Deck problems. Please help.

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Old 06-01-19, 08:12 PM
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Deck problems. Please help.

I bought this house 2 years ago and I could have sworn they told me the deck was added 2 years prior. This is what's happening now. Warping and loose boards. What happened? 😩 What do I do now?

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06-02-19, 09:46 PM
stickshift
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if the wood is properly kiln dried to the proper specs for the wood type and then treated at the proper pressure and proper amount of time with the proper chemical mixture, and then left to completely dry before marketing, then the wood will not warp or check
Norm is correct but this process makes the wood cost more. When we buy PT at the local big box store, the stuff is still wet - it was never even near a kiln, let alone dried in one.
 
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Old 06-02-19, 12:00 AM
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Pressure treated wood warps, just the nature of the beast. That said, I'm seeing inconsistent lengths and gaps which makes me suspect poor workmanship as well. Some of those boards probably are going to have to be replaced, maybe you can salvage some others but it's hard to say.
 
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Old 06-02-19, 02:44 AM
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Welcome to the forums!
I agree with stickshift. What is the joist spacing? it's not normal for a properly build deck to have the decking sag like that between joists.
 
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Old 06-02-19, 04:07 AM
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Thanks! I believe the boards were evenly spaced and at even lengths before this warping occurred. I guess I'll have to replace the boards but won't it happen again? I read somewhere you have to treat your deck every few years? I feel like I did something wrong because I haven't done anything to it these past two years - I didn't realize decks were so high maintenance. Any more suggestions? Thanks for all your help!

Claudia
 
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Old 06-02-19, 04:19 AM
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Pressure treated wood warps, just the nature of the beast
I need to comment on this.

Yes and no!

The way pressure treated wood is marketed and processed causes the wood to warp. So in that sense it is the nature of the beast. But if the wood is properly kiln dried to the proper specs for the wood type and then treated at the proper pressure and proper amount of time with the proper chemical mixture, and then left to completely dry before marketing, then the wood will not warp or check. At least not to any great degree. The problem is lumber yards, treaters and chemical suppliers are out to move the wood as soon as possible without regard to quality.

Lets put it another way. If NASA needed a piece of treated lumber, you can be sure it will meet specs and not warp, or check or rot for the specified time, and it will cost $!
 
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Old 06-02-19, 04:20 AM
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Pressure treated wood is somewhat forgiving but it will look a better and last longer if it's kept stained. 2-3 yrs is normal for a decent stain job [a lot depends on the environment it's exposed to] 1 yr or less for a cheap stain job.

I'd still like to know the joist spacing as it isn't normal for deck boards to sag like that.
 
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Old 06-02-19, 04:47 AM
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From what I'm seeing the deck boards where cut to short, they should have over hung the rim joist by at least 1/2" for drainage, and to allow the screw to hit the middle of the joist.
I agree that joist spacing looks like there two far apart.
You can get away with 24" on center, but all the decks I've built where done on 16" centers, with a doubled up outer rim joist.
Your could fix what you have now by adding a PT 2 X 4 to the back side of the rim joist and adding more 2-1/2" decking screws, replacing any sagging deck boards and adding another joist between the ones there now using joist hangers.
 
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Old 06-02-19, 05:35 AM
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Thank you all so much. If I measured correctly (from beginning of one to middle of the next) then the joist spacing is 25" I just can't believe how bad this job was done. The boards are not stained but painted since I can rub it off with my finger, right? Since they're too short does that mean all the boards should be replaced? That sounds very expensive. Maybe just fix the ones that are broken, remove paint and then stain and hope for the best?? You guys are awesome - thank you for taking the time to help a girl out.
 
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Old 06-02-19, 05:40 AM
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Deck stains don't penetrate as deep as interior woodwork stains do. It looks like stain to me, probably a semi-transparent stain that's gone too long between coats.

25" joist spacing is an issue. You can get by with it if you use 2x6s for decking but it's not ideal. I'd see if I could add a 2x6 joist in between the ones that are spaced that far apart. Is it all of them or just some of them?

I'd replace any broken boards, they won't stain exactly the same as the old weather boards but should look ok.
 
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Old 06-02-19, 05:52 AM
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Yes, they are all that far apart - we're talking about the spacing of the boards underneath that are holding up the slats, right? I wish I would have known all this before. Ahhhh...the joys of home ownership. Pressure washing and staining a deck every two years is not going to be fun.
 
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Old 06-02-19, 06:27 AM
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Yes, the floor joists are what the deck boards are screwed to. Provided you have enough room to move around under the deck it shouldn't be a big deal to add joists with joist hangers. There is decking like Trex that doesn't require finishing but it does cost a bit more.
 
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Old 06-02-19, 06:40 AM
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Trex looks awesome and I'd rather pay to have it done right than to have to keep redoing! Wanted to add on to the deck at some point anyway but will do the minimal for right now!
 
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Old 06-02-19, 09:46 PM
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if the wood is properly kiln dried to the proper specs for the wood type and then treated at the proper pressure and proper amount of time with the proper chemical mixture, and then left to completely dry before marketing, then the wood will not warp or check
Norm is correct but this process makes the wood cost more. When we buy PT at the local big box store, the stuff is still wet - it was never even near a kiln, let alone dried in one.
 
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Old 06-03-19, 02:47 AM
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Some big box stores also sell dried PT lumber but they get a premium price for it. While there are times it makes sense to pay the extra, normally it doesn't imo.
 
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Old 06-06-19, 09:33 AM
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Southernliving, you can replace the boards if the warping bothers you. Obviously it needs some paint. Semi-transparent really only lasts 2 years in direct sun. Some people are under the impression that treated wood doesn't need painted or they just like the weathered splinttery look! lol! Personally I've found that the SOLID deck stains at the big box stores are perfectly fine. If you go with semi-transparent you will need to paint it more often. You can also add a satin clear top coat, but I worry that will flake like polyurethane does in the sun.
 
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