3 Easy Ways to Extend the Life of Your Deck

If you’re building a deck in the near future, you’ll want to hear today’s tips. On average, decks typically last 15 to 25 years because the wood eventually rots. In some cases, it’s the decking boards that rot first. In other situations, it’s the treated framing that is damaged by the elements. Today’s tips deal with extending the life of the treated lumber underneath your deck. Read on to find out how you can prolong the life of your deck.

Three Tips for Building a Deck That Will Last

  1. Seal the joists
    In most cases, decks are framed with treated lumber that has been injected with chemicals to preserve the life of the wood. However, water can work its way into the frame via the screw holes of the decking boards. This will eventually cause the frame to rot. In addition, chemicals injected in treated lumber do not penetrated the lumber completely. To minimize water damage, seal the tops of the joists with Grace Vycor Plus Deck Protector (yes, it’s available at Parr Lumber). The flexible flashing material is easy to apply — just peel and stick.
  2. Keep your posts off the ground
    You do not want your posts to be contact with the soil or concrete where it can wick moisture. To reduce water damage, the bottom of the posts need to be raised a couple of inches from the soil or concrete. To do this, use 4×4 post bases by Simpson Strong Tie.
  3. Seal the ends of your posts
    The endgrain of any wood species is like a bundle of straws and that bundle of cells will absorb moisture right into the posts. To reduce water damage, use a brush to apply a product like Wolman Raincoat water repellent on the ends of the posts. As you can tell by the product’s name, the solution acts as a rain coat to resist water wicking and infiltration.

Source: this blog post is based on content by Matt Risinger of Risinger Homes in Austin, TX via Fine Home Building