Repairing or even rebuilding a Deck builders saint louis is a timely and expensive endeavor. No deck will last forever, but an ounce of prevention can go a long way toward preserving your deck for many extra years. The key to maintaining your deck for the long haul is to prevent wood rot.
Wood rot is a fungus that feeds on wood. A few errant spores that find a nice moist home inside your deck can quickly eat it away from the inside out, forcing you to replace parts or all of the entire structure. To keep your deck strong and free of wood rot, take the follow precautions:
Use the right type of wood
Different types of wood have different susceptibilities to wood rot. If you have not yet built your deck, consider using Cedar, Redwood, or a Composite decking material. These types of wood can make a beautiful and sturdy deck and have the added benefit of being resistant to rotting wood. For even more prevention, use pressure-treated wood for the substructure (the frame work under the deck boards.) This might cost a little more money up front, but pressured-treated wood is a great shield against wood rot.
Keep your deck dry
The fungus that causes wood to rot festers in moist environments. Of course, your deck is outside and therefore subject to the elements, but there are many good sealants on the market that work really well and are easy to apply. Take your time in applying the sealant, making sure you cover all areas of the deck, especially between the boards. Reapply regularly. Prime and paint all lumber before you start to build. As you cut boards to length apply a coat of primer to the cut end. The cut end is like a sponge for sucking in moisture. After the frame work is completed apply a final coat of paint.
Be aware of trouble spots. Water can sometimes collect in the area where the deck attaches to the fascia board on the outside of your house. The solution is to cantilever your deck board approximately once inch over the existing fascia, which limits the number of areas where moisture, dirt and debris can find their way in.
Gaps are good
Most home owners want the boards of their deck to fit snugly against each other. This makes for a more solid floor, but it can also be a breeding ground for wood rot spores. When deck boards are laid down close together, water and debris can get caught between the cracks, giving wood rot the perfect refuge to grow and cause damage to your deck.
A slight gap between boards will make it easier to apply sealant in trouble spots and will also allow water and debris to drop through the gaps instead of hanging around and inviting wood rot. If you do go with more spacing between your boards, READ the manufactures’ recommendation on spacing for composite.
Using the right type of wood to build your deck, keeping your deck dry, and adding a little more spacing between the boards will help you preserve your deck and prevent wood rot with minimal effort. That way, you can spend more time enjoying the things that make a deck such a great addition to your house: barbecuing with your family, reading outside in the morning, watching the sun set over the horizon with your spouse, etc…