete installation are sub-par, the coating may do little to prevent early damage.

Waterproof Your Deck through Life Specialty Coatings

You get the best results when you match a superior product with excellent workmanship and professionalism. This is what we deliver at Life Specialty Coatings. We’ve been manufacturing top-rated, high-performance exterior coatings for over 55 years and distributing our products to over 200 locations all over the country.

With our expertise and excellent track record, our deck waterproofing solutions will give you peace of mind. Get in touch with Life Specialty Coatings and inquire about our deck waterproofing options today.

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