How to Caulk a Deck

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How to Caulk a Deck
Silicone caulk is a simple way to seal spaces in a deck. (deck image by Albert Lozano from

A wooden deck, typically installed in a home's back yard, is constructed of floor boards, or platform that provides a sturdy, outdoor walking surface. Installation of a deck often leaves gaps between the boards where dirt and other residue can easily penetrate and become trapped. A simple and convenient solution to sealing these spaces is to caulk them. Silicone caulk is a subtle sealant that provides airtight and water-resistant protection.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Cleaning detergent
  • Scissors
  • Silicone caulk
  • Wire
  • Caulking gun
  • Rag

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  1. 1

    Vacuum the deck surface thoroughly, with extra attention on the boards that require treatment. Soak a mop in a mild cleaning detergent and clean any visible trace of dirt or grime. Allow the deck to air dry.

  2. 2

    Cut off the plastic tip on a tube of silicone caulk with a pair of scissors, creating an opening to dispense a bead of caulk roughly 1/4-inch wide or less.

  3. 3

    Insert a stiff wire into the opening of the tip to puncture the foil seal inside. Load the entire cartridge into a caulking gun, with the tip pointing away from the trigger.

  4. 4

    Align the tip of the gun with a seam between the deck boards. Hold the gun at a 45-degree angle. Insert the tip into the targeted space and steadily squeeze the trigger to disperse the sealant.

  5. 5

    Draw the gun along the seam to fill it completely. Quickly wipe up excess caulk with a damp rag before it hardens Repeat the same procedure on other cracks in the deck. Allow the silicone to cure for 24 hours.

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