Deck board spacing is too tight.


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Old 08-18-11, 09:55 AM
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Deck board spacing is too tight.

We have a 2 year old redwood deck built by a contractor. We applied Superdeck transparent stain when the deck was new and restained it with Superdeck last year when it appeared that we hadn't put on enough stain the first time. We are in the foothills of the Blue Mountains of SE Washington where it is fairly wet in the winter and spring but hot and dry in July and August.

The deck boards swell in the winter until there is no gap and water pools on the deck. This is especially bad on about 1/2th of the deck which is always in the shade in the winter. The contractor used small nails to gauge the spacing at less than 1/8". He said the wood would shrink and the gap would be good when it was dry. Each board has an end that is in the shade under the eaves even in summer. Now in mid-August, the spacing varies a lot. On the sunny end of the boards the spacing is about 1/16" to 3/16" and on the shaded end is about 1/16" or less.

The deck boards are attached with screws. I'm thinking about removing the boards and putting them back on with more spacing. What do you recommend that I do? How can I reinstall the boards evenly when they seem to be wider on one end than the other?

Thank you,
Cliff
 
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Old 08-18-11, 02:47 PM
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If one end is actually wider than the other, you could spin every other board to the opposite end. In other words, the sunny end goes in the shade. Measure first.

Something tells me that the screws aren't going to cooperate, if they aren't stainless steel & some cutting will be needed. In that case some boards may need to be replaced.
 
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Old 08-18-11, 03:54 PM
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That sounds like an awful lot of work

Would it be feasible to drill some holes in the boards where the water collects? Staining the board should help them not to absorb so much moisture but I suspect not having the edges stained might be an issue.

btw - welcome to the forums Cliff!
 
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Old 08-18-11, 04:11 PM
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Spacing

This may sound way out in left field, but I would saw between the boards with a circular saw to create a uniform gap between all the boards. Set the cutting depth to the thickness of the boards to avoid sawing into the joists. Just my 2 cents.
 
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Old 08-18-11, 06:23 PM
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Both of those ideas are good. I would drill the holes first.
 
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Old 05-21-12, 02:16 PM
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so how do you assure the saw goes straight? My deck boards are trex.
 

Last edited by pancerman0; 05-21-12 at 02:20 PM. Reason: add material info
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Old 05-21-12, 02:26 PM
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Good eye, steady hand and no drinking of alcohol before you do it. In reality if you set the saw blade just the depth of the boards (1"), the contour of the board edge will help keep the saw straight. But you gotta help it. It isn't for the faint of heart, as you could mess up an otherwise nice looking deck.
 
 

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