Sealing Waterfront Structures: Protect Wood From Water Damage | SEAL-ONCE© Sealing Waterfront Structures: Protect Wood From Water Damage | SEAL-ONCE©

Sealing Waterfront Structures: Protect Wood From Water Damage

boat dock at sunset

Over 90% of American homes are built with wood. Wood is also one of the most popular choices for beach houses, lakeside properties, and waterfront structures such as jetties and boardwalks. Nothing beats the natural look and feel of wood.

You may be thinking of starting a wooden waterfront project but are concerned about how fast wood can deteriorate when near water. This is completely logical as structures in high-moisture areas can become damaged very quickly.

Luckily, it is relatively simple to protect the wood on your waterfront property with our guide to sealing waterfront structures.

Why Choose Wood?

Although we all know that wood can sometimes be a little high maintenance and potentially have issues in the future, it remains one of the most used materials for different construction projects. 

The main reasons wood is often used in construction are:

  • Economical cost
  • Natural beauty 
  • Eco-friendliness
  • Durability and stability
  • Widely available
  • Versatility 
  • Strengthens in high temperatures unlike other building materials which can swell and weaken
  • Sound absorption
  • High demand from customers
  • Resists electrical current 
  • It doesn’t rust
  • Wide variety of types of wood

Wood is a great material to build with as long as it is properly treated during or after installation. With the right care and attention, it will last a lifetime. 

Concerns of Water and Wood

As a natural plant material, wood can be susceptible to mold and mildew when exposed to water or high moisture conditions. There are many opportunities for waterfront wooden structures to deteriorate including:

  • Biological causes such as fungi and insects
  • Physical causes such as overloading, high moisture content, UV damage, salt ingress
  • Chemical causes such as accidental chemical spills, oil or fuel in the water, metal contamination from nails and screws

Whether from direct contact with water or exposure to water vapor, the increased moisture content is the main issue with waterfront wood. This can cause swelling and warping causing structural and design issues. The wood needs to be sealed well to avoid these issues. 

What Is Marine-Grade Wood Sealer?

A typical wood sealer forms a barrier on the material to keep the moisture out. However, as the water evaporates, it causes the coating to crack and peel leaving a broken surface. Damage to the coating exposes the wood to further damage and requires continued maintenance. 

SEAL-ONCE® wood sealers work in a different way protecting the wood from inside out. Specifically, our Marine Waterproofing Wood Sealer is a scientifically engineered sealer that penetrates the wood and protects it from the inside. 

SEAL-ONCE® MARINE wood sealer protects against all water damage. Using nanotechnology, the sealer is absorbed deep into the wood and bonds to the wood fibers and cells. This forms a strong shield for long-lasting water resistance and protection.

This nanotechnology makes this sealer unique along with these other great features:

  • Water-based and ultra-Low VOC
  • Eco-friendly, non-toxic with no odor
  • Won’t harm people, your pets, or your plants
  • Penetrates deep below the surface
  • Easy clean up with soap and water
  • Clear so you can see the wood’s natural grain

The clear wood sealer allows the wood to keep its natural color. However, you can choose from a stunning collection of 9 different wood stains to suit your style. 

Benefits of Sealing Waterfront Structures

Sealing the wood in waterfront structures is a vital step to prolonging the life of the wood and reducing future maintenance. If this step gets rushed or skipped altogether, your wood will start to deteriorate only 1 month after installation if not sooner. Our MARINE wood sealer provides the following additional benefits:

Creates a Breathable Barrier

The flexible breathable barrier allows water vapor to escape while preventing damage caused by water intrusions. 

Stops Mis-shaping

Sealing the wood protects it from warping, cupping, curling, and cracking which can cause real problems. Wood window frames and furniture will become useless if this happens. 

Weatherproof Wood

Our high-quality wood water sealer protects against the harmful UV rays from the sun, heavy rain, strong winds, saltwater, snow, and ice.

Avoids the Risk of Rotting

Without protection, mold spores and spread in the wood within weeks. Sealing the wood will help fight mold spores, mildew build-up, decay fungi, and wood rot.

Extends the Natural Life

By protecting the wood from the inside out, it will support and strengthen the fibers and cells. This will increase durability and prolong the life of your wooden structure for up to 10 years!

What Structures Can It Be Used On?

SEAL-ONCE marine wood sealer can be applied to freshly cut wood. The breathable barrier allows water vapor in the wood to escape as the wood ages. It can be applied to hardwood, softwood, pressure-treated wood, and exotic wood. You can seal many structures including:

  • Waterfront or poolside decks
  • Cedar shakes
  • Marine docks
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Thermally modified wood
  • Swing sets

For pressure-treated wood, it’s advised to wait a few months before applying the sealer. The chemicals used in making this type of wood need time to cure before adding a layer of marine wood sealer. Application before could result in peeling, cracking, and bubbling.

You can determine if pressure-treated wood chemicals have been cured by sprinkling water on the surface. If the water soaks in, the wood has cured and is ready for the wood sealer. If it pools or forms droplets, you need to wait longer.

How To Apply Marine Wood Sealer

It’s easy to apply SEAL-ONCE marine wood sealer, you could do it yourself over a weekend (depending on the area of wood you want to seal of course). Check out our YouTube video to see how our marine wood sealer can be applied.

We recommend waiting for a dry spell of weather so it will not rain within the full cure time for the marine wood sealer. It will be fully cured within 12-24 hours, depending on the temperature and humidity of your location. 

Due to our sealer being free of harsh chemicals, you do not require special personal protective equipment (PPE). Any spills or overspray can be easily cleaned up using soap and water. 

SEAL-ONCE® MARINE wood sealer must be applied to bare wood. If the wood has had another stain or sealer treatment, it needs removing. You can sand or strip the wood surface, or as shown in our video, use our All Wood Cleaner for a quick and easy solution. 

Rinse the surface with water, allow it to dry completely then apply the marine wood sealer according to the package instructions.

You don’t need special equipment to apply the sealer. As you have seen in our video, you can use a synthetic brush or stain pad. For a faster application, you can use a pump sprayer with a 0.015-0.017 tip for a great wood sealer spray. The ideal temperature for applying the marine wood sealer is between 45°F (7.22°C) to 95°F (35°C).


By sealing your wooden waterfront structure with our marine wood sealer, you can enjoy the fresh look and feel of natural wood for years to come with minimal maintenance.