Decks are one of the best features a home can have, as many people love the idea of hosting gatherings and cook-outs right in their own backyard. But there are an estimated 40 million decks in the United States that are 20 years old, and like with roofing and roof repair, sometimes you have to replace instead of fix.
The average deck will last somewhere between 15 and 25 years, depending on climate, and is made of treated lumber joists, beams, and posts. In many cases, it’s not the deck itself that rots, but rather the framing that was used in the deck construction. In this case, you’re going to have to perform new deck installation, and that can be costly. In other cases, simple maintenance will do the job.
But if you want to prolong the life of your current deck or the new deck that you’ve just built, here are three economical tips to do so:
- Seal The Joist Tops
One of the biggest causes of decay in a deck structure is water getting into the joists via the screw holes. Water can work its way into these places and force rot to occur, even if the lumber is treated. Treated lumber is not foolproof, and so the core can be affected. To prevent this, you should seal it with products that are self-healing and sticky. Apply it directly over the area where the screws are located.
- Protect Your Port Bases
Just like how you don’t want any of your deck joists being in contact with water, you also don’t want your post bases in a similar situation. You don’t want to encase it in concrete, either, or allow it to sit directly in contact with it. It can absorb moisture, and that can rot the post. You should raise it a good few inches above the concrete and the soil. This reduces its contact with organic materials and moisture and can make it last longer.
- Seal Post Ends
You should also seal your treated lumber post ends to achieve the longest possible payoff for time added. You just need to apply water repellent from a local supply store, and when this product dries, it’ll act like a cap to keep water out. This will reduce the chance of rot on decks.
These are just some easy, economical ways to keep decks in good condition when you’re constructing them. After all, you want the longest payoff on your home and all its additions.